Environmental Commitment

Air

We’re all breathing the same air, and keeping it clean is a priority for us.

Our industry members have made great strides in clean air initiatives:

  1. Today’s transportation fuels are the product of years of continuous improvement by our industry: more efficient vehicle performance; a reduction in the amount of emissions produced by fuels; and lower toxicity of unburned fuel. 
    • Our industry has invested over $5-billion to reduce sulphur levels in gasoline by more than 90 percent, and in diesel by 97 percent since 2005. The industry will also be spending an additional $1.2-billion to meet the new Tier 3 low sulphur fuel standards.
    • Smog-forming emissions of a 2005 vehicle (or newer) are 90 percent lower than a 1993 model.
    • Environment and Climate Change Canada predicts that by 2030, total Canadian on-road vehicle emissions for nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter (PM2.5) will drop by 83 percent, 76 percent and 63 percent, respectively, compared to 2005.
  2. Canadian refineries have also made impressive improvements in the amount of atmospheric emissions they create: 
    • Sulphur oxide emissions are down 46 percent, since 2002
    • Nitrous oxide emissions have decreased by 42 percent, since 2002
    • Volatile organic compound emissions are down 47 percent, since 2002
    • Benzene emissions are down by 43 percent since 2002

You can find year-by-year vehicle emissions figures here, and a look at refinery emissions and benzene levels below. 

Key findings

On-Road Emission Inventories for 1985 – 2030

You can find year-by-year vehicle emissions figures here for Total PM2.5 in Canada.

On-Road Emission Inventories for 1985 – 2030

You can find year-by-year vehicle emissions figures here for NOx in Canada.

On-Road Emission Inventories for 1985 – 2030

You can find year-by-year vehicle emissions figures here for SO2 in Canada.

Key findings

Average Mean Ambient Benzene Levels

Refinery emissions of benzene are down 43 percent since 2002, contributing to a 83 percent drop in benzene air concentrations between 1991 and 2012, as measured by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Refineries’ Air Emissions Performance

Refiners are continuously looking at ways to improve their processes – leading to significant improvements in air emissions at facilities

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