Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.
Susannah Pierce’s roots in Alberta and the energy industry go back to her childhood.
“I grew up in Alberta, and came from a family involved in energy, so the business is in my blood, so to speak,” says Pierce, who recently assumed the role of president and country chair for Shell Canada.
Over more than two decades, Pierce has worked in the oil and gas industry, leading major projects to completion, including LNG Canada, a $40-billion initiative supplying Canadian natural gas to Asia.
Now, Pierce faces an even more important challenge in her role leading the Canadian arm of one of the largest energy companies in the world.
“At Shell, we have a vision of what our company will look like in the future,” Pierce explains. “It is one that has successfully been able to transition its business to a lower carbon energy provider while meeting its commitments to customers, communities and shareholders.”
Alberta’s energy industry is not going away as Canadians ratchet up their efforts to fight climate change, but the industry — Shell included — is a partner on this journey to a low-carbon future.
Changing the hydrocarbon-based energy system to one that is based on renewable power and fuels and has a lower carbon footprint will be immensely difficult, but necessary, Pierce notes.
Shell Canada is showing leadership, committing to becoming a net-zero company by 2050, while developing new technologies to reduce its carbon footprint.
Pierce points to the Quest carbon capture project in Fort Saskatchewan that has captured in excess of six million tonnes of CO2 since 2015. The company has proposed another carbon capture project, Polaris, which will store 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
At the same time, Shell is investing in renewable energy projects such as the Shell/Silicon Ranch solar farm, which will help reduce emissions from its Energy and Chemicals Park at Shell Scotford.
“It’s exciting, but meeting net-zero is a massive challenge we can’t do alone,” Pierce says.
That’s why Shell is seeking to partner with governments, industry competitors and, most importantly, with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.
“My experience at LNG Canada involved working closely with Indigenous groups, notably the Haisla Nation,” she says, adding First Nation partnerships are critical to the success of energy projects.
After all, if Canada and Shell are going to reach their goals of net-zero, people and their communities must be front and centre, Pierce says. “We all need to work together.”
This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.