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Challenges identification



Table of contents:


Total is present in more than 130 countries. The nature of its activities and its geographical footprint in complex environments place the Group at the junction of a range of society’s concerns relating to people, the environment or business ethics. Faced with these challenges, Total’s ambition is to become the responsible energy major by contributing to supply to as many people as possible a more affordable, more available, and cleaner energy.

Challenges Identification

As part of its statement of non-financial performance, Total has identified the main challenges linked to its activities employing a continuous risk identification process.

These risk mappings enable the Group to develop sector policies according to the desired level of control. Total also manages its activities through internal management systems implemented at the different levels of the company (headquarters, subsidiaries and sites). Within this framework, the Group performs regular assessments, following different modalities, of the risks and impacts of its activities in the areas of industrial safety, security, the environment, workers and local residents’ protection, and business ethics. These assessments are generally carried out:

  • prior to investment decisions in the Group’s industrial projects (safety and security studies, impact assessments, particularly environmental and societal), acquisition and divestiture;
  • during operations;
  • prior to placing new substances on the market (toxicological and ecotoxicological studies, life cycle analyses).

These assessments incorporate the regulatory requirements of the countries where the Group operates and generally accepted professional practices. In addition, internal control systems are structured and regularly adjusted to align with the specific features of certain areas and the corporate strategic orientations set by the Board of Directors and General Management.

Total has thus identified the main challenges linked to its activities. These are listed below and on this website in the introduction to the sections relating:

Social challenges

In order to help provide specific solutions to the major challenges emerging over the coming decades, Total relies on the know-how and commitment of over 104,000 employees around the world.

In this context, the Group has identified its main challenges to developing Human Resources:

  • attracting and developing talents by identifying and enhancing each person’s abilities, based on the principle of non-discrimination and equal opportunity;
  • maintaining employees’ long-term employability by facilitating skills acquisition in order to keep up with the development of job sectors and technologies;
  • ensuring a high level of commitment based on respect for each other, health and well-being at work.

People’s health and safety challenges

Given the specific nature of its activities, the Group’s operations give rise to occupational health and safety risks for its employees and the personnel of external contractors. In addition, some of the products marketed by Total pose potential risks to the health and safety of consumers. The Group therefore aims to meet its obligations with regards to information and prevention in order to minimize the risks throughout the life cycle of its products.

The Group has therefore identified its main personal health and safety challenges:

  • preventing occupational accidents;
  • preventing occupational health risks through improved assessment;
  • minimizing the risks throughout the life cycle of products to prevent consumer health and safety risks.

Environmental challenges

Total places the environment at the heart of its ambition of being a responsible company. In light of the specific nature of its activities, the Group’s operations pose risks for which Total develops structured management systems.

The Group has therefore identified its main environmental challenges:

  • preventing incident risks connected to major industrial events;
  • limiting its environmental footprint by managing energy consumption, emissions in natural environments (water, air, soil) and use of natural resources;
  • not to harm biodiversity and ecosystems during projects and operations especially when situated in sensitive natural environments;
  • limiting its production of residual waste by supporting the circular economy.

Climate challenges

Total’s ambition is to become the responsible energy major. The Group is committed to contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly with regards to those subjects that are connected to climate change and the development of more available and cleaner energy for as many people as possible.

The Group has therefore identified its main climate-change challenges:

  • reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of its operated oil & gas activities including methane emissions;
  • implementing a strategy allowing to reduce the carbon intensity of the energy products used by its customers;
  • identifying and support technologies and initiatives that helps respond to the challenge of climate change.

Human Rights challenges

The main challenges associated with the Group activities and respect for human rights are identified using the methodology set out in the United Nations Guiding Principles Reporting Framework relating to the “salient issues” with regard to human rights, that is to say the human rights at risk of the most severe negative impact through the Company’s activities or business relationships.

This analysis, as well as the internal risk mapping activities, have led the Group to identify six risks subdivided across three key areas:

  • “Human rights in the workplace” of Total’s employees as well as of the employees of its suppliers and other business partners:
    • forced labor and child labor,
    • discrimination,
    • just and favorable conditions of work and safety.
  • “human rights and local communities”:
    • access to land,
    • the right to health and an adequate standard of living.
  • “respect for human rights in security-related activities”:
    • the risk of misuse of force.

Challenges related to fighting corruption and tax evasion

Fighting corruption

Total is a major player in the energy sector, in which public authorities play a significant role and in which the amounts invested may be very high. Total is present in more than 130 countries, some of which have a high perceived level of corruption according to the index drawn up by Transparency International.

Total is aware of the risk of corruption and applies a principle of zero tolerance.

Fighting Tax evasion

With a presence in more than 130 countries through 1 191 consolidated affiliates, Total carries out its operations in a constantly changing environment and is subject to an increasingly complex set of tax regulations, which may be in conflict when combined or subject to varying interpretations, thus giving rise to potential tax risk.

In this context, Total has developed a responsible tax approach based on clear principles of action and rigorous governance rules as set out in its tax policy statement, which was released in 2014 and is available to the public.

Societal challenges

While the Group’s activities may cause nuisances and have negative impacts on the living conditions of local communities and residents, they are also a source of opportunities through the socio-economic development that they fuel. In line with its socially responsible commitments, the Group intends to actively support local and global initiatives that contribute to more inclusive growth and global progress.

The Group has therefore identified its main societal challenges:

  • managing societal challenges related to operations in a responsible manner;
  • promoting the economic development in the territories where it is present through employment;
  • engaging with citizenship initiatives.

Supply chain challenges

Total’s activities generate hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs worldwide. Present in more than 130 countries, the Group currently works with a network of more than 100,000 suppliers of goods and services worldwide.

Through their activities, Total’s subcontractors and suppliers may face the same risks that the Group encounters in its own activities notably in terms of social, environmental, societal and corruption-related risks. The most prominent risks relate mainly to human rights in the workplace (forced labor and child labor, discrimination, fair and equitable working conditions and safety), health, security and safety, corruption, conflicts of interest, fraud and the environment.

Consolidated statement of non-financial performance

Total’s consolidated statement of non-financial performance is published in its 2018 Registration Document, chapter 5. This statement is required by Article L. 225-102-1 of the French Commercial Code, and discloses how the Company and the entities included in the scope of consolidation, in accordance with Article L. 233-16 of the French Commercial Code, take into account the social and environmental consequences of their activities, as well as the effects of those activities with regard to respect for human rights and fighting corruption and tax evasion.
Pursuant to the above mentioned Article L. 225-102-1, this statement also includes information about the impact on climate change of the Company’s activity and the use of the goods and services that it produces, its societal commitments in order to promote sustainable development, the circular economy, the collective agreements in place within the Company and their impacts on the Company’s economic performance as well as on employees’ working conditions, the actions aimed at fighting discrimination and promoting diversity, and the measures taken in favor of people with disabilities(1).

(1) The Group has not made any specific societal commitments in order to prevent food waste and food poverty or to promote animal welfare and responsible, fair and sustainable food, as these are not significant challenges with respect to the nature of the Group’s activities.

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