Continuously improving to deliver one of the world’s most advanced pipeline systems.

How CEPA members continuously improve performance

CEPA Integrity First® is a prime example of how Canada leads the world when it comes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.

Canadians can be proud that the transmission pipelines they count on follow the highest ESG practices thanks to programs like CEPA Integrity First. It was created by CEPA members with the purpose of continuously improving the performance of Canada’s energy pipeline industry to protect the environment and ensure the safety of those who live and work around pipelines.

Through Integrity First, CEPA members work collaboratively to share their knowledge and innovations to drive industry-wide performance improvements in pipeline safety and environmental protection. Integrity First enables pipeline companies to work together to make our industry better – focusing on safety, transparency and responsible operations – striving toward our goal of zero incidents.

7 key priorities:

Integrity First cycle
Integrity First ensures that each priority is put through a six-stage process that is built on a solid foundation of strategic communications and change management to drive continuous improvement.


A safe pipeline infrastructure is vital to Canada and the world, so CEPA member companies established CEPA Integrity First®. Through Integrity First, all CEPA members work collaboratively to share their knowledge and innovations with one another to drive industry-wide operating performance improvements in pipeline safety and environmental protection. CEPA members do not compete on safety, but work together to continually improve pipelines – focusing on safety, transparency and responsible operations – striving toward zero incidents.

In 2018, CEPA expanded Integrity First to include Integrity First Partners, a membership category for natural gas and oil producing companies that operate transmission and gathering pipelines. Integrity First Partners builds on the success of Integrity First to reduce risk, improve performance and build trust.

International technology collaboration to advance pipelines
CEPA is a longstanding member of the Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI), an international organization with the mission to continually improve global energy pipeline systems through advanced research. PRCI was established in 1952 as a not-for-profit organization focused on leveraging the impact and benefits of industry collaboration.

CEPA is also part of a number of significant endeavours that PRCI has embarked on to advance technology:

  • Creation of the Technology Development Center (TDC), which will enable the validation of the technology needed to enhance pipeline safety and integrity.
  • Creation of the Virtual Technology Development Center (VTDC) for the assessment and validation of technology using data developed by the industry.

CEPA is also involved in a number of research projects with PRCI, central to continuously improving safety and environmental protection:

  • Reducing cracks in pipelines
  • Transporting emerging fuels like bio-gas in pipelines
  • Advancing geohazard management
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Advancing leak detection
  • Improving welding technology

Overarching priorities provide focus for industry-wide improvements.

Safety is our top priority

Pipelines are the safest way to transport the energy Canada and the world need. In fact, Canadian transmission pipelines are among the safest in the world.

In 2019, Canada’s 118,500-kilometre network of transmission pipelines moved 100 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and 92 per cent of Canada’s onshore crude oil production to the people who need it.

Out of 1.7 billion barrels of oil transported by CEPA members, a total of 9.4 barrels were spilled and all were recovered. While this is only a tiny percentage of oil transported, no amount spilled is acceptable to CEPA members, who work toward a common goal of zero incidents.

CEPA members work together to continuously improve what are already among the highest safety standards, and best safety records, in the world. Over 38,000 kilometres of transmission pipelines were inspected from the inside in 2019, and over 2,000 integrity digs were performed to check any anomalies identified. Hundreds of exercises were performed to ensure CEPA member companies’ emergency response teams are prepared. Over $1.5 billion was spent on monitoring to ensure that your energy was delivered safely.

Canada and the world will need natural gas and oil long into the future, and CEPA members transport these resources in the safest, most responsible way.