I am very pleased to announce that we have published CNL’s 2021-2022 Sustainability Report, an annual document that tracks the company’s progress towards more sustainable operations. Titled “Sustainability at CNL,” this report provides insight into 14 focus areas where we are working to incorporate sustainable principles and practices into the operation of the sites we manage on behalf of AECL.
As we work to carry out our missions, complete our major projects and position the company for the future, we understand that our work can affect the environment around us, and that we have a responsibility to minimize these impacts on behalf of future generations. This is a commitment that CNL takes very seriously at all levels of our organization and at all of the sites that we manage across Canada, and it is my hope that this report captures the spirit, ambition and enthusiasm that our employees have adopted in confronting this issue.
And while CNL’s sustainability planning establishes targets related to environmental performance, including carbon emissions, energy efficiency, biodiversity and waste management, it also encompasses social and economic sustainability. This broader commitment includes actions to nurture a healthier work environment, pursue meaningful engagement with local and Indigenous communities, and expand economic opportunity for businesses within our local communities.
Among the many highlights identified in the report this year, CNL has:
- Achieved a 38% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at the Chalk River Laboratories (from the 2005 baseline)
- Sequestered approximately 2,500 tonnes of CO2 by using Canadian mass timber products in the construction of new buildings and facilities at the Chalk River campus
- Safely remediated 1.3 million tonnes of low-level radioactive waste from the Lake Ontario shoreline as part of the Port Granby Project
- Received Gold Certification by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for the Chalk River campus, a designation that recognizes broad-based biodiversity efforts and conservation education activities on corporate land
- Received ISO 14001 recertification for the Chalk River Laboratories and Whiteshell Laboratories sites, providing assurance that our environmental impact is being carefully measured and improved
- Alongside AECL, been honoured by the Algonquins of Ontario, who bestowed a name upon the new site entrance building at the Chalk River Laboratories. Now known as the Minwamon Building, which means ‘clear path’ in the Algonquin language, the gift is part of a broader effort between AECL, CNL and the Algonquins of Ontario to formalize a long-term relationship
- Conducted a public attitude survey in communities surrounding the Chalk River Laboratories that found solid public confidence and awareness in CNL operations and activities
- Received the United Way’s Community Builder Award for our role in providing community support during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Established a network of 360 ‘Wellness Ambassadors’ at CNL who share company resources, tips, news and other promotional materials to encourage self-care
- Created a new Community Advisory Panel to bring new voices from the community into dialogue between CNL and the Renfrew and Pontiac Region
Overall, it has been a productive and positive year for CNL, but we recognize that sustainable operations is not necessarily a target to hit, but an ongoing commitment to maintain. That will remain our goal on this sustainability journey, and we hope you will continue to follow our progress through this and future sustainability reports.