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Environmental challenges

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TotalEnergies places the environment at the heart of its ambition of being a responsible company. The specificities of the Group’s activities incur environmental risks, for which TotalEnergies has developed a structured management policy.

The Group has therefore identified its main environmental risks:
  • risk of accidental pollution;
  • environmental risks that would arise in the event of a liquid, gas or solid discharge or unsustainable use of natural resources;
  • risk of damage to biodiversity and ecosystems during projects and operations, especially those located in sensitive natural environments;
  • environmental risks associated with the production of final waste.

Environmental risks and challenges are identified as part of a dynamic process that draws on the Group’s expertise and lessons learned, which are included in the HSE reference framework known as One MAESTRO (Management and Expectations Standards Toward Robust Operations). To address its risks, TotalEnergies relies on the HSE division, which forms part of the People & Social Responsibility division, whose President is a member of the Executive Committee.

General policy and environmental targets

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In keeping with its Safety Health Environment Quality charter, TotalEnergies considers respect for the environment to be a priority. All employees, at every level, must do their utmost to protect the environment as they go about their work. TotalEnergies strives to control its energy consumption, its emissions in natural environments (water, air, soil), its residual waste production, its use of natural resources and its impact on biodiversity. TotalEnergies takes a constructive approach on this topic that is based on transparency and dialogue when communicating with its stakeholders and third parties.

With this aim, the HSE division manages in an integrated manner the environmental, safety, health and societal challenges related to the Group’s operations. It coordinates the implementation of the Group’s Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Charter by defining and monitoring the implementation of the One MAESTRO internal reference framework. This reference framework and the corresponding audits are described in section “People’s Health and Safety”. The HSE division and the HSE departments within the Group’s entities seek to ensure that both applicable local regulations and internal requirements resulting from the One MAESTRO reference framework and the Group’s additional commitments are respected. Group steering bodies, led by the HSE division, are tasked with:

  • monitoring TotalEnergies’ environmental performance, which is reviewed annually by the HSE Committee and the Group’s Audit Committee, for which multi-annual improvement targets are set;
  • handling, in conjunction with the business segments, the various environment-related subjects of which they are in charge;
  • promoting the internal standards to be applied by the Group’s operational entities.

As a general requirement, the One MAESTRO reference framework states that the environmental management systems of the sites operated by the Group that are important for the environment(1) must be ISO14001 certified within two years of start-up of operations or acquisition: 97% of these 79 sites were compliant in 2020. The non-compliant sites are the Lapa site in Brazil, which should be certified in 2021, and the Kaombo Norte site in Angola, whose certification has been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to this requirement, at year-end 2020, a total of 266 sites operated by the Group were ISO14001 certified. In 2020, 12 new sites received ISO14001 certification. Internal requirements also stipulate that all projects submitted to the Group’s Risk Committee must be assessed and reviewed for risk and potential impact, particularly environmental, before the final investment decision is made.

The One MAESTRO reference framework also includes specific requirements covering the Group’s various environmental risks (refer to “Preventing risks of accidental pollution”).

(1) Production subsidiaries of the Exploration & Production segment, sites producing more than 250,000 tons per year in the Refining & Chemicals and Marketing & Services segments, as well as gas-fired power plants in the Integrated Gas, Renewables and Power segment.

objectifs en matière de climat

(a) Refer to the “climate” section for TotalEnergies’ climate targets

In addition, TotalEnergies is implementing its biodiversity ambition according to the 4 areas presented further down.

TotalEnergies seeks to ensure that all employees share its environmental protection requirements. Employees receive training in the required skills (refer to “People’s health and safety” section). TotalEnergies also raises employee awareness through internal communication campaigns (e.g., in-house magazines, intranet, posters).

Preventing risks of accidental pollution

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To prevent accidental risks and, in particular, major spills that could reach the environment, TotalEnergies implements appropriate risk management policies. Section “Preventing the occurrence of major industrial accidents” describes the management measures covering the design and construction of facilities and any changes to existing facilities, as well as operations. It also describes the measures taken to control the integrity of facilities over time.

