During the course of its activities, Valero rigorously adheres to the most stringent security, operational and integrity standards to protect the environment, its employees and the communities where it is active.
Over the past twenty years, the Jean Gaulin Refinery in Lévis has continually invested in numerous projects to produce low-sulfur content gasolines and distillates (diesel, jet fuel, heating oil) and ethanol blended gasoline (E10). The refinery has also installed vapour recovery units to minimize the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the atmosphere at its pier and at the truck loading ramps.
In total, the Jean Gaulin Refinery has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 21% from the 1990 base year, particularly through the review of its practices, the completion of major energy efficiency projects, improvements to its production capacity and investments in the production of low-sulfur content gasolines and distillates.
At the Montreal-East terminal, a recent project to modernize the truck loading ramp included the integration of a cutting-edge vapour recovery unit to reduce to a minimum the release of volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere.
During the pipeline Saint-Laurent construction project, a comprehensive assessment was undertaken to identify and reduce to a minimum potential environmental impacts. Valero Energy conducted an impact study to ensure that construction would be in compliance with the most stringent pipeline construction standards. Environmental protection measures were also implemented to protect all types of environments, particularly wooded areas, cultivated lands and wetlands, and special attention was paid to all watercourses and bodies of water that were crossed.
Thanks to our excellent maintenance, monitoring and prevention practices, no environmental incidents have been reported during the ten years the pipeline Saint-Laurent has been in operation.
These projects reflect the company's corporate policy that is focused on achieving safety and quality standards that exceed government standards in all jurisdictions where Valero operates.
Valero Energy has committed to implement the environmental protection best practices, and to do so, it has gotten involved in a number of environmental organizations or forums and has signed on to various environmental certification programs, such as:
- Alliance Verte, a voluntary environmental certification program for the North American marine industry whose objective is to make actual and measurable improvements to the environmental performance of the marine industry active in the St. Lawrence River and in the Great Lakes.
- Table de Concertation Régionale de Québec, an organization whose objective is to achieve deployment of integrated management of the St. Lawrence over its territory.
- Amis de la Vallée du Saint-Laurent, whose objective is to reconcile the respective interests of environmental protection and economic and social deployment during projects or interventions in the St. Lawrence River and along its shores.
- ICI on recycle +, a recognition program of Recyc-Québec that honors proactive companies and organizations committed to improving their performance in waste management.
The Green Belt at Valero Energy’s Jean Gaulin
Since the early 2000's, Valero Energy has invested several million dollars to acquire and revitalize land adjacent to the Jean Gaulin Refinery to create what is known as a “green belt" around the industrial footprint that it represents in Lévis, Québec.
Not only does this green shield provide residents in the region with an exceptional environment and a more natural landscape where they can partake in a wide range of activities, but it also affords privacy in the immediate vicinity of the Jean Gaulin Refinery. In total, these green spaces cover about 216 hectares.
Parc Les Écarts and Parc de la Jetée
Back in 2003, Valero purchased Parc Les Écarts and Parc de la Jetée bordering its port facilities. The 65-hectare Parc Valero Les Écarts has maintained its original recreational purpose, where the general public can enjoy this vast and picturesque space. This is in line with an important element of Valero's vision, which holds that community projects must reflect the aspirations and needs of the community it is part of. Outdoors enthusiasts, for the most part, make use of the footpaths and mountain bike trails all year round.
At Valero's initiative, green classes have been organized each year to teach elementary school students about the riches of this urban forest, which is populated by the red maples, aspens and pine trees. Moreover, it is home to over 100 species of birds and some 15 types of ferns, not to mention the many types of plants and flowers that are thriving in Parc Valero Les Écarts. From the time the green classes first began, more than 1000 students have discovered the rich biodiversity of this park while having fun at the same time!
The boisé de L'Abbaye and the Parc de la rivière Etchemin
Valero also undertook a project to revitalize and beautify the Parc de la rivière Etchemin where the boisé de l'Abbayé is located upon acquiring them in 2014. In collaboration with the City of Lévis, various community partners and its employees, Valero frequently organizes tree and bush plantings to maintain the green diversity needed to develop the biodiversity, ecological functions and enhancement of these natural gems. Some 11,250 trees of various types have been planted, and Valero intends to plant close to 30,000 more by 2025.
Valero's ongoing investment in revitalizing and improving the green spaces it shares with the community is primarily intended to elicit the numerous benefits that trees and biodiversity can provide in so many different ways. Valero's employees are very proud to support this large-scale project that is consistent with the company's values of solidarity and helping one another.