Thank you very much.
Thank you for the opportunity to represent Suncor today. Although I'm sure you're familiar with Suncor, I thought I'd start with just a brief summary of our company.
We're Canada's leading integrated energy company. We employ about 13,000 Canadians. We work from coast to coast. We also work closely and have business relationships with about 150 first nations and aboriginal communities across Canada. Our operations include, of course, our oil sands development and upgrading in northern Alberta, as well as conventional and offshore oil and gas production. We own and operate refineries in Edmonton, Sarnia, and Montreal. We also have a lubricants plant in Mississauga. We're active in renewable energy. We have interests in seven wind farms, and in Sarnia we operate the largest ethanol facility in Canada. Of course, many Canadians know us from our gas stations. We have almost 1,500 Petro-Canada stations across Canada.
We're guided in our operations by our vision. We seek to be trusted stewards of valuable natural resources. It's core to our business. We're guided by our vision of sustainability. We seek economic prosperity, social well-being, and a healthy environment for today and tomorrow.
We have a long history, of course, in the oil sands. We've been a pioneer there. The nature of that business has called for not just economic investment but real social innovation and investment in our environment over the years. I think our success is really rooted, though, in our topic today—collaboration and partnerships in the communities where we operate. We all know about the complex environment we're operating in today. It's increasingly polarized. With increasing concern over infrastructure, and concern about climate change and our relationship with indigenous communities, I think the imperative for collaboration and developing partnerships becomes even more important.
I can't talk about collaboration without mentioning Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. This is where we came together as a founding member several years ago with 13 other oil and gas companies to work together on improving environmental performance. We felt it was too important to compete in this area. We're very proud today that we have already shared $1 billion worth of intellectual property, best practices, and technologies. In fact, 750 technologies have already been shared. We're working hard on tailings, water, land, and GHG, and improving performance in those areas.
I thought I'd give a few examples of some of our collaborative partnerships in the environment. One in Alberta that we're just starting, really, is with The Natural Step and Energy Futures Lab in Alberta. It's convened by Natural Step, but together with the Pembina Institute, the Banff Centre, and Suncor Energy Foundation, we are bringing together a diverse group of individuals from academia, from government, from industry, and from the environment, and some of the young leaders in Alberta to talk about what kind of energy future we want in Alberta and to think about the policy implications and the implications for the very social fabric of our communities.
We are also a sponsor of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, which brought together economists from across the country, together with an advisory council with a broad spectrum of people from different political associations, academia, business, and environment to align on Canada's economic and environmental aspirations.
We've also had long-time partnerships with folks like the Pembina Institute. We have worked together with them on water, land, GHG issues, offset issues, and many different issues over the years.
Going back to 2003, we're a founding member of the Boreal Leadership Council. We're proud of the work we've done there. It's been a collaboration with first nations, resource companies, financial institutions, and leading conservation groups. We're a signatory to the boreal forest conservation framework, which calls for the establishment of a network of large interconnected protected areas covering about half of the country's boreal forest.
Together with that partnership, we've worked with the Alberta Conservation Association. Since 2003 we have worked to set aside and protect about 3,200 hectares in Alberta's boreal forest. We've committed $4 million to that conservation effort over the years.
I also want to mention just a few of our other collaborative organizations, where we're active in communities. One is the Oil Sands Community Alliance, which is focused on socio-economic impacts in northern Alberta. We've also been actively involved in Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo, which helps to build capacity in the non-profit sector.
We've partnered with other companies and first nations communities in the Fort Chipewyan and Janvier communities on the sustainable communities initiative. There, we're working with youth in those communities to explore safe, healthy, and sustainable communities. A lot of that is around traditional education and helping to empower and build capacity within those youth communities.
We're very proud of the work we've done with aboriginal communities. In 2014 alone, we spent over $450 million with aboriginal businesses, but we engage with many different advisory groups on many different issues. We've actually incorporated feedback from the aboriginal communities into our winter drilling program to help make it more successful and sustainable.
We've also worked with the Tsuu T'ina Nation on a business incubator program. We've been helping to build sustaining business capacity within that community. In fact, recently we celebrated an evening where there were over 72 businesses represented that had worked through that business incubator.
We're also involved in cultural awareness and healing. One of the organizations that we are proud to work with is Reconciliation Canada.
Finally, in our investments in partnerships that create opportunities for aboriginal young people, we're very proud to partner with Indspire. I want to thank the federal government for their recent matching of $10 million. Our CEO Steve Williams co-chaired that fundraising campaign for their Building Brighter Futures effort.
I'll probably leave it there. Our partnerships are foundational to our success, and I welcome the conversation we're about to have. I think our greatest learning over time is that community partnership goes way beyond just the dollar investment. We really believe it's important to come together with government, industry, and community to create those collective purposes and work on achieving those solutions together. I like the African proverb: if you want to go fast, go alone, and if you want to go far, go with others.
Thank you for this opportunity.