Environmental protection

General policy

The main Group entities have HSE departments or units that ensure compliance with both relevant local regulations and internal requirements. In all, over 1,000 full-time equivalent positions dedicated to environmental matters were identified within the Group in 2014.

The Group steering bodies, led by the Sustainable Development and Environment department, have a threefold task:

  • monitoring TOTAL’s environmental performance, which is reviewed annually by the Executive Committee, for which multi-annual improvement targets are set;
  • in conjunction with the business segments, handling the various environment-related subjects under their responsibility; and
  • promoting the internal standards to be applied by the Group’s business units as set out in the charter. 

The Group’s environmental objectives, which were redefined in part at the beginning of 2013 for the period up to 2017, are as follows:

  • decrease flaring by 50% from 2005 to 2014 (excluding start-ups);
  • improve the energy efficiency of Group installations by 1.5% on average per year from 2012 to 2017;
  • decrease greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 15% from 2008 to 2015;
  • obtain the Total Ecosolutions label for more than 50 products or services by 2015;
  • develop a Biodiversity Action Plan by 2015 for all Group industrial sites (1) located in a UICN (2) I to IV or Ramsar convention protected area;
  • decrease by 40% the volume of hydrocarbons discharged in the Group’s onshore and coastal wastewater from 2011 to 2017;
  • decrease Group SO 2 emissions by 20% from 2010 to 2017; and
  • certify ISO 14001 all of TOTAL’s production sites (3) by 2017.

In 2014, 305 sites operated by the Group were ISO 14001-certified (compared to 314 in 2013), out of a total of 819 operated sites. The goal is to obtain certification for all production sites that emit more than 10 kt of GHG per year. In 2014, 100% of the 79 production sites in this situation were certified. In addition, two new or recently acquired sites were concerned by the Group’s policy to allow two years to obtain certification.

The environmental risks and impacts of any planned investment, disposal or acquisition subject to Executive Committee approval are assessed and reviewed before the final decision is made (also refer to point "Internal control and risk management" in Chapter "Corporate governance").

TOTAL ensures that all employees are aware of its environmental protection requirements and employees are given training in the required skills. TOTAL also raises employee awareness through internal communication campaigns (e.g., in-house magazines, intranet, posters) and provides annual information about the Group’s environmental performance through circulation of the annual report on CSR topics.

Two three-day training courses on all aspects of HSE are also made available to the business units. “HSE Implementation” sessions are aimed at employees whose job is specifically to handle one or more HSE or operational areas within a business unit (three sessions were held in 2014 with fifty-six participants). The training session “HSE for Managers” is aimed at senior operational or functional managers who are currently or will in the future be responsible for one of the Group’s business units (five sessions were held in 2014 with 228 participants). Lastly, a “HSE leadership for Group senior executives” course focusing on management styles has been organized since 2012 (five sessions were held in 2014 with 102 participants). Since 2012, close to 250 senior executives have taken part in this program.

Environmental footprint

TOTAL implements an active policy of monitoring, managing and reducing the environmental footprint of its operations. As part of this policy, emissions are identified and quantified by environment (water, air and soil) so that appropriate measures can be taken to better control them.

Water, air

The Group’s operations generate chronic emissions, such as fumes at combustion plants, emissions into the atmosphere from the various conversion processes and discharges into wastewater. In addition to complying with applicable legislation, the Group’s companies actively pursue a policy aimed at reducing the amount of emissions. Sites use various treatment systems that include different types of measures:

  • organizational measures (e.g., using predictive models to control peaks in SO 2 emissions based on weather forecast data, combustion processes management); and
  • technical measures (such as building wastewater treatment plants).

These measures can be preventive to avoid generating pollutants (such as low NOx burners for combustion plants) or curative (such as biological treatment of processed water to reduce the hydrocarbon content of the final effluent).

To ensure the quality of its wastewater discharge, TOTAL has set, for all of its offshore exploration and production operations, a target of complying with the hydrocarbon concentration requirements set out in the OSPAR standard (less than 30 mg / l), which is only mandatory in the North Sea. In 2014, the Group achieved this goal for the sixth consecutive applicable year, based on yearly averages.

In 2013, the Normandy platform (petrochemical plant) hosted E4WATER, a European research project aimed at developing tomorrow’s technologies that would permit recycling water based on a petrochemical pollution matrix. This involves testing seven pilot processes (sand filtration, ozonation for cooling, UV disinfection treatment, ozonation for wastewater, bio-filtration, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis) on two aqueous flows at the site: wastewater and cooling water. These technologies are mature, but their combination on a petrochemical matrix is innovative. On completion of this project in 2015, the knowledge acquired will be used locally for a recycling project (40% reduction in withdrawal) or globally (recycling program for Exploration & Production and Refining & Chemicals segments). This project aims at both decreasing the discharge of hazardous substances into the natural environment and saving natural resources by recycling water in the processes used by the Group.