For its sea and river shipment requirements, TotalEnergies only charters ships and barges that meet the highest international standards. The Group has an internal policy that lays down the process and criteria by which ships and barges are selected (known as vetting). These criteria are based, in particular, on the regulations, the best practices and recommendations of the OCIMF(2) and, in Europe, on the European Barge Inspection Scheme (EBIS). Tankers and barges are vetted by a single centralized Group entity. The average age of the TotalEnergies Shipping division’s time-chartered fleet is approximately seven years.

The Group’s operated marine terminals have completed the consolidation of their physical characteristics in the global database that forms part of the OCIMF’s Marine Terminal Information System (MTIS), which will make it easier to assess ships’ compatibility with ports of call. Additionally, TotalEnergies encourages all operated terminals to use the Marine Terminal Management and Self-Assessment (MTMSA), the framework recommended by the industry to terminal operators to ensure continuous improvement in the safety of their operations. A training course on checking safety conditions of the ship/shore interface (SSSCL – Ship Shore Safety Check List) and cargo transfer operations was made a requirement of the One MAESTRO reference framework in October 2020. At year-end 2020, 90% of operated terminals had operators who had already undergone this training.

(2) OCIMF (Oil Companies International Marine Forum): An industry forum including the leading international oil companies. This organization manages the Ship Inspection Report (SIRE) Program, which holds and provides access to tanker and river barge inspection reports (BIQ – Barge inspection Questionnaire).

Oil spill preparedness

In order to manage a major accidental spill efficiently, TotalEnergies has implemented a global crisis management system that is described in the “People’s health and safety” section. For the sites operated by the Group exposed to the risk of accidental spills that reach the surface water, this system is supplemented by requirements of the One MAESTRO reference framework. These requirements demand that the oil spill contingency plans be regularly reviewed and tested in exercises. These plans are specific to each site and are adapted to their structure, activities and environment while complying with Group recommendations. The Group companies can call on in-house human and material resources (FOST – Fast Oil Spill Team) and benefit from assistance agreements with the main third-party organizations specialized in the management of hydrocarbon spills.

For the oil and gas Exploration & Production activities, since 2014, subsea capping and subsea containment equipment that can be transported by air has been strategically positioned at various points of the world (South Africa, Brazil, Norway and Singapore). This equipment provides access to solutions that are more readily available in the event of oil or gas blowout in deep offshore drilling operations. From these locations, the equipment can benefit TotalEnergies’ operations worldwide. This equipment was developed by a group of nine oil companies, including TotalEnergies, and is managed by Oil Spill Response Ltd (OSRL), a cooperative dedicated to the response to marine pollution by hydrocarbons. Since 2018, equipment to facilitate shallow water capping operations, Offset Installation Equipment (OIE), has been positioned in Trieste, Italy. Managed by OSRL, it can be transported by air or boat to anywhere in the world as necessary.

TotalEnergies has also designed and developed its own capping system (“Subsea Emergency Response System”) to stop potential blow-out in drilling or production operations as quickly as possible. Since 2015, equipment has been installed in Angola and the Republic of Congo, covering the entire Gulf of Guinea region.

Oil spill preparedness 2020 2019 2018
Number of sites whose risk analysis identified at least one risk
of major accidental pollution to surface water(a)
119 128 126
Proportion of those sites with an operational oil spill contingency plan 100% 100% 99%
Proportion of those sites that have performed an oil spill response exercise or whose exercise was prevented following a decision by the authorities  88% 85%(b) 86%

(a) The variation of the number of sites is due to changes in scope.(b) The 2019 value was revised in order to account only for impediments following a decision by the authorities.

Accidental liquid hydrocarbon spills

In accordance with industry best practices, TotalEnergies monitors accidental liquid hydrocarbon spills of more than one barrel. Spills that exceed a predetermined severity threshold are reviewed on a monthly basis and annual statistics are sent to the Group Performance Management Committee. All spills are followed by corrective actions aimed at returning the environment to an acceptable state as quickly as possible.

