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Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

We have been committed to reducing GHG emissions for years: the results we have obtained prove the effectiveness of our low-carbon strategy.

22 May 2021
2 min read
22 May 2021
2 min read

Eni has historically been committed to reducing its direct GHG emissions and was among the first in its industry to set a series of targets in 2015 aimed at improving the GHG emissions performance of the assets it operates, with specific indicators illustrating the progress achieved to date in terms of reducing GHG emissions into the atmosphere. In addition to these, starting from 2020 Eni has included indicators calculated on an equity basis, which chart its path towards carbon neutrality in both absolute (Net GHG Lifecycle Emissions) and intensity terms (Net Carbon Intensity).

Verifying GHG emissions

Eni has been verifying its GHG emissions since 2006 through a third-party certifier as part of its sustainability reporting and, since 2011, also through dedicated testing. To ensure even greater robustness on data that are of strategic importance to the company, as of 2019 Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions related to operations are subject to reasonable assurance, while Scope 3 emissions and equity-based metrics are subject to limited assurance. The “Statement on GHG accounting and reporting - year 2021” and the associated assurance report are attached to the document titled Eni for 2021 - Carbon Neutrality by 2050.

Eni has adopted an approach inspired by lifecycle analysis as the most suitable and representative for tracing progress towards carbon neutrality. Accounting of GHG emissions from Eni’s value chains refers to a distinctive proprietary methodology that allows us to obtain an integrated view of Scope 1+2+3 GHG emissions related to all energy products sold by Eni. 

Below are Eni's main medium to long-term GHG targets and the performance of related indicators, calculated on an equity basis.

Net Zero GHG Lifecycle Emissions by 2050
The indicator refers to all Scope 1, 2 and Scope 3 emissions associated with energy activities and products sold by Eni, along their value chain and net of offsets mainly from Natural Climate Solutions. In 2021 it increased mainly in connection with the resumption of operations following the health emergency and increased sales of retail oil & gas products.

Net Zero Carbon Intensity  in 2050
This indicator is calculated as the ratio between absolute net GHG emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) along the value chain of energy products and the amount of energy included in them. In 2021 it decreased by 2% compared to 2020 thanks to the increase of gas in the energy mix and a higher contribution from NCS offsets.

These were complemented by specific indicators for monitoring operational emissions (Scope 1+2):

Net Zero Carbon Footprint Upstream in 2030
The indicator considers Scope 1+2 emissions from upstream assets operated by Eni and third parties, net of offsets mainly from Natural Climate Solutions. In 2021, this indicator was broadly stable as the slight increase in emissions related to the emergency shutdowns in Nigeria and Angola and the resumption of onshore activities in Libya was counterbalanced by the higher offsetting through NCS of 2 MtCO₂eq.

Eni's Net Zero Carbon Footprint in 2035
This indicator considers Scope 1+2 emissions from Eni and third-party operations, net of offsets mainly from Natural Climate Solutions. In 2021, this indicator remained broadly stable as the slight increase in emissions was counterbalanced by the 2 MtCO₂eq increase in offsetting through NCS, in line with the Upstream indicator trend.

GHG Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions are accounted according to the operatorship criteria (100% of the share relating to activities operated by Eni at a global level), in all reference businesses. In 2021, Eni's GHG Scope 1 emissions amounted to 40.1 mln tonnes CO₂eq, up 6% compared to 2020, mainly due to the resumption of operations in the upstream and gas transport, power and chemicals sectors. Approximately 45% of GHG emissions are subject to carbon pricing schemes, mainly the European Emission Trading Scheme, which covers all major mid-downstream facilities. 57% of direct emissions originated from the E&P sector. The largest emission contributors were combustion and process, which are related to the energy consumption of production assets. Eni's GHG emissions were mainly linked to operations in Italy and Africa. The remainder of contributions were divided between Asia, Oceania, the Rest of Europe and America. 

Indirect emissions from electricity, steam and heat purchased from third parties (the so-called Scope 2 emissions) were quantitatively negligible (approx. 0.8 MtCO₂eq in 2021), since in most cases electricity was generated by the company’s internal plants, and the associated GHG emissions are therefore accounted for as direct emissions. As for indirect Scope 3 emissions, they are reported according to the 15 categories of the GHG protocol and applying IPIECA guidelines, which provide for an activity-based analysis.

