Oilsands image needs polishing
Published Tuesday, September 20, 2011 5:10PM MDT
The professional services group Deloitte says the oilsands industry in Alberta needs to find the reset button on public perception.
The Deloitte report says Canada is poised to become a global energy superpower, but there are several challenges ahead.
Deloitte says there is a need for more engagement with stakeholders to try and change negative opinions of the industry's environmental impact.
The group also says the industry needs to do a better job of letting the public in on major advancements in technology which will lessen environmental impacts.
Chris Lee, Deloitte's National Energy and Resources Practice Leader, says there are many positive examples of public engagement, including the decision by numerous CEOs to take part in forums with stakeholders.
Lee says the challenge is that today information moves very fast and sometimes that information isn't accurate. "The problem is today with social media you can give as many facts as you want, but with social media you can also get conflicting information to those facts."
Lee says communication is only one of the big challenges for the industry and that the more immediate problem is finding the qualified workers.
CAPP Vice-President, Greg Stringham, responded to the Deloitte oil sands report saying that "It's a good report and the industry agrees with several areas of focus they emphasize, such as innovation and collaboration."
Stringham says there is a global opportunity for Canada in energy development and that the report highlights several ways for Canada to capitalize on this opportunity.
"The industry is moving ahead with the Canadian energy strategy dialogue, with creative ways to meet the growing demand for labour, and accelerating innovation to continue demonstrating environmentally responsible development. We agree with the need to expand access to existing and new markets around the world. These are all important elements of Canada's growing presence as a global energy leader," said Stringham.
For more information on the report, visit the Deloitte website.