The table below shows changes in chronic emissions into the atmosphere (excluding greenhouse gas; refer to point 2.2.5.) and discharged water quality:

Table : discharged water quality:

The presentation of hydrocarbon discharges in effluents was changed in 2013 to obtain an indicator consistent with the target set by the Group (40% reduction in onshore and coastal hydrocarbon discharges between 2011 and 2017). In order to compare 2014 performance with that of previous years, the concentration of hydrocarbons in water discharged by Exploration & Production was 16 mg / l in 2014 compared to 17 mg / l in 2013 and 23 mg / l in 2012.

The decrease in SO 2 emissions between 2013 and 2014 was driven by the decrease of flaring and the change of fuel in the Group’s refineries (from oil to gas); the vast majority of the fuels used at the Group’s refineries are now gaseous, and have a much lower sulfur content than liquid fuels.

In 2014, NOx emissions produced by Exploration & Production increased by 3 kt due to the increase in logistics and drilling activities, and therefore of diesel consumption.

The amount of hydrocarbons discharged in coastal and onshore areas has slightly declined due to the improved performance of the Group’s water treatment.

Below are the Group’s achievements at year-end 2014 based on the objectives set at the beginning of 2013:

  • 22% reduction in hydrocarbon discharges in water (onshore and coastal) since 2011 compared to the 40% target set for 2017; and
  • 34% reduction in SO 2 emissions compared to 2010, that is, exceeding the -20% target set for 2017.


The risks of soil pollution related to TOTAL’s operations come mainly from accidental spills (refer to point 2.2.3. of this chapter) and waste storage (see below).

The Group’s approach to preventing and controlling these types of pollution is based on four cornerstones:

  • leak prevention, by implementing industry best practices in engineering, operations and transport;
  • maintenance at appropriate intervals to minimize the risk of leaks;
  • overall monitoring of the environment to identify any increase in soil pollution; and
  • controlling pollution from previous activities by means of containment or reduction operations.

Moreover, for all entities for which a Group company may be held liable from an environmental standpoint, a Group directive published in 2014 established the following requirements:

  • systematic identification of the sites and their environmental and health impacts related to possible soil and groundwater contamination;
  • the impacts resulting from soil and groundwater contamination are assessed based on the extent of the pollution (inside or outside the site’s boundaries), the nature and concentrations of pollutants, the presence of a vector that could allow the pollution to migrate, and use of the land and groundwater in and around the site; and
  • the health or environmental impacts identified are managed based on the use of the site (current or future, if any) and according to the risk acceptability criteria recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Group. This management is performed either by treating the source of the pollution (for example, elimination, chemical, physical or biological treatment), by stopping the transfer of the pollution (for example through appropriate monitoring, capture, soil impermeability, retention ponds, containment), or by eliminating or limiting targets’ exposure (for example, by limiting access).

Lastly, decommissioned Group facilities (e.g., chemical plants, service stations, mud pits or lagoons resulting from hydrocarbon extraction operations, wasteland on the site of decommissioned refinery units, etc.) impact the landscape and may, despite all of the precautions taken, be sources of chronic or accidental pollution. TOTAL ensures that they are remediated in order to allow new operations to be set up once the future use of the land has been determined in agreement with the authorities. This continuous task is performed by various teams within the Group, sometimes organized as subsidiaries, and has been governed by a “Polluted soil and site remediation” Group policy since 2012.


The Group’s companies are focused on controlling the waste produced at every stage in their operations. This commitment is based on the following four principles, listed in decreasing order of priority:

  1. reducing waste at source, by designing products and processes that generate as little waste as possible, as well as minimizing the quantity of waste produced by the Group’s operations;
  2. reusing products for a similar purpose in order to prevent them from becoming waste;
  3. recycling residual waste; and
  4. recovering energy, wherever possible, from non-recycled products.

For example, TOTAL has developed a partnership with Veolia through its involvement in the Osilub project, which culminated in the construction of a used motor oil recycling plant in Le Havre, France. The plant, in which TOTAL holds a 35% share, entered into production in 2012 and has a processing capacity of 120,000 t / y of oil (50% of all the used motor oil collected in France); the recycled oil is used to make Vacuum Gas Oil (VGO) for refinery production of lubricants and fuels.

