How to reconcile energy supply with the fight against climate change? For Total, there is no single answer to this key question, but rather a number of complementary measures coming into play together. Among the latest innovations, the creation of the Total Ecosolutions label would appear to have received unanimous support within the profession.

European Plastic Product Manufacturer (EPPM) – Total Ecosolutions crowned best innovation of 2010

A European reference for the plastics sector, the European Plastic Product Manufacturer (EPPM) publication recently organised a competition entitled ‘Most Innovative Product 2010’. Taking up the challenge alongside other players in the sector, Total Petrochemicals was declared winner of the competition thanks in particular to its Total Ecosolutions concept.

For the competition, the magazine interviewed industry experts and surveyed a large panel of readers as part of the K-Fair in Düsseldorf.

Taking action in house…

To meet demand while reducing emissions, the Total Group has decided to base its action on three keystones: improving energy efficiency in house at its facilities, developing new products, and exploring additional forms of new energies in addition to the traditional oil business. Active on all fronts, the Total Group is also working on ecodesign and the analysis of product lifecycle.

A new sustainable label

In this spirit, the group launched the Total Ecosolutions programme in 2009. This programme (carrying an eponymous label) consists of developing, in a spirit of ongoing innovation and progress, products and services with environmental performances far in excess of market standards: lower consumption of resources (energy, water, material, etc.) and/or lower environmental impact for equivalent service rendered.

The Total Ecosolutions label is now one of the most effective drivers of Total Petrochemicals’ commercial strategy.

No window dressing

Part of Total Petrochemicals’ commercial strategy since 2009, the label now helps develop clear and tangible messages, even inducing new behaviours. “No window dressing indeed!” explains Thierry Saudemont, Polyolefins marketing manager. “All the benefits presented are objectively quantified and are checkable. A review of Total Ecosolutions’ labelling process by the independent auditor Ernst & Young confirmed that the Total Ecosolutions Guidelines are established in accordance with the principles set out in ISO standards 14020 and 14021, governing environmental claims.” In line with this concern for transparency, all customers have access – on simple request – to the data taken into account for the purposes of certification.

Meeting market needs

“For our customers, these benefits help combine the economic benefit and the ecological concerns. Both often merge: to spend less, you need to consume less material and less energy, and to pollute less, you also need to consume less and become lighter,” adds Mr Saudemont.

Involved in the development of more environmentally sound products, Total Petrochemicals already offers a wide range of ‘Total Ecosolutions’ certified grades for various markets.

Some examples of polypropylene and polyethylene labelled products and benefits are detailed below.

Lighter rigid packaging with polypropylene PPH 4026

Used for the thermoforming of trays for the food-grade packaging of fresh produce, the PPH 4026 polypropylene grade can be used on its own or as a component in a multilayer structure.

The Total Ecosolutions benefit:

The mechanical performance margin obtained with PPH 4026 helps reduce the weight of trays by a significant 15%. Compared to conventional polypropylene grades which dominate the market, this reduction represents a substantial saving in material.

The environmental performance:

The environmental gain means a reduction in the resources used, in energy consumption related to product manufacture, and in greenhouse gas emissions.

Thinner shrink film with Lumicene® polyethylene

Total Petrochemicals Lumicene® polyethylene (mPE) grades, covering a wide range of density from low (mLLDPE), medium (mMDPE) to high (mHDPE) density, have a unique stiffness/optical properties balance offering the opportunity to significantly down-gauge shrink film. Total Petrochemicals Lumicene® M2704EP is used to manufacture transparent shrink film for packaging applications.

The Total Ecosolutions benefit:

The properties of these grades reduce the weight of films by around 27%, which results in significant material savings.

Environmental performance:

The 27% reduction in material produces a corresponding reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of around 1,800t of CO2 equivalvent for each 1,000t of M2704EP used.