Accidental liquid hydrocarbon spills of a volume or more than one barrel that affected the environment, excluding sabotage 2020 2019 2018
Number of spills 50 57 74
Total volume of spills (thousands of m3) 1.0 1.2 0.3


Following the rupture of the Île-de-France Pipeline (PLIF) in Autouillet in 2019, remediation works were completed in 2020. The topsoil has been reconstituted using agronomically compatible regional mineral and vegetal soil and sewn with selected seeds in order to restructure the soil and prevent the establishment of invasive species while waiting for crops to regrow following a recovery period of one or two years. In spring 2020, vegetation returned to the streambanks equivalent to that present before the incident. The various areas are subject to regular environmental monitoring in order to check the biological and chemical quality over time.


Limiting the environmental footprint of the group’s sites

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TotalEnergies implements a policy of avoiding, reducing, managing and monitoring 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 control them.

Water, air

The Group’s operations generate emissions into the atmosphere from combustion plants and the various conversion processes and discharges into wastewater. In addition to complying with applicable legislation, TotalEnergies has drawn up rules and guidelines that the Group’s subsidiaries can use to limit the quantities discharged. TotalEnergies has set itself targets for reducing sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions and is committed to limiting its hydrocarbon discharges into water. After analysis, the exposed sites can introduce various reduction systems that include organizational measures (such as using predictive models to control peaks in sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions based on weather forecast data and the improvement of combustion process management, etc.) and technical measures (wastewater treatment plants, using low NOX burners and electrostatic scrubbers, etc.). To date, all refineries wholly owned by the Group have this type of system.

For new facilities developed by the Group, the internal rules require impact assessments to be carried out and, if necessary, actions must be taken to limit the impact of these emissions.

In 2010, SO2 emissions reached 99 kt. TotalEnergies has set itself the target of not exceeding 49.5 kt by 2020; it has met this target since 2017.

Chronic emissions into the atmosphere 2020 2019 2018
SO2 emissions (kt) 34 39 48
NOx emissions (kt) 64 72 66
NMVOC(a) emissions (kt) 69 83 81

(a) Non-methane volatile organic compounds.

SO2 emissions that are likely to cause acid rain are regularly checked and reduced. The reduction in emissions in 2020 is mainly due to a decrease in activity at refining units relating to shutdowns and to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NOX emissions mainly concern hydrocarbon exploration and production activities. They are primarily located offshore and far away from the coast and their impact on air quality is therefore considered to be minor.

Discharged water quality 2020 2019 2018
Hydrocarbon content of offshore water discharges (in mg/l) 12.8 13.0 14.1
% of sites that meet the target for the quality
of offshore discharges (30 mg/l)
100%(a) 100%(a) 100%(a)
Hydrocarbon content of onshore water discharges (in mg/l) 1.9 1.7 1.8
% of sites that meet the target for the quality
of onshore discharges (15 mg/l)
100% 100% 100%

(a) Alwyn and Gryphon site (United Kingdom) excluded, as its produced water discharges only occur during the maintenance periods of the water reinjection system and are subject to a specific regulatory declaration.


The risks of soil pollution related to TotalEnergies’ operations come mainly from accidental spills and waste storage. TotalEnergies has drawn up a guide that the subsidiaries can use to prevent and contain this pollution.

The recommended approach is based on four pillars:

  • preventing leaks, by implementing, as far as possible, industry best practices in engineering, operations and transport;
  • carrying out maintenance at appropriate frequency to minimize the risk of leaks;
  • overall monitoring of the environment to identify any soil and groundwater pollution; and
  • managing any pollution from previous activities by means of containment and reduction or elimination operations.

In addition, a Group rule defines the following minimum requirements:

  • systematic identification of each site’s environmental and health impacts related to possible soil and groundwater contamination;
  • assessment of soil and groundwater contamination based on various factors (extent of pollution inside or outside the site’s boundaries, nature and concentrations of pollutants, presence of a vector that could allow the pollution to migrate, use of the land and groundwater in and around the site); and
  • management of health or environmental impacts identified based on the use of the site.

