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The Role of CO2 Emissions Reduction in Overall Corporate Sustainability Initiatives

The Catalyst Group Resources (TCGR) continues to provide forward-looking advice in its new multi-client and select-client reports along with those delivered for its membership programs.

PPT Deck Here (PDF)Report ToC Here (PDF)

Due to the CO2CC Program focus on CO2/GHG emission reductions and decarbonization, we are sharing access to a Power Point Deck which extracts the important and salient findings from our techno-economic report entitled, “The Role of CO2 Emissions Reduction in Overall Corporate Sustainability Initiatives.” This report was developed as one of three reports delivered in 2020 exclusively to members of our Carbon Dioxide Capture and Conversion (CO2CC) Program.

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The marketplace definition of sustainability is crucial and becoming increasingly important to identify the following: (i) how companies define sustainability; (ii) how companies then structure and implement efforts for results and; (iii) how companies choose to respond to those efforts. The involvement and strong presence of stakeholders has created a marketplace momentum that is undeniable. The effects ripple throughout the global community not just for those that are in the oil and gas and petrochemical world, but suppliers, energy segment providers, investment houses, shareholders, and in general, the court of public opinion.

In late 2019, Gulf Energy Information conducted a survey to try to better understand sustainability in the oil and gas industry. Their survey found that 49% of companies have a sustainability initiative, while 29% do not and were not working on creating one. An interesting finding was that the vast majority (65%) view their company’s sustainability initiative as a competitive advantage instead of originating from either social (26%) or investor (9%) pressure. The survey also asked about which technologies and issues were the most important to improve upon, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Key Technologies and Issues for the Oil and Gas Industry to Address Which Can Improve Sustinability. Source: Royall, 2019

A summary of known corporate commitments by International Oil Companies (IOCs), National Oil Companies (NOCs) and Global Chemical Companies to reduce CO2/GHG emissions are thoroughly discussed in this report.  Some leading firms have begun to make commitments toward net-zero strategies, but most have some type of tangible, quantitative plans for CO2 emissions reductions over the coming decades.  A variety of technological approaches are being considered or already being utilized in order to reduce CO2 and GHG emissions, amongst other efforts to improve sustainability.

Total, Repsol, BP, and Shell have all declared net-zero plans. In Total’s 2019 climate report, the company lists four climate-oriented strategic focuses: natural gas, low-carbon electricity, petroleum products (lower emissions at facilities, sustainable biofuels), and carbon neutrality. BP aims to cut Scope 3 emissions from extracted oil and gas to zero and cut the carbon intensity of the rest of its products to 50% by 2050. Shell has self-set ambitions to be net zero by 2050 or sooner and to provide electricity to 100 million people in developing countries by 2030.  Repsol has nearly identical goals as BP for emissions from extracted oil and gas, but it does not take responsibility for Scope 3 emissions from its products that come from crude extracted by other companies.

Saudi Aramco considers the carbon intensity of their crude oil to be of the lowest in the world. They attribute this to thorough reservoir management, flare minimization, methane leak detection and repair, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas management. ExxonMobil has experience in nearly every technology area and emissions reduction strategy that is discussed in this report. Chevron has four goals to reduce GHG emissions by 2023 (based on 2016 emissions levels: 5-10% lower oil net GHG intensity; 2-5% lower gas net GHG intensity; 25-30% lower flaring intensity; and 20-25% lower methane emissions intensity.

Reliance Industries notes improvements in energy efficiency in their operations and investments in biodiesel, biogas, and solar. Gazprom is said to have reduced its GHG emissions by over 3.5 million tons of CO2 equivalent in 2019 compared to 2018.  Sinopec’s 2019 “Communication on Progress for Sustainable Development” lists some carbon reduction goals by 2023. Petrobras’ 2019 Sustainability Report mentions ten commitments towards sustainability, with six of them related to carbon.

BASF has taken a varied approach towards reducing GHG emissions in their business, which includes plant optimization, purchasing low-carbon energy, 50% of R&D spend towards sustainable efforts and development of a carbon management program. Pemex mentions CCUS for ammonia production plants, participation in carbon markets, and membership in various industry consortiums for sustainability issues. Braskem has three pillars for its sustainability strategy: more sustainable processes, resources and products, including a more sustainable life for society.  Dow, in 2015, created its 2025 Sustainability Goals. They are the number one user of clean energy in the chemicals industry and have committed to source 750 MW of power requirements from renewable sources by 2025. LyondellBasell has set a goal to reduce 15% of their CO2 equivalent emissions (Scope 1 and 2) per ton of product by 2030. Sumitomo is attempting to reduce its GHG emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 57% or more by 2050.

In TCGR’s report, The Role of CO2 Emissions Reduction in Overall Corporate Sustainability, there is a strong focus on how companies are addressing their sustainability goals through areas like CO2/GHG emissions reduction (especially through CCUS), carbon reduction, waste recycling and mitigation, and resource utilization. Ultimately, it’s becoming more and more clear that sustainability is an increasingly integral and core aspect in both company culture and decision making. It’s rooted in how companies are training their incoming workforces, especially when it comes to transitioning into a new technological age and bridging the gap between generations. It impacts R&D and investment decisions. Any maybe more importantly, it’s becoming a concept that is not just driven by regulatory or societal pressure, but seen as an opportunity to become a leader, both in public perception and the marketplace.

The PPT Deck, as well as a PDF containing the report’s complete TofC, List of Figures and Tables, are available for download at here. More information about this report and other services of the CO2CC Program can be seen here.

Call +1-215-628-4447 or e-mail Chris Dziedziak at cdziedziak@catalystgrp.com, and we’ll be happy to discuss these and other interesting membership benefits.