We recognize and embrace our responsibility to manage our activities with care for the protection of environmental resources. At Cameco, our stewardship is guided by a rigorous policy and programs designed to minimize our impacts on air, land, and water, and to safeguard the biodiversity of surrounding ecosystems.
The following are summary highlights of selected priority environmental topics. Please see our 2021 ESG Report for more information or Our Performance for all indicator results.
We believe that responsible management of water is critical to our business success. We also recognize the importance of using and discharging water responsibly to preserve it for current and future generations. Across our operations, we interact with water in several ways and acknowledge that we share this valuable
resource with Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
We work continuously with regulators, governments, researchers, and communities to understand possible impacts, develop best practices, and make changes that mitigate potential impacts on the environment. At our sites and facilities, we have robust water management and monitoring programs that apply to all our withdrawals and discharges of water, and we tailor our water management practices to local uses and conditions.
Tailings are an inevitable byproduct of most mining activities. Responsible and safe management of mining waste streams is critical to protecting the environment as well as the safety of our workers, operations and communities. To strengthen our tailings management approach, we seek to apply lessons learned from industry incidents and are committed to continuous improvement.
We employ broad, risk-based practices to effectively manage our tailings and mine waste storage facilities. We are committed to maintaining our rating and adherence to the MAC TSM tailings management protocols. We have implemented best practices identified in the Towards Sustainable Mining Tailings Management Protocol (see image left) developed by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and every three years, we undergo third-party verification.
At Cameco, we are committed to continuous improvement and seek to apply lessons learned from industry incidents to further strengthen our tailings management approach. We are also committed to transparency and disclose detailed information about our tailings facilities to our investors and communities.
We have tracked and reported greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for more than two decades and we recognize that our GHG emissions are increasingly important to our investors and stakeholders. In keeping with our ambition to reach net-zero emissions, we continue to pursue strategies to reduce emissions in our operations and become more efficient in our use of resources. As part of the energy value chain, our product contributes to zero-carbon nuclear power generation.
We have been focused on improving the visibility of energy consumption within our organization and implementing improvements to reduce energy consumption at all our operations. We have made measurable reductions in energy used for mine ventilation, building heating and ventilation, and compressed air systems, and have several ongoing reduction initiatives at our mining, milling and fuel services facilities.
Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy
The accomplishment of the Paris Agreement’s near-term 2030 and longer-term 2050 goals will require substantial additional reductions in GHG emissions in Canada and globally. At Cameco, we believe that maintaining and growing emissions-free nuclear power is and must remain a central part of many countries’, including Canada’s, credible plans to achieving their commitments under the Paris Agreement. There are multiple initiatives underway globally, and in Canada, that recognize the need to advance nuclear power as part of the transition to a low-carbon economy.