A Group directive issued in 2012 sets out the minimum requirements related to waste management. It is carried out in four basic stages:

  • waste identification (technical and regulatory);
  • waste storage (soil protection and discharge management);
  • waste traceability, from production through to disposal (e.g., notes, logs, statements); and
  • waste processing, with technical and regulatory knowledge of the relevant channels, under site responsibility.

TOTAL is especially committed to managing and treating waste classified as hazardous. Depending on its type, waste is mainly processed outside the Group by specialized companies:

Table : Volume of hazardous waste treated outside the Group

Since 2012, TOTAL has also been monitoring the different waste treatment technologies used for the following categories:

Table : different waste treatment technologies used for the following categories

Environmental nuisance

TOTAL’s operations may cause environmental nuisances for residents near its industrial sites. These may be sound or odor nuisances, but can also result from vibrations or road, sea or river traffic.

Most sites have a system for receiving and handling residents’ complaints, the aim of which is to take account of and gain a clearer insight into the different types of nuisances and to minimize them (refer to point 3.3. of this chapter). Monitoring systems can also be put in place, such as sound level measurements at the site perimeter or networks of sensors to determine the origin and intensity of odors.

Incident risk

In addition to setting up management structures and systems, TOTAL strives to minimize the industrial risks and the environmental impacts associated with its operations by:

  • performing rigorous inspections and internal audits;
  • training staff and raising the awareness of all parties involved (refer to point 2.2.1. of this chapter); and
  • implementing an investment policy.

In particular, TOTAL strives to prevent accidental spills. A common technological risk management approach has been developed to formalize this requirement at the Group’s industrial sites. The methodology is gradually being implemented in all operated businesses exposed to technological risks and sets out a risk analysis based on incident scenarios for which the severity of the consequences and the probability of occurrence are assessed. These parameters are used to create a decision matrix that identifies the required level of mitigation.

With regard to shipping, the Group has an internal policy setting out the rules for selecting vessels. These rules are based on the recommendations of the Oil Company International Marine Forum (OCIMF), an industry association consisting of the main global oil companies that promotes best practices in oil shipping, and its Ship Inspection Report (SIRE) Programme. TOTAL does not charter any single-hulled vessels for shipping hydrocarbons and the average age of the fleet chartered on time by TOTAL’s Shipping division is less than six years.

The Tier 1 indicator “loss of primary containment” (standard defined by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP)), is monitored at the Group level. In 2014, thirty-seven Tier 1 events were identified in all sites operated by the Group, compared with sixty-six in 2013.

In accordance with industry best practices, TOTAL particularly monitors accidental liquid hydrocarbon spills of a volume of more than one barrel. Spills that exceed a certain severity threshold (whether in terms of volume spilled, toxicity of the product in question or sensitivity of the natural environment affected) are reviewed on a monthly basis and annual statistics are sent to the Group’s Management Committee. All accidental spills are followed by corrective action aimed at returning the environment to its original state as quickly as possible.

The table below shows the number and volume of accidental hydrocarbon spills with an environmental impact and that are greater than one barrel in volume:

Table : the number and volume of accidental hydrocarbon spills

The sharp increase of volumes spilled in the environment in 2014 is due to the Ile-de-France pipeline accident. This event led to remediation operations that enabled nearly all spilled hydrocarbons to be recovered. Excluding this incident, the volume of spills for other events decreased compared to 2013. This trend is in line with the number of registered events, also clearly down (-24%) compared to 2013. While risk prevention is emphasized, TOTAL regularly trains in crisis management on the basis of risk scenarios identified through analyses. In 2014, feedback from past events prompted the head office to set up a new crisis management center at the Group level (regarding crisis management, also refer to point 2. of chapter 4). These facilities allow the management of two crises occurring simultaneously.

In particular, the Group has emergency plans and procedures in place in the event of a hydrocarbon leak or spill. For accidental spills that reach the surface, anti-pollution plans are regularly reviewed and tested during exercises. These plans are specific to each company or site and are adapted to their structure, activities and environment while complying with Group recommendations. In 2012, the Group’s requirements for preparing emergency plans and the associated exercises were set out in a Group directive. The Group uses the following indicators to measure its readiness to counteract pollution:

Table : the following indicators to measure its readiness to counteract pollution

Also available to the Group’s companies, the PARAPOL (Plan to Mobilize Resources Against Pollution) alert scheme is used to facilitate crisis management at the Group level. Its main aim is to mobilize the internal and external human and material resources necessary to respond in the event of pollution of marine, coastal or inland waters, without geographical restriction, at any time, at the request of any site.