Considering its high climate-changing power and its recognised role in terms of short- to medium-term global warming mitigation opportunities, the topic of methane emissions has assumed central importance in the international climate debate. The Global Methane Pledge, a collective target to reduce anthropogenic methane emissions by 30% in 2030 (vs. 2020 levels), was launched at COP26 during 2021, and is already supported by more than 100 countries.  Eni has long been committed to reducing methane emissions, having been one of the first companies to set an absolute reduction target for fugitive methane emissions as early as 2015. In 2022, it confirmed its commitment to progressively reducing these emissions from Upstream businesses, in line with the Global Methane Pledge.

In addition, Eni continues in its commitment to progressively optimising its monitoring and reporting processes for the reduction of methane emissions at the facilities it operates. In 2021, Eni’s methane emissions were 1.37 MtCO₂eq, unchanged from 2020 and essentially concentrated in Upstream operations (95% of the total). Emissions are associated with unburnt methane from flaring (43%) and production processes (12%), venting (27%) and fugitive emissions (18%). 

Concerning the planned mitigation actions: 

  • Flaring: in addition to the reduction contribution related to flaring down projects, Eni is analysing technologies for measuring and optimising the combustion efficiency of flares and is carrying out feasibility studies for the implementation of closed flares.
  • Unburnt methane: there are ongoing energy efficiency and energy assessment projects (ISO 50001) and the best available technologies are being used to improve performance and reduce consumption (digitalisation, electrification and integration with renewable energy).
  • Venting: mitigation of fixed sources (e.g. compressors, tanks) for existing assets; for all new assets, minimum design criteria for zero venting have been set;
  • Fugitive emissions: monitoring and maintenance campaigns (Leak Detection And Repair - LDAR) continued during the year 2021 and contributed to maintaining the reduction trend.  To date, 95% of the Upstream operated production is covered by LDAR programmes (corresponding to about 60 sites).  The overall reduction in upstream fugitive emissions compared to 2014 is 92%, confirming the early achievement since 2019 of the 80% reduction target set for 2025.

In line with its strategy of a progressive decarbonisation of the Oil & Gas portfolio, Eni continues in its commitment to progressively reducing the emission intensity of Upstream-operated assets, in line with its target of a 43% reduction by 2025 compared to 2014. In 2021 the index was substantially stable compared to the previous year. The trend is related to an increase in emissions, mainly due to an emergency shutdown in Nigeria and Angola and to the resumption of onshore operations in Libya.  The effect was partially balanced by a reduction in fugitive emissions, thanks to monitoring and maintenance activities, and to a general optimisation of consumption.

The progressive reduction of routine flaring is one of the ways to reduce the emission intensity of the Upstream sector. To this end, Eni has joined the “Zero Routine Flaring” initiative promoted by the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR), a partnership promoted by the World Bank that brings together governments, oil companies and international development organisations. The initiative is aimed at phasing out routine flaring by 2030, but Eni has decided to bring the targets forward to 2025. For this reason, it is involved in specific programmes to reduce flaring by using the associated gas to generate electricity for local populations and distribute it for household consumption or export. Where this is not possible, Eni has set up plants to re-inject natural gas into the fields. 

In 2021, Eni continued with its investment plan both in projects aimed directly at increasing energy efficiency in assets (€ 10 mln) and in development and revamping projects with significant effects on the energy performance of its operations. The actions undertaken during the year resulted in an actual primary energy saving of 391 ktoe/year compared to baseline consumption, mainly from upstream projects (about 81%) and with a benefit in terms of emissions reduction of about 0.9 million tonnes of CO₂eq. If scope 2 emissions, i.e. emissions from purchased electricity and heat, are also taken into account, the CO₂ savings from energy-saving projects amount to almost 1 million tonnes of CO₂eq. The effort to extend the energy management system approach to the Upstream business continued in 2021, covering more than 75% of the assets’ consumption with energy assessment and starting an analysis of the potential for integrating the energy management system in compliance with the ISO 50001 standard and with the HSE systems that have already been adopted and certified.

Performance tool

Here are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to the five-year period 2017-2021.
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