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Total Cuts Emissions by 5.2% in 2008

totalemissionsTotal, the world’s fifth largest publicly-traded integrated oil and gas company, has cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 5.2 percent in 2008, according to its recently published 2008 Environment and Society Report. The energy provider reduced the emissions of six greenhouse gases in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCDE) from 59.8 in 2007 to 57.9 last year.

The report, Our Corporate Responsibilities, highlights the company’s business principles and main challenges, which address issues such as non-renewables, greenhouse gas emissions, energy savings, sustainable growth, and environmental impacts.

Although Total is focusing its efforts on reducing carbon, which accounts for 90 percent of its facilities’ emissions, it is also targeting other gases such as methane and nitrous oxide. Total has set its target emission reductions by 20 percent between 2004 and 2010. For example, SO2 emissions, measured in thousands of metric tons (metric ktons) per year, dropped from 149.5 in 2007 to 135.9 in 2008. NOx emissions in metric tons of NO2 equivalent dropped from 89.2 metric ktons in 2007 to 87.9 metric ktons in 2008.

The company also wants to maintain Exploration & Production’s (E&P) hydrocarbon discharges at less than 30 ppm per subsidiary. Hydrocarbon discharges in water (in parts per million (ppm), E&P average) was 27 in 2007 and 28 in 2008. The company’s new target is 10 ppm for inshore/onshore discharges in 2010.

Total is also working to improve energy efficiency, reduce flaring of associated gas to further reduce GHG emissions, and develop solutions such as carbon capture and storage, which the company says could eliminate 20 to 40 percent of global carbon emissions. The company says between 1990 and 2008, its total emission grew only 6.9 percent despite respective increases of 31 percent and 105 percent in refining activities and E&P operations.

The company’s primary energy consumption, including exported electricity but excluding flaring, venting and gas for hydrogen and ammonia production, fell to 628.2 megajoules in 2008 from 634.2 in 2007. The company is working towards enhancing its energy efficiency of its facilities through 2012 by 1 percent per year in refining and 2 percent per year in E&P and petrochemicals.

Total is also working on a host of alternative energy projects including biofuels, solar energy, marine energy, nuclear power and the expanded use of hydrogen. The company is included in the FTSE4Good Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (World and Europe) and adheres to the United Nations Global Compact.

Competitor British Petroleum lowered its emissions 3 percent in 2008. British Petroleum has been said to have the most favorable carbon emissions rating among major oil producers, according to a study from consulting firm PFC Energy.

Total came in fifth in the study, which was published in March.

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 the most favorable, BP rates at 3.65 for its carbon disclosures, among other scores, including, 2.76 for Exxon, 2.64 for Conoco­Phillips, 2.4 for Chevron and 2.03 for Total, Shell came in last at 1.15.

Comparing 2008 CSR reports, the most recent information has Total reducing its emissions more than 5 percent, compared to BP’s 3 percent reduction.

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