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Subjects: ANNUAL MEETINGS, Environmental, Social, and Governance Criteria

CNL Targets Carbon Neutral Operations at Chalk River Laboratories By 2040

CHALK RIVER, Ontario, March 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada's premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, is pleased to announce that it has established an ambitious target to achieve carbon neutral operations at the Chalk River Laboratories campus by 2040. The target is outlined in CNL's newly-released 2023 ESG Report, A CNL Sustainability Performance Update, an annual document that tracks the company's progress towards sustainable operations, and among other goals, was established to support the Government of Canada in its commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The new carbon emission reduction plan was put in place to fulfill environmental objectives set out by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) in its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. CNL is operating the Chalk River Laboratories on behalf of AECL, who owns the site, under a Government-owned, Company-operated (GoCo) management model. Together, the organizations will work together over the next two decades to reduce emissions by approximately 90% to near zero, and then balance out any remaining emissions with strategic carbon offsets.

"At CNL, we understand that the actions we take today will have an impact on future generations, so we must make responsible decisions in the modernization and operation of the Chalk River Laboratories site," commented Joe McBrearty, CNL's President and CEO. "And that starts with reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. CNL has already reduced our GHG emissions by approximately 30% relative to 2005 levels, and we are poised to achieve a 40% reduction by 2025. To meet our net-zero by 2040 targets, we have developed a Consolidated Carbon Neutral Strategy which will guide our ongoing business activities, ensuring that GHG emissions are factored into all our operational decisions, big and small."

"As a federal Crown corporation and the owner of the Chalk River Laboratories, AECL has set ambitious targets within our ESG strategy to meet the Government of Canada's net zero goals by 2050," commented AECL's President and CEO Fred Dermarkar. "With the unique opportunity to leverage our nuclear science and technology capabilities, AECL has accelerated the target to meet carbon neutrality at the Chalk River site by 2040. We are encouraged by CNL's work in Chalk River to implement their carbon neutral strategy, which includes plans to implement significant conservation measures, require net-zero design for new construction and major retrofits, and decommission inefficient facilities."

CNL has already taken a number of actions to make progress towards a more sustainable campus.
Among the organizational changes identified in its Carbon Neutral Strategy are:

CNL has also developed a detailed forest management plan which ensures continued stewardship and renewal of the forests surrounding the site, while maximizing the forest's natural ability to capture and store carbon from the atmosphere. CNL is even exploring the potential to connect to a SMR proposed for construction at the Chalk River site, leveraging the clean energy from the reactor to further offset the carbon footprint of CNL's operations.

Sustainability is far more than sound environmental stewardship. The ambitious emissions target is part of a much broader, comprehensive plan to fulfill the delivery of sustainability-related objectives at Canada's national nuclear laboratory. As part of this plan, CNL completed an ESG materiality assessment in 2023 that will guide improvement efforts across seven major focus areas, including waste management, climate resilience, ecosystem services, community relationships, employee engagement and well-being, effective leadership and responsible supply chain. This assessment was the product of a thorough stakeholder engagement exercise, which included a survey of over 700 stakeholders and in-depth interviews to gather feedback and refine the company's ESG priorities.

"Whether it was the development of our new forest management plan, the creation of an Indigenous procurement strategy, or the launch of our new education programming, CNL has had an exceptional year in our pursuit of more sustainable operations," added Mr. McBrearty. "However, I think the completion of our ESG materiality assessment will have the greatest impact on our operations, because it allows CNL to look inward at our operations through the eyes of our stakeholders and identify the issues and opportunities that we must prioritize as a company."

If you'd like to learn more about CNL, or to view the company's 2023 Sustainability Report, please visit www.cnl.ca.

About CNL

As Canada's premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, and working under the direction of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), CNL is a world leader in the development of innovative nuclear science and technology products and services. Guided by an ambitious corporate strategy known as Vision 2030, CNL fulfills three strategic priorities of national importance ? restoring and protecting the environment, advancing clean energy technologies, and contributing to the health of Canadians.

By leveraging the assets owned by AECL, CNL also serves as the nexus between government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community. CNL works in collaboration with these sectors to advance innovative Canadian products and services towards real-world use, including carbon-free energy, cancer treatments and other therapies, non-proliferation technologies and waste management solutions.

To learn more about CNL, please visit www.cnl.ca.

CNL Contact:
Philip Kompass
Director, Corporate Communications
[email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ccc3dcdf-34ba-4dbb-845c-2f3f15caad25

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