Lastly, decommissioned facilities operated by the Group (i.e., 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 the precautions taken, be sources of chronic or accidental pollution. In addition to the appropriate management of waste produced by the dismantling and securing of sites, TotalEnergies has created a policy to evaluate and manage the risks related to soil and groundwater pollution. For the sites at the end of their activity, the management of pollution is determined in accordance with regulatory obligations with an objective of continuing to control the use of the sites while favoring the possibility of redeveloping Group activities (solar, reforestation, etc.) and protecting biodiversity (priority 3 of the biodiversity ambition presented in section “Managing impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems during projects and operations”). Remediation operations are carried out by specialized entities created by the Group. At year-end 2020, 141 industrial sites that were no longer in operation (excluding service stations) were in the process of remediation.

The Group’s provisions for the protection of the environment and site remediation are detailed in Note 12 to the Consolidated Financial Statements (refer to 2020 Universal Registration Document point 8.7 of chapter 8).

Sustainable use of resources

Fresh water

The Group’s activities, mainly those of Refining & Chemicals, and to a lesser extent those of the Exploration & Production and the Integrated Gas, Renewables & Power segments, may potentially have an impact on, as well as be dependent on, water resources, particularly when the activity concerned is located in a water resources sensitive environment.

Fully aware of these challenges, TotalEnergies implements the following water risk management actions:

  • monitor water withdrawals to identify priority sensitive sites and then carry out a risk assessment;
  • improve water resources management depending on identified needs, by adapting the priority sites’ environmental management system.

In order to identify its facilities exposed to the risk of water stress, TotalEnergies records the withdrawal and discharge of water on all of its operated sites significant for this indicator and assesses these volumes on the basis of the current and future water stress indicators of the WRI(3) Aqueduct tool. In 2020, the Group’s sites withdrew 105 million m3 of fresh water, with net consumption of 75 million m3. Half this volume was withdrawn in areas of high or extremely high water stress according to the WRI definition, i.e. areas where human demand for water exceeds 40% of resources available. These are mainly highly populated urban areas, such as urban areas in Northern Europe. According to the CDP Water definition, these withdrawals represent 9.6% of the overall Group’s water withdrawals (including brackish water and seawater). For priority sites defined as those located in water stress areas and withdrawing more than 500,000 m3 per year, TotalEnergies assesses water resources risk levels using, in particular, the Local Water Tool (LWT) for Oil & Gas from the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI). This tool also helps guide the actions taken to mitigate the risks and to make optimal use of water resources on the sites when necessary.

This risk assessment establishes that the activities of the sites operated by the Group expose the other users of the water to a relatively low risk of water shortage. The risk mainly concerns TotalEnergies sites for which the water supply could be cut in order to maintain access to water for priority users.

In 2020, TotalEnergies responded to the CDP Water survey for the 2019 period and was, for the third consecutive year, graded A-. The main indicator used in this reporting is fresh water withdrawal.

Water-related indicator 2020 2019 2018
Fresh water withdrawals excluding cooling water (million m3) 105 115 116
Fresh water consumption (million m3)(a) 75 - -

(a) Indicator disclosed for 2020 with no historical data.

The decrease in the volume of freshwater withdrawals is largely related to a reduction in activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(3) World Resources Institute.


TotalEnergies uses the ground surface that it needs to safely conduct its industrial operations.

Worldwide, biofuels used by the Group meet sustainability requirements as per regulations in force. TotalEnergies produces and markets biofuels partly produced from agricultural raw materials. All the biofuels incorporated by the Group in Europe are certified as sustainable ISCC EU type certification according to a mass balance system required by the European Union. This certification impose criteria for the oils’ sustainability and traceability (carbon footprint, non-deforestation, proper land use, respect for human rights). These criteria apply to the entire production and distribution chain for sustainable biofuels and were tightened in 2019 when the Directive on renewable energy in transport was revised. The European Union caps, in particular, the use of agricultural feedstocks in biofuels to limit changes in land use.

