Canada's oil sands industry from a sustainability perspective

Nima Khakzad*, Mohammad Dadashzadeh, Rouzbeh Abbassi, Ming Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The present study aims to investigate the impacts of oil sands development in Canada on the economy, society and the environment as the three pillars of sustainability. Factors such as aquatic ecosystems, land disturbance and reclamation, air quality, public health, safety, aboriginal and local communities, gross domestic product, employment rate and job creation, government revenues and demographic changes have been considered. Based on a review of the available literature, this study shows that the oil sands industry has so far fallen short in keeping a balance among the three pillars of sustainability, with the negative impacts on society (e.g. changing the lifestyle of Aboriginal people) and the environment (e.g. land disturbance) overweighing the relatively positive economic impacts. This, along with the current pace of remedies (e.g. land reclamation), makes it hard to conclude that the oil sands industry is sustainable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering and Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • energy
  • environment
  • sustainable development


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