The Group and its companies have assistance agreements with the main bodies specializing in oil spill management, such as Oil Spill Response Limited, CEDRE and Clean Caribbean & Americas. Their role is to provide expertise, resources and equipment in all of the regions where TOTAL has operations. TOTAL has also forged partnerships with entities that specialize in oiled wildlife care.

Following the blowout of the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 (in which the Group was not involved), TOTAL created three task forces in order to analyze risks and issue recommendations.

  • Task Force 1 reviewed the safety aspects of deep offshore drilling operations (well architecture, design of blow-out preventers, training of personnel based on lessons learned from serious accidents that have occurred recently in the industry). Its efforts have led to the implementation of even more stringent controls and audits on drilling operations;
  • Task Force 2, in coordination with the Global Industry Response Group (GIRG) created by the IOGP, developed deep offshore oil capture systems and planned related containment operations in case of a pollution event in deep waters. Several of these systems were positioned in various parts of the world in 2013 and one of them was tested by TOTAL in November 2013 during a large-scale exercise in Angola; and
  • Task Force 3 addressed plans to fight accidental spills in order to strengthen the Group’s ability to respond to major accidental pollution, such as a blow-out or a total loss of containment from an FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading facility). This initiative has led, in particular, to a sharp increase in the volume of dispersants available within the Group.

This work is now complete and the Group’s efforts to deploy solutions to minimize such risks are ongoing, in particular regarding works on wells, subsea dispersant injection, the tracking and predicting of oil slick locations and crisis management organization.

In 2014, the last of the four capping systems resulting from the work carried out as part of the Subsea Well Response Project (SWRP), a consortium of nine oil companies including TOTAL, was deployed. These systems are positioned in various parts of the world (South Africa, Brazil, Singapore, Norway) to provide solutions that can be launched into action in the event of deep offshore drilling pollution incidents. Additionally, as part of TOTAL’s own Subsea Emergency Response System (SERS) project, the construction of capping equipment resulting from this work is complete and deployment is scheduled for 2015 in the Gulf of Guinea where TOTAL is strongly present in subsea production.

In November 2013, a large-scale exercise to simulate a massive oil leak in deep offshore waters was conducted in Angola. During this three-day emergency exercise, known as “Lula”, the Angolan entity deployed the resources that would have been needed to manage an actual event of this kind (e.g., several ships, an airplane, helicopters, teams working on the FPSO, at the headquarters of Total E&P Angola in Luanda and the Group in Paris, etc.). It provided the opportunity to test a number of the systems implemented by the post-Macondo task forces:

  • deployment of a subsea dispersant injection system;
  • supply chain for large quantities of dispersants;
  • surface anti-pollution mechanisms (e.g., dispersion, recovery);
  • systems for tracking and modeling of oil slick migration (e.g., satellite tracking, prediction models based on oceanographic / meteorological data, etc.); and
  • mobilization of partners that specialize in crisis management and pollution control.

Many lessons have been learned from this exercise and a detailed feedback report was drafted in 2014 to strengthen the Group’s ability to respond to an accident of this scale. The roles of and relationships between each party in the emergency response were fine-tuned. The time needed to make dispersion systems available was measured and their availability tracked. Pollution assessment and monitoring was tested, in particular regarding the means and information necessary to ensure the tracking and modeling of oil slick migration.

Sustainable use of resources


The worldwide distribution of available fresh water varies greatly in space and time. The issue of water consumption therefore requires different responses depending on the regional and technical context.

In order to establish which facilities are affected by this issue as a priority, TOTAL conducts the following:

  • identification of water withdrawals and discharges across all of its sites; and
  • identification of sites located in “water stress” areas (watersheds that will have less than 1,700 m3 of renewable freshwater available per person and per year by 2025, according to the Falkenmark indicator), using the Global Water Tool for Oil & Gas developed jointly by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and IPIECA, and water stress levels are reevaluated each year.

Table : Water distributions

The decrease in water withdrawals between 2012 and 2014 is due mainly to the deconsolidation of Fertilizers in 2013 and the Sobegi site in France in 2014.

The increase in the percentage of sites located in water-stressed areas is linked to the evolutions of the Global Water Tool databases in 2014 (source: World Resource Institute, WRI Aqueduct), but also to a global fall in the number of sites located in so-called water-sufficient or water-abundant areas, according to the indicator used (Falkenmark, 2025 projection).

In 2013, the Group launched an initiative to identify the risk levels of its sites (with withdrawals of more than 500,000 m3 per year) located in water stress areas. The Local Water Tool developed by the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) is used to perform these assessments. It targets the main risks related to water resources, including effluents, and therefore helps to guide the actions needed to reduce these risks in order to optimize the use of water resources at these sites. This program will be gradually expanded based on the sites’ water stress levels and changes to them.