In July 2019, TotalEnergies started up the La Mède biorefinery in France that is expected to produce biofuels that are 60-70% vegetable oils (rape, palm, etc.) and 30-40% waste and residues. TotalEnergies has selected a limited number of palm oil suppliers and completes its certification compliance with a specific strengthened control system for sustainability and respect for human rights. In September 2020, TotalEnergies announced a plan to convert its Grandpuits refinery into a zero-crude platform with a biofuel production plant using mainly waste and residues (animal fats and used cooking oil), as well as vegetable oils other than palm oil.

Managing impacts to biodiversity and ecosystems during projects and operations

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The planet’s rich biodiversity is under threat. TotalEnergies' inclusion of biodiversity goes back some time, but the current degradation of the environment is a reality that requires us all to make a major change, collectively and individually. For this reason, TotalEnergies is now stepping up its biodiversity ambition and commitments, and this will contribute to the Group’s ambition to be the company of responsible energies.

Patrick Pouyanné Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, TotalEnergies
Total et biodiversité

Aware of the need to protect the nature on which humanity depends, TotalEnergies ensures that biodiversity is taken into account in all its operations, based on its Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Charter. In 2016, the Group pledged to contribute to the success of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those relating to biodiversity. In 2018, TotalEnergies signed up to the Act4Nature initiative promoted by the French Association of Enterprises for the Environment, now Act4Nature international.

In 2020, TotalEnergies has set itself a new biodiversity ambition to coincide with the preparation of the United Nations’ global biodiversity plan, which aims to protect global biodiversity and updates its public commitments in this field (

This ambition is based on four core principles:

  1. voluntary exclusion zones,
  2. biodiversity management in projects,
  3. biodiversity management at existing sites and sites ceasing their activities,
  4. promoting biodiversity.

This new Ambition was incorporated in the One MAESTRO framework of the Group.

This ambition is currently being rolled out. An internal and external communications plan has been drawn up and deployed in the Group business segments and R&D. A series of webinars open to all of the Group’s HSE personnel has been held in order to raise awareness about the new Ambition. A number of specific meetings to present this Ambition to the Group’s external partners have been held and allowed their viewpoints and recommendations to be heard.

An overview of the steps already taken under the four main areas of the new biodiversity Ambition is provided in the table below.

Biodiversity ambition



  • No oil and gas exploration or production activity is conducted in UNESCO's world heritage sites. 
  • The Group publishes a list of its licenses in the Arctic. In 2020, the Group did not conduct any exploration activity in oil fields under sea ice in the Arctic.



A biodiversity action plan has been put in place for all operated production sites located in the most sensitive protected areas, corresponding to the IUCN I to IV and Ramsar areas, some of which have a target of a net gain. In 2020, this concerned six projects, two of which are aligned with the performance standards of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation. These are:

  • The BAP for the existing oil terminal in Djeno (Republic of the Congo), located in a Ramsar area, was developed in 2015 and is continuing to be rolled out.
  • The BAP for the existing onshore oil terminal in Tempa Rossa (Italy), for which the concession partly overlaps an IUCN II area, was developed in 2019 and is continuing to be rolled out.
  • The BAP with net gain for the Tilenga project (oil production, Uganda), partly located in an IUCN II area, is 100% complete and implementation is due to begin following the final investment decision. Some measures have already been taken proactively.
  • The BAP with net gain for the EACOP pipeline project (oil transportation, Tanzania), crossing an IUCN II area is under completion and implementation is due to begin following the final investment decision associated with the decision for the Tilenga project. Some measures have already been taken proactively, such as actions relating to protecting chimpanzees. This BAP has a target of a net gain as it is aligned with the performance standards of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.
  • Preparation of the BAP for the existing Eole La Perrière onshore wind farm (Reunion Island, France) has begun as part of the site’s redevelopment.
  • Preparation of the BAP for the existing Helio La Perrière onshore solar field (Reunion Island, France) has begun as part of the site’s redevelopment.



Planning of the program is under way, particularly with regard to the preparation of the 14 biodiversity diagnostics exercises expected in 2022.

Concerning the creation of biodiversity-rich zones (habitats for rare species, biodiversity sanctuaries etc.) as one of the options for restoring sites that have ceased to operate, an initial zone has been created with a reptile habitat on the banks of the river Garonne. Around ten other sites have been identified and will be subject to a similar process.



