As a major player in the oil and gas industry, we are aware of the environmental risks of our operations. To avoid or minimize these risks, we make environmental issues an integral part of our strategy. Our strategy based on research, prevention and stakeholder dialogue is fully focused on continuously improving our environmental performance.
Why it matters
Environmental risks are an inherent part of the oil and gas business. This creates a dual challenge for the industry, which has to both meet energy needs and protect the environment. That's why the concept of environmental performance is so important to Total. We address environmental factors with the utmost diligence.
This improvement approach is not only a prerequisite for carrying out our operations in our host countries, but also a decisive competitive advantage.
What's more, it is a source of pride for our team members and a powerful commitment to our stakeholders.
The steps in our environmental protection approach
Our approach is based on understanding the environment, because a better knowledge of risks makes it easier to anticipate them effectively and take appropriate preventive measures. At the outset of each project, we perform an environmental impact study to obtain:
- A detailed picture of the baseline situation.
- A precise assessment of the potential effects of our operations.
- A set of measures to minimize the impact.
In drawing up this initial overview, we draw on our expertise and on frank discussions with our stakeholders, including local residents, engineering and design firms, public officials, NGOs and global experts. We apply this scientific approach of gathering knowledge and preventing risks to both our facilities and our products.
Thanks to our in-depth understanding of environmental risks, we are able to respond to the most demanding standards and integrate oil and gas industry best practices. We also have our own set of requirements based on our in-house rules, specifications and methodological guides that often exceed current international regulations.
Because our employees are responsible for deploying our environmental approach in the front lines, training is a pivotal part of our strategy. Both operators and managers receive targeted training by profession that raises their awareness about environmental issues.
Our Exploration & Production operations take environmental protection into account from the pre-project phase to oil and gas field abandonment. The objective is to improve environmental performance to improve production efficiency.
However, because no operation is ever completely risk-free, we have developed tools and processes to handle emergency situations. Thanks to our action plans and detection and alert systems, our first-response teams deploy rapidly to resolve any situations that may arise.
> Learn more about our anti-pollution measures
Our commitment: continuous improvement
Managing our environmental footprint, improving our energy efficiency and reducing our emissions are all important improvement objectives for Total. For this reason, we have deployed an Environmental Management System (EMS) at nearly 300 sites that complies with ISO 14001, which provides a framework for achieving continuous improvement in environmental performance. The EMS helps us evaluate our performance, collect feedback and see where we stand in relation to our objectives so that we can continuously improve our environmental engineering approach.
At Total, transparency is not only a guarantee of improvement, it is also a requirement. We have retained Ernst & Young to conduct an independent verification of our environmental reporting.
Lastly, in protecting the environment, we get to know the environment better. Each year, we devote a substantial portion of our R&D budget to environmental issues.