Having served as KPMG in Canada’s National Energy leader for 12 years and working in the Calgary marketplace for the past 30 years. I see Alberta uniquely positioned to foster and lead innovation at the intersection of sustainability, energy, and technology. Businesses are presented with opportunities for growth as the region experiences a technology transformation.
Drawing parallels between the energy and technology industries, both rely on a similar foundation – a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and risk tolerance. The tech environment in Alberta today reflects what I would have seen years ago in the junior oil and gas space. You start with a small team and an idea. At that time, ideas focused on where companies should drill. Today, those ideas span a variety of solutions to complex problems, which is where we see tech in Alberta growing.
Just as energy companies have invested in research and development in exploration, and now decarbonization methods to ensure long term success, tech companies must consider how creativity and innovation will impact their overall goals.
OPPORTUNITY THROUGH COLLABORATION
Collaboration presents significant opportunity for both industries. That could include collaborative contracting, which is on the rise as an increasing number of firms build and cultivate longer-term relationships, strategic alliances, or it can be through participation and contribution to networks and associations.
Examples include the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN), a panCanadian network focused on ensuring Canada’s oil and gas resources can be sustainably developed and enables technology solutions that can be applied across Canadian industries, and the Pathways Alliance, made up of six of Canada’s largest oil sands producers covering about 95% of Canada’s oil sands production, which was established to help achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from their operations by 2050, while supplying the energy the world needs. While working in collaboration with industry, government, Indigenous communities and stakeholders, the alliance has stated that the most effective way forward will come from new technologies.
Building innovation into foundational processes can have a greater impact in the long term. For the energy industry, reaching net zero requires multiple pathways. Billions have been spent by the industry to decarbonize production and progress is being made with a focus on burning less fuel to produce less CO2 while capturing and storing emissions from the production of energy.
Also, as the industry adapts to the digital era, energy firms are leveraging new technologies and processes to remain globally competitive. Investments in i4.0 technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics can help boost productivity and drive efficiencies.
The choices, plans, and actions we make today impact our collective tomorrow. KPMG in Canada is committed to helping organizations plan sustainable pathways to growth. We look to inspire businesses to embrace innovation and lead with vision – shaping a resilient future for everyone.