TotalEnergies Foundation supports the IUCN’s Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility (BNCFF) general interest initiative. The aim of the BNCFF initiative is to improve coastal conservation projects in order to achieve environmental, social and economic benefits.

In order to continue sharing its biodiversity data and tools with the scientific community, the Group has joined the international Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The first input data concerns the Group’s projects in Angola and Guyane Maritime. The data published by TotalEnergies has been downloaded more than 400 times, with a total of 84,000 single data views, and in mid-2020 this data was already cited in three scientific publications. TotalEnergies  is the first major to join GBIF.

In addition, Oxford University in the United Kingdom (Long Term Ecology Laboratory), TotalEnergies and Equinor launched a collaboration program in 2018 with the aim of developing a tool for screening of marine biodiversity sensitivities. The tool(4) has now been finalized and is available online for industry, the public sector and NGOs.

Lastly, the Group has a number of R&D programs relating to biodiversity. These include the development with UNEP WCMC(5) of a biodiversity impact indicators methodology that can be consolidated at Group level, the development of an operational catalogue for nature-based solutions, work on mapping areas vulnerable to climate change and opportunities offered by the Group’s sites in terms of ecological corridors.

(4) LEFT Marine (Local Ecological Footprint Tool).(5) World Conservation and Monitoring Center of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

Promoting the circular economy

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With regard to food waste and food poverty, TotalEnergies’ activities pertaining to food distribution are minor and are therefore not directly affected by these issues.

Waste prevention and management

Regarding waste in particular, a Group rule lays down a number of minimum waste management requirements, which limit the potential risks associated with the improper management of waste. Waste management 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 treatment, with technical and regulatory knowledge of the relevant processes, under the site’s responsibility.

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

  • 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;
  • reusing products for a similar purpose in order to prevent them from becoming waste;
  • recycling residual waste;
  • valorizing non-recycled products wherever possible.

In 2020, active sites operated by Group subsidiaries generated 501 kt of waste, including 198 kt of hazardous waste. TotalEnergies’ target is to reuse more than 50% of the waste produced by these sites. This target was achieved in 2020:

Group Waste overview(a) 2020 2019 2018
Non-hazardous waste (kt) 303 375 379
Valorized non-hazardous waste(b) (kt) 190 240 219
Hazardous waste (kt) 198 288 194
Valorized hazardous waste(b) (kt) 107 190 110
Waspe treatment processes(a) 2020 2019(d) 2018 
Valorization (recycling, material and energy recovery)(b) 59% 65% 57%(c)
Landfill 12% 15% 18%
Others (incineration without valorization, biotreatment without valorization, etc.) 29% 20% 25%

(a) Excluding drilling cuttings, excluding sites that have ceased operations and are in the process of being remediated.(b) Valorization includes recycling, material recovery and energy recovery.(c) Valorization rates for 2018 exclude excavated soil within the scope of the Port Arthur Ethan Cracker projet. This was exceptional non-hazardous waste associated with the construction of a new facility that was used as soil cover in a landfill. Refer to Reporting scopes and method.(d) The tonnages of waste from 10 Hutchinson sites were estimated in 2019 based on their 2018 reporting. Waste from those 10 sites represented around 1 % of the Group's total tonnage in 2018.

The decrease in the valorization rate in 2020 is mainly due to the drop in activity of the Refining & Chemicals segment linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of soil remediation works of the Île-de-France pipeline.

Since 2015, all the Refining & Chemicals segment’s plastic production sites worldwide have taken part in the Operation CleanSweep® program. Operation CleanSweep® is an international program that aims to avoid losses of plastic pellets during handling operations by the players in the plastics industry, to prevent their reaching the aquatic environment (zero pellet loss). Since 2015, the program has been deployed at all polymer sites in the Refining & Chemicals segment.

