Optimal energy efficiency and energy saving have been and remain the main tools for the Group’s contribution to addressing climate change. Although the continuously improving fuel specifications (zero sulphur) over the last decade have contributed to improving air quality, at the same time they have also increased energy consumption for their production. Energy consumption is a significant operating cost of the Group’s activities, but also a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. For this reason, the Group invests in optimising energy management and use, with environmentally friendly electrification of production facilities and low-carbon fuels (e.g. blue and green hydrogen, biofuel plants and CO2 emission capture technologies), energy saving in production and administrative operations, and the utilisation of Renewable Energy Sources.
The implementation of the Group’s environmental policy related to energy and climate change is achieved through the use of a series of tools, such as the establishment of targets and performance indicators, while Energy Management Systems have been developed and certified based on international standards. Indicatively, all environmental parameters are monitored through common indicators at European level and benchmarked against industry performance in Europe. An important part of climate change management issues within the Group is the continuous assessment of risks and opportunities based on the evolving legislative environment at European level, as well as the development of synergies through joint actions and training with staff and all stakeholders across the Group’s wide range of activities.
The Group has set the target of significantly reducing its carbon footprint (by 50% by 2030) in order to contribute to addressing the causes and impacts of climate change, achieve energy transformation, and become a zero-carbon footprint company by 2050. More specifically, it has set objectives to:
This approach and the results achieved so far are assessed positively, taking into account both the significant progress in implementing the Group’s transformation plan and achieving the quantitative targets, as well as the external assessment by international organizations specializing in environmental and climate change issues.
Reduce scope 1 & 2 emissions by 30%
Scope 1 & 2 emissions – ktCO2
Offset an additional ~ 20% of emissions via RES
Offsets – ktCO
The Group’s total energy consumption, as shown in the chart below, is increased by 7% compared to 2020, when consumption was affected by the period when the Aspropyrgos refinery was shut down due to planned general maintenance.
Regarding energy management, in December 2021, the integrated Energy Management System at the Group’s refineries was successfully certified according to ISO 50001:2018, aiming at continuous improvement and achieving even higher energy saving and efficiency performance. Note that the implemented energy management system requires, in addition to systemic specifications (control of supporting documentation, staff training, monitoring of corrective and preventive actions, inspection and review), the identification of energy needs and energy improvement opportunities, as well as the definition of specific objectives and targets regarding the efficient use of energy, the implementation of which is completed by means of energy saving programs or other relevant actions.
Total Group Energy Consumption
2015 – 2021
As shown in the diagram below, in 2021, self-generated electricity accounted for about 30% of the total electricity consumed.
Total Electricity Consumption by Production Mode
Regarding monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions, the Group systematically monitors not only direct emissions (Scope 1), but also indirect emissions (Scope 2 and 3) in the majority of its activities in accordance with the GHG Protocol methodology, while for the activities in Greece from 2020 onwards additional certification according to ISO 14064 international standard is obtained. Specifically, for the 2021 quantitative data, the verified direct emissions (Scope 1) for the three refineries participating in the EU ETS amount to 3.7 million tons of CO2 e, while the Group’s indirect emissions (Scope 2) from electricity consumption reach 455 thousand tons of CO2 e (includes headquarters and subsidiaries).
It is important to mention that the Group’s refineries have been participating, since their establishment, in the European Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System (EU ETS), and follow all the procedures for the monitoring, calculation and verification of emissions in accordance with the 2021-2030 Phase 4 Regulations, which are even stricter in terms of accuracy in the way they are monitored.
It should be noted that due to the increasing emission reduction targets at European level, the reduced percentage of free carbon allowances allocatedto all refineries in Europe, and the consequent significant increase in the carbon allowance price in 2021 (from the €30/tn range to more than €80/tn), the cost of compliance for Phase 4 ETS has increased significantly.
The chart below presents the final verified CO2 emissions of the Group’s three refineries for 2020 and 2021 (for comparison), as well as the corresponding free carbon allowances, which shows the significant increase in the emissions carbon allowance deficit between phase 3 (year 2020) and phase 4 (year 2021) of the ETS and the consequent compliance costs.
Verified Emissions and Free CO2 Carbon Allowances
for the Group’s three Refineries in 2021
Contribution of Self-Generated Electricity to the Group’s Refineries
Investing in increasing energy efficiency, all the Group’s refineries operate combined heat and power plants that use cleaner gas fuels and production process streams, thus contributing to the avoidance of a significant percentage of CO2 emissions (see diagram below), which would be emitted if the amount of self-generated electricity came from an external provider. Also, due to the integration of a higher share of RES in the power mix and the consequent reduction of the CO2 emission factor (DAPEEP data), there is a significant reduction in Scope 2 indirect emissions compared to previous years.
CO2 Emissions Avoided due to Self-Generated Electricity
in Relation to those of Total Consumption
The Group also monitors other indirect emissions (Scope 3) from its activities. The main ones come from the transport of raw materials and products by ship (imports, transfers and exports) and from office activities, such as air flights, private and other employee transport, and consumption of raw materials (carbon footprint project) from all activities in the Group’s office buildings (headquarters and refineries in Aspropyrgos, Elefsina and Thessaloniki). As part of improving the monitoring and reduction of its carbon footprint, the Group has started a detailed recording of its indirect emissions from the entire value chain.
In 2021, the Group participated for the fourth time in the CDP evaluation process (continuation of the Carbon Disclosure Project), which is the largest program for collecting and evaluating data on greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and assessment of how companies are responding to the challenges and opportunities of climate change globally. Note that, since 2018, the CDP has incorporated questions from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures/TCFD, which focus on the financial risks and opportunities of climate change.
In 2021, the Group was given a B rating (Management- Taking coordinated action on climate issues), improving its score once again and thus confirming the Group’s long-standing commitment not only to managing climate change challenges, but also to long-term business planning, with a focus on sustainable development and a low carbon footprint. The Group’s objective is to stabilize its performance at Management level and, through the implementation of its strategy and improved performance in terms of reducing its carbon footprint, to increase its score to the CDP Leadership category in the future.