Aviation: Total commits to curbing its CO2 emissions
Aware of the environmental challenges that go with its operations at its customers' airports, Total is involved in an initiative to improve its carbon footprint. Multiple projects are on the drawing board while others are already underway in the aviation sector. Here’s an overview of the actions in progress, as much to the benefit of the planet as to the Group's customers.
A tightly-knit supply chain across Europe
Since the last quarter of 2019, Total has been conducting a programme at the six airports where the company employs staff and plans to extend it to other French sites later on. "Perpignan, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Toussus-le-Noble and two Airbus industrial facilities in Toulouse are undergoing CO2 emission analysis meeting the rules laid down by ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, to pinpoint the facilities with the highest emissions," explains Tarik Chemcham, Head of the Commercial Airfields Department at Total. The highest direct emissions are related to fuel truck movements. The first hands-on action was therefore to start gradually replacing the fleet. The new trucks are now equipped with engines that meet the latest environmental standards. Simultaneously, the first hybrid truck (combustion engine combined with an electric refueling pump) will be brought into service in Bordeaux. "Although the truck is still powered by a combustion engine, the fueling operations are carried out electrically. If the trial is successful, we’ll deploy this vehicle to other sites.” Gaussin and Total will also work together to develop the world's first 100% electric ART® (Aircraft Refueller Transporter). Designed for service at the Airbus industrial site in Toulouse, this prototype will be capable of towing two 30-tonne fuel tanks and is scheduled for delivery in late 2020. The partnership between Gaussin and Total will build on the 40 years of expertise achieved by Saft (a Total subsidiary) in designing and manufacturing batteries for hybrid and electric commercial and industrial vehicles. Saft will supply the lithium-ion batteries for the future vehicle fleet. They will be fully designed and manufactured in France at Saft's two production facilities in Nersac and Bordeaux in the New Aquitaine region.
This first order will enhance Gaussin's electric vehicle offering and enables Total to provide a solution tailored to the refueling business. It also paves the way for the joint development of a fleet of inventive new vehicles specifically dedicated to aviation.
This development testifies to Total’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint at the airport platforms it supplies and operates, alongside its customers and partners. Total shares the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 across all its activities, from production to the energy products it sells to its customers.
Electric refueling vehicle equipped with two 30-ton tanks (artist's impression - credits: Gaussin)
In addition to refueling trucks, infrastructure and equipment developments are also in the pipeline. For instance, design studies are underway to renovate and improve our buildings’ energy performance. Starting this year, carbon emissions will be displayed at the facilities to make operators aware of the objectives they need to achieve. Finally, alternative fuels are being deployed, like TOTAL ECOLIUM 30, a fuel made from 30% biodiesel, a renewable material produced mainly in France from rapeseed or sunflower.
Offsetting carbon emissions through environmental action
In addition to working towards actually reducing its CO2 emissions at the sites it serves, Total is also working to offset remaining emissions. Over one year, these account for some 318 tons of CO2 equivalent (direct and indirect emissions). With the help of the GRP (Gas, Renewables and Power) division, the Aviation teams have contracted a tree planting program in Zimbabwe called "Kariba REDD+ Forest Protection". The objective is to prevent the emission of 196 million tons of CO2 over the next 30 years by fighting deforestation. "You have to give yourself the means to achieve your ambitions. Carbon offsetting is wrongly perceived as a straightforward process. In fact, it involves a whole range of actions that will produce results in the long term.”
Total: a strategic partner for reducing airport CO2 emissions
In addition to being beneficial for the environment, all these projects initiated by Total are also a real asset for the Group's airport customers. This solutions package enables them to build these actions into their environmental roadmap. "And notably to obtain the Airport Carbon Accreditation awarded by ACI EUROPE which, on a voluntary basis, encourages airports to achieve carbon neutrality. To do this, airports need committed partners.” Total is therefore the ideal ally for ecological footprint reduction, because it is already taking hands-on, measurable action.