Increasing energy efficiency and energy saving have been and remain the main tools for HELLENiQ ENERGY to contribute to addressing climate change. Although demand for high environmental specifications fuels (e.g., zero sulphur) over the last decade has contributed to improving air quality, energy consumption in their production facilities has also increased significantly. Energy consumption is a major operating cost of the Group’s activities, but at the same time it is also the main source of carbon dioxide emissions. For this reason, HELLENiQ ENERGY is investing in energy management and use optimisation and in low-carbon fuels (e.g. blue and green hydrogen, biofuel plants and CO2 emission capture technologies), in energy saving in production and administrative operations, as well as in Renewable Energy Sources.
The implementation of HELLENiQ ENERGY’s environmental policy, related to energy and climate change, is achieved through actions such as the establishment of targets and performance indicators, as well as the development and certification of Energy Management Systems based on international standards. For instance, all environmental parameters are monitored through common indicators at European level and benchmarked against industry performance in Europe. An important part of managing climate change issues is the continuous assessment of risks and opportunities based on the evolving legislative environment at European level, as well as developing synergies through joint actions and training with staff and all stakeholders across the Group’s wide range of activities.
HELLENiQ ENERGY has set the target to significantly reduce its carbon footprint in order to contribute to addressing the causes and impacts of climate change, achieve energy transformation and become a carbon neutral company by 2050. More specifically, it has set the following objectives:
This approach and the results achieved so far are positively assessed, taking into account both the significant progress in implementing of the Group’s transformation plan and achieving the quantitative targets, as well as the external assessment by international organisations specialising 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 – ktCO2
HELLENiQ ENERGY’s total energy consumption, as shown in the chart below, is reduced by 9% compared to 2021. Regarding energy management, in 2022, EKO SA was certified for the first time according to ISO 50001:2018, while the Group’s refineries were successfully recertified, setting the goal of continuous improvement and achieving even higher energy saving and efficiency performance. Note that the applied energy management system requires, in addition to the systemic specifications (documentation reviews, staff training, monitoring of corrective and preventive actions, inspection and review), the identification of energy needs and energy improvement opportunities, as well as the setting of specific objectives and targets regarding the efficient use of energy, the implementation of which is completed via the implementation of energy saving programs or other relevant actions.
Total Group Energy Consumption 2016 to 2022
As shown in the chart below, in 2022, self-generated electricity accounted for about 35% of the total electricity consumed. Compared to 2021, there was an increase in the share of self-generated electricity from 30% to 35% due to increased availability of selfgeneration units at the Group’s refineries.
Total Electricity Consumption by Production Mode
Regarding the 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 activities within Greece from 2020 onwards, additional certification according to the international standard ISO 14064 is obtained. Specifically, for the 2022 quantitative data, the verified direct emissions (Scope 1) for the three refineries participating in the EU ETS amount to 3,618 million tons of CO2e, while the Group’s indirect emissions (Scope 2) from electricity consumption reach 305 thousand tons of CO2e (including subsidiaries), taking into account that part of the indirect emissions were offset for the first time by guarantees of origin.
It is important to mention that the Group’s refineries, since their establishment, have been participating in the European Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System (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 of monitoring.
Note that due to the increasing emission reduction targets at European level, the reduced percentage of free allowances allocated to all refineries in Europe, but also the significant increase (10-fold) in the price of allowances in recent years (from €8/tn at the beginning of 2018 to €86/tn on average in December 2022) the cost of compliance for Phase 4 ETS has increased significantly.
The chart below shows the final verified CO2 emissions of the Group’s three refineries for the years 2022 and 2021 and the corresponding free allowances.
Verified Emissions and Free CO2 Allowances at the Group’s Three Refineries
Investing in Renewable Energy Sources as a key pillar in implementing the Group’s energy transformation towards a climate-neutral economy, we contribute to the avoidance of a significant percentage of CO2 emissions (chart below) that would have been emitted if the quantity of electricity had come from a conventional provider in the domestic power generation network.
CO2 Emissions Avoided Due to Renewable Energy Sources (RES)
HELLENiQ ENERGY 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, intermediate transport 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.