The “Optimization of water consumption at industrial facilities” guide sets out best practices for saving and recycling water at all Group sites. The guide has been widely distributed throughout the Group since 2007. In addition, several other technical guides on water management specific to the oil industry are used by the Group, including those of the IPIECA and the IOGP on efficient management of the resource for exploration, production and refining, in order to integrate the best and most recent techniques into its practices.

In Exploration & Production operations, reinjecting water extracted at the same time as the hydrocarbons, called produced water, back into the original reservoir is one of the methods used to maintain reservoir pressure. The technical specifications in force in the Group stipulate that this option is given priority over other methods. The Group’s R&D programs are an opportunity to study the best techniques for treating this produced water so as to facilitate its reinjection or allow its discharge into the natural environment, if reinjection is not possible, while respecting natural and regulatory constraints.

At refineries and petrochemical sites, water is mainly used to produce steam and for cooling units. Increasing recycling and replacing water cooling with air cooling are TOTAL’s preferred approaches for reducing freshwater withdrawals.


TOTAL uses the ground surface that it needs to safely conduct its industrial operations and, at present, does not make extensive use of ground surfaces that could substantially conflict with the various natural ecosystems or with agriculture.

For open-pit oil sands mining projects, TOTAL emphasizes an awareness by the operator of environmental issues, in particular remediation of affected soils.

Raw materials

Hydrocarbons, an energetic material, are the Group’s main raw material. Optimum use of hydrocarbons therefore lies in what is known as “energy efficiency”, as described in point 2.2.5. below.

Since 2011, TOTAL has measured the raw material loss rate for each line of business, i.e. the percentage of converted raw materials that are neither delivered to any of the business line’s customers nor used for energy purposes.

Table : Raw material loss rate

Climate change

The Group’s approach to climate and energy is to satisfy a growing demand for energy while providing concrete solutions, as needed, to limit the effects of climate change.

To do so, the Group has built its action around five focal points:

  1. focusing on the development of natural gas as the primary fossil energy source due to its low carbon intensity;
  2. developing the solar energy offer as the renewable energy of choice in the evolution of the energy mix;
  3. improving the energy efficiency of the Group’s facilities, products and services, and maintaining efforts in terms of direct emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG);
  4. increasing access to a more sustainable energy, for the highest number of people; and
  5. making public commitments regarding the industry’s acknowledgment of climate issues and working on the challenge posed by climate change.

The role of gas

The Group believes in the essential role of natural gas as one of the solutions to climate change issues. Indeed, replacing coal with natural gas at power plants could help reduce worldwide CO 2 emissions by 5 Bt / y, i.e. approximately 15% of the effort that must be made by 2030 to remain within the 2 °C warming limit (1) . This reduction of GHG emissions can only be accomplished by limiting methane losses to less than 3% throughout the entire production value chain.

Natural gas rose from 35% in 2005 to more than 50% in 2014 of TOTAL’s production and is expected to contribute to approximately half of the Group’s production in the coming years.

Methane losses for the Group are below 3%. Indeed, TOTAL is particularly focused on controlling methane since methane’s global warming potential is twenty-five times higher than CO 2 (2) and given its short life span in the atmosphere, a reduction in methane emissions is expected to play a significant role in the fight against climate change. To support this effort, TOTAL became one of the first members of the partnership between governments and industry companies regarding the improvement of tools to measure and control methane emissions set up by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and promoted by the United Nations Environment Programme and the non-profit organization Environmental Defense Fund.

Continuing to develop new energies

TOTAL has long been committed to developing renewable energies. The main focus in developing renewable energies is solar energy through SunPower (world’s second-largest player, 59.77% -owned by the Group as of December 31, 2014).

For nearly thirty years, SunPower has developed high-efficiency photovoltaic technologies and has progressively established itself as one of the foremost specialist in solar energy in the World, in particular with regard to the reliability of its solutions. SunPower operates across the entire energy chain, from the production of photovoltaic cells to the designing of turnkey solar plants or residential solar energy installations.

In addition to solar energy, biomass is another TOTAL strategic development point in the field of new energies. Biomass represents approximately 10% of worldwide energy consumption and is mostly used for heating or cooking purposes. Biomass is the only renewable alternative to fossil resources for the provision of liquid fuel for transport (biodiesel, bioethanol, biokerosene), lubricants and base molecules for Chemicals (solvents or polymers).

