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Who We Are: Explore Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA)

COSIA is an alliance of oil sands producers accelerating the improvement of environmental performance in Canada's oil sands through collaboration and innovation. To create the breakthroughs needed, we are bringing together industry, government, academia and innovators to reduce emissions, reduce water use and reclaim land faster.

Environmental Innovation in Action

When launched in 2012, COSIA was considered one of the most unique models of open innovation and collaboration in the world. It represents Canadian innovation and environmental leadership in action. Since 2012, through COSIA, our members have invested $1.8 billion to develop more than 1,100 technologies. Many of the solutions we advance have the potential to make a positive global impact.

Check out some examples of our work related to land and wildlife below. To read about our innovation in other areas, click the blue button.

Toad in backpack


The Canadian toad, also known as the Dakota toad, is the smallest toad in Alberta, ranging between 37-75 mm long. Recently, the Alberta Endangered Species Conservation Committee (ESCC) listed the species as “at-risk” due to the lack of data available on them. 

Through a collaborative COSIA project, the Canadian Natural environment team at Horizon Lake worked to identify the most cost-effective and efficient approaches for carrying out this needed research. A pond was created as part of the reclamation program, giving the team the ability to track toad movements and gain a better understanding of the species. 



Ecologist Federico Riva wondered why no one had studied butterfly populations in the Canadian oil sands before. A scientist with a conservation biology background and a passion for working on important challenges, Riva knew understanding how different species respond to habitat changes, both human and natural, is key to managing and protecting biodiversity. The more we examine the different creatures in an ecosystem, the better equipped we are to preserve both them and their home, Riva explains.

“The best way to inform conservation practices is to gather data about what is actually happening,” he says. “Rigorous and effective land management must be informed by data, and data on as many groups as possible because natural systems are complex networks of interconnected species.”



Woodland caribou are one of Canada’s most iconic animals. But today their populations are under threat. They face loss of habitat and are increasingly hunted by wolves, which travel along old, human-made pathways that cross the northern landscape.

To help restore their habitat, Cenovus Energy is leading a $40-million project to reduce forest fragmentation in areas roamed by caribou. “This is ultimately the largest caribou habitat restoration project being undertaken by any company anywhere in the world,” says Michael Cody, Cenovus Specialist, Environment.

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A catalyst for better environmental outcomes

From exciting new scientific discoveries to game-changing technologies (and everything in between), our focus is on innovation. Explore research, innovation opportunities and projects within our priority areas. Or, submit an idea for consideration.