Additionally, TotalEnergies is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, launched in 2019 and consisting of 80 companies in the plastics and consumer goods value chain. The Alliance’s objective is to finance, to the extent of $1.5 billion over five years, the development of solutions for the reduction and processing (reuse, recycling and recovery) of used plastics in the environment, particularly in the oceans. To date, 17 partnerships have already been established.

Developing polymers from recycled plastics

  • 0
    of polymers produced from recycled materials by 2030
  • TotalEnergies has made a strong commitment to plastics recycling and aims to produce 30% of its polymers from recycled materials by 2030. To this end, the Group has launched a number of projects and partnerships, including specifically in 2020:

  • in May 2020, TotalEnergies signed an agreement with PureCycle Technologies to develop a strategic partnership in plastics recycling. Under this agreement, TotalEnergies has made a commitment to buy some of the production of the future PureCycle Technologies plant in the United States and assess the opportunity to jointly develop a new plant in Europe;
  • in September 2020, TotalEnergies decided to convert its Grandpuits refinery into a zero-crude platform. By 2024, thanks to investment of over €500 million, it is planned that the platform focuses on new industrial activities including bioplastics production and plastics recycling. The bioplastics plant will be built by Total Corbion PLA, a joint venture equally owned by TotalEnergies and Corbion. It will be the first European plant producing PLA, a recycled and 100% biodegradable plastic. The plastics recycling plant will be built with Plastic Energy and will be 60% owned by TotalEnergies and 40% by Plastic Energy. It will be the first chemicals recycling plant in France. Based on innovative recycling technology, the plant will be able to convert plastic waste by means of a pyrolysis process which melts plastic into a liquid called Tacoil. The Tacoil will be used as a feedstock for making polymers with the same qualities as virgin polymers. These will be suitable for food contact, a particularly sought-after criterion for food packaging companies. With processing capacity of 15,000 tons of plastic waste per year, it is due to be commissioned in 2023 and will help to achieve the target set by TotalEnergies for 2030.

Furthermore, in order to improve the properties and therefore the use of recycled plastics, TotalEnergies is already working on all types of plastics recycling:

  • in the field of mechanical recycling, in 2019 TotalEnergies acquired Synova, France’s leading producer of high-performance recycled polypropylene for the automotive industry. At the same time, TotalEnergies announced its decision to double Synova’s production capacity to about 40,000 tons of recycled polypropylene per year by 2021;
  • in December 2019, TotalEnergies joined forces with Citeo, an environmental organization involved in packaging, plastic recycling technology provider Recycling Technologies, Nestlé and Mars, world leaders in the food industry, to develop an innovative chemicals recycling industry in France. This unique consortium is examining the technical and economic feasibility of recycling complex plastic waste, such as small and soft packaging, or multi-layer packaging. Today, these products are considered to be non-recyclable and are incinerated or disposed of on landfill sites;
  • TotalEnergies produces circular compounds that contain at least 50% of recycled materials and possess the same properties as virgin polymers. More than 15 grades of polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene compounds containing up to 50% of recycled materials are already marketed.

Lastly, the Group is working on diversifying its supply sources, in particular those that are bio-based. TotalEnergies is one of the world leaders in bioplastics. Total Corbion PLA owns a plant in Thailand with capacity of 75,000 tons per year of PLA, which began operations in 2019.

Environmental and social impact assessments

When a new industrial site is developed, a baseline study must be conducted. This is supplemented by environmental and social impact assessments that measure and analyze actual and potential impact, positive and negative, direct, indirect or cumulative, in the short, medium and long term of the project.

Those studies are generally part of a public process involving stakeholder consultation.

The Group’s significant projects are listed below by country (alphabetical order):



  • Environmental and social impact assessment on Bloc 4 (July 2019)



  • Initial environmental assessment on the 3D seismic project on Bloc YWB (October 2017)



  • Environmental and social impact assessment of the Tilenga project (February 2019)
  • Environmental and social impact assessment of the EACOP project (January 2019)

Sao Tome

  • Environmental and social impact assessment of Block 1 (in Portuguese)


  • Environmental and social impact assessment of the EACOP project (August 2019)

United States

  • Environmental impact assessments of the South Platte project are available on the BSEE website (Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) – reference G36155