The Group has therefore launched various ambitious research programs and entered into innovative industrial partnerships in order to identify, test, and industrialize the most promising avenues for biomass transformation in societal, environmental and economic terms.

TOTAL invests in R&D to reduce direct GHG emissions into the atmosphere by other means. For example, through Total Energy Ventures (TEV), its venture capital firm created in 2008, the Group supports the development of companies that offer innovative technologies or business models in such areas as renewable energies, energy efficiency, energy storage, GHG reduction, sustainable mobility, etc. For instance, in 2014 TEV acquired a stake in Solidia, a start-up that has developed a technology that uses CO 2 in the production of cement and concrete with high environmental performance. At year-end 2014, TEV had made twenty investments.

Energy efficiency and ecoperformance

In its area of activity, TOTAL has made reducing GHG emissions one of its priorities. It has set the objective of reducing GHG emissions from its operations by 15% from 2008 to 2015. At this stage, this objective has been met. This reduction entails reducing continuous flaring and improving energy efficiency.

Table : primary energy consumption

Reducing continuous flaring

Since 2000 TOTAL has made a commitment to stop continuous flaring of gas associated with crude production for its new projects. The Group’s objective to reduce continuous flaring (excluding the start-up of new facilities) by half between 2005 and 2014 has been achieved.

Flaring of associated gas was down in 2014, in particular due to an operational improvement campaign led on the Republic of the Congo fields. Excluding volumes related to the start-up of facilities, the volume of flared associated gas totaled 7.5 Mm3 / d in 2014. The Group has thus reached its target of a 50% reduction of flared associated gas between 2005 and 2014, excluding start-up phases of new facilities.

In 2014, TOTAL joined the initiative launched by the World Bank and made a commitment to eliminate continuous flaring from its operations by 2030. For over ten years, as part of the Global Gas Flaring Reduction program, TOTAL has worked alongside the World Bank to help producing countries and industrial players control continuous flaring of associated gas. TOTAL’s support for the international program spearheaded by the World Bank is a logical continuation of its long-standing efforts in this area.

Improving the energy efficiency of the Group’s facilities

One of the Group’s performance targets is to better control its energy consumption. Internal documents (roadmaps and guides) describe the challenges, set out methodologies and action plans, and even include quantified goals to reduce consumption. Since the beginning of 2013, a Group directive has defined the requirements to be met by 2016 at operated sites that use more than 50,000 tons of oil equivalent per year of primary energy.

In early 2013, the Group set an objective to improve energy efficiency by 1.5% per year on average between 2012 and 2017 within Exploration & Production, Refining and Petrochemicals (with the exception of the resins business which has now been sold). These activities represent over 95% of the Group’s net primary energy consumption. A Group Energy Efficiency Index (GEEI) was created in early 2013 to assess the Group’s performance in this area. It consists of a combination of energy intensity ratios (ratio of net primary energy consumption to the level of activity) per business, reduced to base 100 and consolidated with a weighting by each business’s net primary energy consumption. Its value was defined as 100 in 2012 and the goal is therefore to reach 92.5 by 2017.

Tableau : Improving the energy efficiency of the Group’s facilities

The decrease in net primary energy consumption is due primarily to the good performance of refining, on a same level of activity basis, as well as the decrease of activity in Exploration & Production.

The Group’s energy efficiency improved in 2014 compared to 2013 despite taking into account the start-up of CLOV in Angola which deteriorated Exploration & Production’s performance as the flaring of associated gas during the startup phase of CLOV lasted longer than expected. Excluding flaring related to the start-up of facilities, the performance was 100.7 in 2014.

Improving the footprint of the Group’s services and products

TOTAL is also committed to its clients and employees.

Approximately 85% of GHG from oil and gas are emitted during the customer usage phase, compared with 15% during the production phase. For this reason, in addition to the measures taken by TOTAL at its industrial sites, the Group believes that improving the footprint of its products and services is a key factor in the fight against climate change.

In France, Energy Efficiency Certificates (Certificats d’économies d’énergie – CEE) are awarded by the administration in recognition of energy-saving activities. TOTAL encouraged its customers to reduce their energy consumption by 50 TWh (over the entire service life of the product) from 2011 to 2014.

Through the “Total Ecosolutions” program, the Group is also developing innovative products and services that perform above market average on the environmental front, in particular in terms of curbing energy use and GHG emissions. At year-end 2014, seventy products and services bore the “Total Ecosolutions” label, which puts the Group ahead of its target of fifty products and services by year-end 2015 thanks to the labeling of such product ranges as “Azalt ECO” bitumen for warm-mix asphalt (bitumen that allows the mixing phases to be completed and executed at temperatures 40 °C lower than those required for traditional bitumen), and despite the loss of several products resulting from sales of subsidiaries in progress or completed (CCP Composites, Bostik, Totalgaz). The CO 2 eq emissions avoided throughout the life cycle by the use of Total Ecosolutions products and services, compared to the use of benchmark products on the market and for an equivalent level of service, are measured annually based on sales volumes. This represented 1.5 Mt CO2 eq in 2014.

