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Aker Solutions Canada becomes first oil and gas sector firm in N.L. to purchase locally grown carbon credits

Glenn Sharp (left) presents an official Newfoundland Climate and Ecosystems Conservancy Project carbon credit to Aker Solutions Canada HSE manager Melissa English-Barbour and vice-president and general manager Dave Billard.
Glenn Sharp (left) presents an official Newfoundland Climate and Ecosystems Conservancy Project carbon credit to Aker Solutions Canada HSE manager Melissa English-Barbour and vice-president and general manager Dave Billard. - Kenn Oliver

It will be next January before the province’s yet-to-be-released carbon pricing plan is passed into law, but that’s not stopping one company from getting ahead of the game.

Earlier this week, Aker Solutions Canada became the first company operating in this province’s oil and gas sector to purchase carbon credits generated from a pair of wastewater treatment facilities in the towns of Appleton-Glenwood and Stephenville developed in partnership with Sharp Management.

“We all don’t have to wait for someone to tell us what to do,” says Aker vice-president and general manager Dave Billard. “It’s the right thing to do.

“We’re interested in becoming carbon neutral and we were looking for opportunities to contribute to the environment.”

As it stands, Aker has purchased the 16th of 55,071 carbon credits, but following an assessment of its operations in St. John’s, Aker estimates it will end up purchasing between 100 and 200 equivalent offsets in conjunction with the company’s other green initiatives in order to hit carbon neutral status.

Aker is a company that offers products and services to its oil and gas industry clients that help reduce their footprint, but it’s also making efforts to reduce its own impact by decreasing energy consumption and reducing waste in office and industrial settings.

“We do recycling and waste management and paper reduction, those types of things here in the office, and we also look at what we can bring to our clients,” says Aker health, safety and environment manager Melissa English-Barbour.

“Most of our people are working offshore, so what can we do to help ensure that our clients are working in an environmentally sustainable fashion?”

Between 2016 and 2017, the company shaved off over 18,000 megawatt hours of energy consumption and reduced total carbon dioxide emissions by 3,750 tonnes.

The company is also actively engaged in developing carbon sequestration products for clients that allow for the long-term storage of emissions in an effort to slow climate change.

“I’m very glad that Aker’s making a step forward because they are a leader in environmental aspects inside the oil and gas sector,” says Sharp Management president Glenn Sharp.

In the coming weeks, Sharp is planning information sessions for companies interested in having their footprints assessed and purchasing credits.
“We’re looking to try to do that in the oil and gas sector, in the municipal construction sector and the environmental sector for companies that wish to follow Aker to make a difference to the environment and do the right thing and not wait to be legislated.”

Interested parties can also visit Carbonzero.ca/projects/ncecp to calculate footprints and purchase offsets, or they can contact Sharp Management.

For the first three months, the credits — selling for $25 per tonne — are available exclusively to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and to firms and companies operating in the province, after which they’ll hit the open market. Proceeds are being shared equally between Sharp Management and the three municipalities involved in the Newfoundland Climate and Ecosystems Conservancy Project.

kenn.oliver@thetelegram.com

Twitter: kennoliver79

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