Sustainability is about driving our activity with a new way of thinking and a wider definition of value for the planet and people.
Interview with Samir Karoum, Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer
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Interview with Samir Karoum, Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer and member of the company Executive Committee. Samir Karoum joined Technip Energies in May 2022. Prior to joining the company, he has previously held various commercial and general management positions, at local, regional and global levels for various international companies.
Q – Technip Energies (T.EN) has recently published its second sustainability report and an adjusted ESG scorecard. Can you explain T.EN’s new ESG strategy?
Samir Karoum (SK) - We need to consider ESG and sustainability as a journey. It’s not about only reporting what we do in the correct manner, it’s a way of thinking and doing that drives our activity, the way we do business and develop new offers, with a wider definition of value for the planet and people. It is a continually evolving process.
When Technip Energies was launched in 2021, the first year was spent building our ESG roadmap from the bottom up. This was an essential, collaborative process, involving company-wide employee consultation and stakeholder engagement, to lay the foundations of our strategy in line with our purpose. It reflects the way we work as a company; collaboration and coordination are at the heart of successful project delivery.
Having set out our roadmap, in 2022 we started to benchmark our targets and our performance, and we took a more active approach around ESG ratings, seeking additional evaluations. The feedback we received from ESG rating agencies confirms that we’re going in the right direction. We have delivered on all our targets.
Our adjusted ESG scorecard for the period 2023 – 2025 translates our commitments into actions. It has been simplified and structured to best in class. The streamlined KPIs are very ambitious, impact and outcome driven. For the first time, we have evaluated and reported our Scope 3 upstream emissions and we have made an initial gross estimate of our downstream emissions. In 2023 we will refine this estimate and publish clear targets to decarbonize our core business and that of our clients as we keep transitioning to new sustainable business.
Q - Technip Energies’ backlog is composed mainly of LNG and other conventional businesses such as Ethylene, Refining, etc. How do you see this evolving and how can T.EN accelerate growth in renewables?
SK - The conventional portion of our backlog consists of two main activities – LNG on the one hand, Sustainable Fuels & Chemicals on the other-, and we are already seeing transformations in both segments. Natural gas is the fossil fuel with the lowest emissions of CO2. The transition is already happening, and we bring further decarbonization to the LNG industry. For example, our major LNG project in Qatar includes a large carbon capture facility to reduce its CO2 emissions. Another example is our SnapLNGTM offer. This is an innovative modular solution for LNG designed to overcome two constraints; energy security and time to build. SnapLNGTM allows us to build up faster and provides electrification options to further decarbonize LNG assets.
We see the same for Fuels & Chemicals, where our role is to make these more sustainable. Here we are partnering with innovative companies to decarbonize traditional plants by adding carbon capture, using renewable energy, considering electrification options, having more energy efficient furnaces. We also have clients looking at using hydrogen as a fuel in furnaces. We collaborate with Lanzajet, to use our Hummingbird® proprietary technology to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which is highly decarbonized. In the plastic arena, we have technologies that foster plastic circularity, to reuse as feedstock.
In parallel, our Energy Transition business is growing fast. In 2022, we’ve seen a five-fold increase as our order intake was around €1 billion (excluding LNG), compared to €200 million in 2021. Our backlog includes the Hafslund Oslo Celsio waste-to-power project in Norway which will capture up to 17% of Oslo’s GHG emissions as well as the Neste development project for its renewables production platform in Rotterdam.
Q – Are we seeing a golden age for engineers?
SK - Absolutely, if we want to have a favorable impact on climate change, we must make an effort on both the supply and demand sides of the energy value chain.. Some sectors will be more difficult to decarbonize than others – take aviation for example, where electrification won’t work in the short term.
The most difficult sectors to decarbonize will need the best engineers to accelerate and bring new technologies at industrial scale. Indeed, many technologies for decarbonization today are nascent, or still at an early stage of development such as Carbon capture, direct air capture, green hydrogen, green ammonia and so on. We need to accelerate their development and scale them up for industrialization to improve efficiency and reduce costs. And the only way to move from the lab to the field is with engineering companies.
Additionally in many new markets, such as floating offshore wind, or green hydrogen, we’re seeing strong demand for engineering capabilities, requiring complex asset integration.
So, at Technip Energies we have this experience, the expertise and the engineers to accelerate decarbonization as well as the development and scale up of new technologies and asset integration. Energy transition and industry decarbonization provide our people with the opportunity to apply our unique core competencies.
Q - What is your vision for T.EN in 10 years?
SK - I believe that one of the major challenges for humanity in the 21st century consists in bringing back human activities within the planet limits for a better life for all. This is a global challenge that cannot be solved neither alone or in silos. This is why our purpose at T.EN is “Breaking boundaries together to engineer a sustainable future”. For the next ten years, there are three areas where at T.EN we will work on.
The first is to decarbonize the supply of energy – to take the green electrons produced intermittently by renewables and to make them more manageable. With outstanding energy molecule transformation skills and engineering capabilities, T.EN will play an important role as the bridge between the traditional energy industry and the renewables sector as we build a sustainable energy system.
The second area is increasing circularity – to limit our consumption of the planet’s resources. There will always be demand for new products, so one way to reduce our impact on the planet is to reuse products and facilitate recycling by integrating lifecycle analysis from the product design phase. We have a fantastic portfolio of technologies and design services to help our clients shift from the traditional “take-make-dispose” economic model to one that is regenerative by design.
And the third area is digital. Digital transformation will enable us to leverage massive amounts of data to improve the way we operate and deliver projects to offer new solutions and services. This will continue to be a growing activity, at the service of public value to provide more efficient solutions and services to customers.