In 2012, TOTAL introduced an “Energy Efficiency” scheme that allows its employees in France to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. This scheme was expanded in 2014 to allow them to perform an energy audit of their homes (two-thirds financed) and to receive investment subsidies for energy efficiency upgrades under the Energy Efficiency Certificate program in France, as well as a Group contribution for two upgrade projects and special discounts from building professionals who partner with the Group. By combining an energy audit, Energy Efficiency Certificates and contributions from the Group, employees can receive up to €1,500 in assistance to complete their project.

Access to energy

To date, the World Bank estimate for people without access to electricity has exceeded 1.3 billion. In 2011, TOTAL therefore launched a range of innovative solar energy solutions, accessible to the highest number of people, the main project of which is Awango by Total (refer to point 3.4. of this chapter).

Public commitments

To ensure that investment projects are as profitable as anticipated in the desirable event that the international community agrees to put a cost on CO 2 emissions, investments have been valued since 2008 generally based on a cost of CO 2 emissions of €25 per metric ton of CO 2 emitted.

Moreover, in 2014 TOTAL decided to join the call of the United Nations Global Compact, which encourages companies to consider a CO 2 price internally and publicly support the importance of such a price via regulation mechanisms suited to the local contexts. In particular, TOTAL advocates the emergence of a balanced, progressive international agreement that prevents the distortion of competition between industries or regions of the world. Drawing attention to future constraints on GHG emissions is crucial to changing the energy mix.

According to the IEA, the electricity-generating sector is the sector that must contribute most to the decrease of CO 2 emissions in the World by 2035 in order to remain within the 450 ppm of CO 2 (electricity generation contributes for more than 65% to the emission reduction effort, compared to 11% for the industrial sector, 16% for transport and 4% for the construction sector). Substituting coal for gas in the electricity-generating sector is to date the fastest and cheapest way to reduce worldwide CO 2 emissions. This solution is immediately available and offers the necessary flexibility to electric networks, which supplements intermittent energies. Hence TOTAL supports standards that impose emission thresholds on electricity generation, expressed in gCO 2 / kWh produced. Such standards are being discussed in the United States and the United Kingdom.

In 2014, TOTAL was actively involved in launching and developing the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a global industry partnership announced at the UN Climate Summit in New York on September 23, 2014. The aim of this initiative, which at early 2015 included seven major international energy players, is to share experiences, advance technological solutions and catalyze meaningful action in order to assist the evolution of the energy mix in a manner compatible with climate change issues.

TOTAL also actively participates in the debate on climate issues and has long-term partnerships with key stakeholders. For example, TOTAL funds research programs in France conducted by the ADEME, Paris-Saclay and the Climate Economics Chair at Paris-Dauphine University, as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. TOTAL also joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in 2014. Lastly, TOTAL offers training and makes presentations at several universities, thereby taking part in the debate.

Adapting the Group’s facilities to climate change

The Group assesses the vulnerability of its existing and future facilities based on predictions related to climate change.

Climate conditions are factored into the design of industrial facilities, which are not only built to withstand extreme events observed in the past, but also to include additional safety margins.

The Group’s operations can be adversely affected by climate change in many ways. Declining water resources could have a negative effect on the Group’s operations in certain regions of the world, higher sea levels could affect certain coastal activities and a growing number of extreme weather events could damage the land-based and offshore facilities. These climate risk factors are continuously assessed in TOTAL’s management and risk prevention plans.

Protecting biodiversity and ecosystem services

Given their nature, the Group’s projects, and particularly Exploration & Production projects, may be located in sensitive natural environments. TOTAL’s operations can therefore have an impact on ecosystems and their biodiversity. More specifically, impacts may be:

  • related to environmentalntal footprints linked to construction sites, access roads, linear infrastructures, etc., which can result in habitat fragmentation;
  • physicochemical, leading to changes in environments and habitats, or which might affect or interfere with certain species;
  • related to the propagation of invasive species in terrestrial and marine environments; and
  • the result of the migratory influx of humans.

