Improving our energy efficiency to reduce our impact

Cyril Loubersac, external operator at the Donges refinery Cyril LOUBERSAC, operateur extérieur  à la raffinerie de Donges

To reduce the greenhouse gas emissions produced by our operations and the use of our products, we are improving our energy efficiency with the key objective of promoting responsible energy use.

Why it matters

Energy consumption is one of the main causes of greenhouse gas emissions and, as a result, global warming. In a world faced with a growing population, the only way to curb the increase in energy consumption while preserving social and economic development is to improve energy efficiency. Therein lies the challenge.

The stakes are particularly high for the oil and gas industry, which accounts for one-third of all carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Of these, 85% are due to the end-use of products such as fuels, with the remainder generated by production facilities, refineries and oil and gas distribution.

Beyond its key contribution to keeping global warming below 2°C, energy efficiency helps drive operational performance. That’s why Total is continuing to improve the energy efficiency of its facilities and develop products and services that support its industrial customers and consumers in optimizing their consumption.

Optimizing the energy efficiency of our facilities

routine flaring of associated gas from crude oil production is Total's target for 2030.

We consume 13 Mtoe* a year in energy, equivalent to 10% of our operated production. Energy accounts for nearly 50% of costs at our refineries and petrochemical plants. Energy efficiency is therefore very important to the success of our business model. Our target is to improve the energy efficiency of our facilities by 1% every year on average from 2010 to 2020.

To reach this target, we have identified four priority areas for action:

  • Facility design: We systematically take energy efficiency into account in selecting the most appropriate architectural solutions and equipment, and in introducing technological innovations.
  • Operational excellence: We have made a commitment to deploy energy management systems at our main sites by the end of 2016. These systems enable us to manage the action plans deployed at these sites, which call for energy audits, programs to improve energy, equipment upgrades and the implementation of long-term investment plans.
  • End of flaring and the use of associated gas: In the absence of commercial outlets, the associated gas from oil production has routinely been flared – a process that emits high levels of greenhouse gases. From 2005-2014, we were able to reduce flaring by half at our sites (excluding new facilities coming on stream). We are going a step further with a new commitment to reduce routine flaring by 80% between 2010 and 2020, with the goal of eliminating the practice entirely by 2030. To continue on this path, we are concentrating our efforts on alternatives to flaring, and particularly on selling associated gas to local industries, as well as processing it into liquefied natural gas.
  • Continuous research and development: To promote the emergence of new energy efficiency technologies. We collaborate with academic partners to help advance research on energy efficiency in industry. As a founding member of the Paris-Saclay Energy Efficiency institute (Institut Paris-Saclay Efficacité Énergétique – PS2E), we support the development of innovative technologies that can optimize industrial processes.

* Million metric tons of oil equivalent a year

Make the most of associated gas to reduce flaring

Innovating to help customers consume better and less

A 1% reduction in energy use by our customers has the same impact as a 10% reduction at our facilities. This is why our principal focus must be customers, as their energy use offers the main reservoir of savings.

We support our customers by offering advice and products that allow them to reduce their energy consumption when they use our products.

To help our industrial customers, for example, we have created energy services affiliates that leverage the results we have achieved internally so they can provide advice on how to improve performance and energy efficiency.

Reducing our environmental impact with the Total Ecosolutions label

To help all of our customers reduce their environmental footprint, we created the Total Ecosolutions program and its associated label in 2009. The objective is to offer innovative products and services with an environmental performance that is significantly higher than market standards. In 2015, the CO2 emissions avoided across the life cycle of more than 80 Total Ecosolutions-labelled products amounted to 1.7 million metric tons, equivalent to the emissions of 190,000 Europeans*.

The program targets customers in numerous sectors, including transportation, housing, agriculture, infrastructure and manufacturing. The products and services offered are the result of a collaborative approach involving our customers and suppliers. They are also based on a multi-disciplinary approach that brings together Research and Development, Marketing and Strategy. The relevance of the data selected to measure the environmental benefit of these products and the entire labeling process are subject to an external verification by the audit firm EY.

* Source: Eurostat, "Per capita greenhouse gas emissions, EU-28, 2013"

Browse by topic