TOTAL is aware of these challenges and takes biodiversity and ecosystem services into account in its guidelines and operations:

  • in the Safety Health Environment Quality Charter (refer to point 2. of this chapter), which specifies that “through its societal commitment, TOTAL is particularly keen on contributing to the sustainable development of neighboring communities” and that “TOTAL is committed to managing its (...) use of natural resources and impact on biodiversity” and therefore supports ecosystem services; and
  • in the biodiversity policy that details the Group’s principles for action in this area:
    1. Taking an approach based on identifying the risks and sensitivities of environments as early as the project approval process, with special attention given to operations in regions whose biological diversity is particularly rich or sensitive. For example, TOTAL has made a commitment not to engage in oil and gas exploration or extraction operations at natural sites included on the UNESCO World Heritage List of June 4, 2013. In addition, TOTAL currently does not conduct any exploration activities in oil fields under the ice cap.
    2. Incorporating biodiversity protection into the Environmental Management System, particularly into initial analyses and social and environmental impact studies. This effort to assess sensitivity is founded on a constructive attitude based on transparency and dialogue with third parties and benefits from partnerships with biodiversity experts (for example, United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Center – UNEP-WCMC).
    3. Following the impact mitigation hierarchy, starting with avoidance, whenever possible, and then minimizing the impact of operations on biodiversity throughout the life cycle of the facilities and during their reclamation. TOTAL also assesses biodiversity offsetting approaches.
    4. Informing and raising the awareness of employees, customers and the public by helping them better understand biodiversity and ecosystems. The Group is actively involved in research in these areas, including through its partnerships. The TOTAL Foundation also develops initiatives in this area (refer to point 3.5. of this chapter).

This policy is implemented by means of a number of tools and rules. Throughout the Group, and particularly in Exploration & Production, directives, rules, guides and specifications govern the performance of baseline surveys and environmental impact assessments, which allows an approach based on the impact mitigation hierarchy, up to the implementation of management of biodiversity impacts in the field and performance monitoring.

Since 2011, all of the Group’s business units have had access to a detailed mapping tool that shows the world’s protected areas based on data updated regularly by its UNEP-WCMC partner. TOTAL classifies protected areas around the world according to the categories defined by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), while taking into account protected areas that may not yet be categorized and other sensitive areas in terms of biodiversity. For industrial sites and new projects (1) located in the most sensitive protected areas corresponding to IUCN categories I to IV, such as national parks, in addition to its biodiversity policy, TOTAL develops specific biodiversity action plans based on industry best practices. Each development project, particularly new fields, is therefore the subject of an in-depth biodiversity study.

For example, in 2012 TOTAL acquired acreage near Lake Albert in Uganda in partnership with CNOOC and Tullow Oil (33% each). TOTAL is the operator of Block 1 of this license, most of which is located within Murchison Falls National Park and the Ramsar zone of the Albert Nile Delta. This IUCN II-classified park was created in particular to protect its fauna, which includes such iconic species as large mammals (for example, elephants and Rothschild’s giraffes), reptiles and numerous birds (including the shoebill). In light of this site’s unique biodiversity, and in addition to applying the general principles of the Group’s biodiversity policy, Total E&P Uganda set as its objective a net increase in biodiversity. To this end, Total E&P Uganda has taken the impact mitigation hierarchy approach based on specific operating rules, such as using wireless geophone systems for seismic campaigns, limiting the size of drilling pads to 1 hectare (100 m x 100 m) and mapping biodiversity hotspots to prevent interference with areas sensitive for fauna (e.g., breeding grounds) during the seismic campaign, especially in the Albert Nile Delta. A dedicated social and environmental team, whose members include specialists in biodiversity and ecosystem services, has been created. A “Biodiversity and Livelihood Advisory Committee” has been set up with external stakeholders from national and international organizations specializing in nature conservation and relations between communities and wildlife. Its role is to ensure that Total E&P Uganda is aware of and implements best practices for its operations inside the park in order to help it meet its objective of a net increase in biodiversity, which is currently among the best practices related to biodiversity management.

In addition, the Group benefits from and actively contributes to the development of best practices related to biodiversity and ecosystem services management in the extractive industry through its partnerships with the IPIECA and the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative (an initiative that brings together the Equator Principles signatory banks and the mining and oil industries). Its partnership with the Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité (foundation for biodiversity research) in France continues. In 2014, TOTAL also teamed up with the Business and Biodiversity Offset Programme, which will be launched in 2015, in order to strengthen offset mechanisms related to biodiversity damage resulting from its new projects. TOTAL also participated in the IUCN 2014 World Park Congress in Sydney, Australia, where it presented its overall approach to biodiversity management and, together with its peers, demonstrated the oil industry’s ability to operate, particularly in sensitive areas in terms of biodiversity.