Environmental Progress Report
What we're doing to protect tomorrow, today.
For more than 100 years, ExxonMobil has played a proud role as a community partner and environmental steward, and 2021 was no different. With one of the largest refining and petrochemical complexes in the world, we are continuously optimizing our processes to minimize emissions, enhance energy efficiency and maintain the highest standards for environmental care. Ultimately, our goal is to prevent environmental incidents and improve our environmental performance. Continue reading to learn what we’ve accomplished in the past year to drive environmental progress in the Baytown area and what we’re planning to do in the future.
Download an English version of the report.
What we've done
Emissions reductions we've achieved between 2015 and 2020:
2020 was the Baytown Refinery’s best-ever year in terms of Title V, air reportables, and land and water reportables.
These reductions were all achieved while the Baytown Olefins Plant’s production increased by 55%.
Air quality improvements in the greater Houston area
Greater Houston ozone nonattainment area
A large part of the greater Houston area experienced high levels of ozone.
In 2021, ozone levels continued to show improvement.
What we're doing
Driving a lower carbon future for Baytown
What is carbon capture and storage (CCS)?
Why the Houston area?
The concept by the numbers
Houston CCS concept could capture:
The equivalent of taking
20+Mcars off the road
~$100Bto reduce emissions at a lower cost to society, protect current jobs and potentially generate tens of thousands of new jobs.
CCS infrastucture could effectively decarbonize one of the country's largest concentrated sources of industrial emissions.
Bringing hydrogen to Baytown, Texas
watch to learn more about
Blue Hydrogen In Baytown, Texas
What is blue hydrogen?
Blue hydrogen is a low-carbon product manufactured from natural gas. The CO2 generated during the manufacturing process is captured and stored permanently underground. The result is clean-burning hydrogen that produces no CO2.
Replacing natural gas with hydrogen at the Baytown olefins plant could reduce the integrated complex's CO2 emissions by up to 30% compared to current operations. This further supports the company's ambition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) across our operated assets by 2050. The International Energy Agency sees hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels meeting 10 percent of global energy needs as part of its "Net Zero by 2050" scenario.
Where does CCS fit in?
The carbon capture and storage project included in this plan would be one of the world’s largest, capable of storing up to 10 million metric tons of CO2 per year – equal to the emissions from more than two million cars. This carbon capture and storage facility would mark ExxonMobil’s initial contribution to the Houston CCS hub concept.
Evaluation and planning for the Baytown project are ongoing and, subject to stakeholder support, regulatory permitting and market conditions, a final investment decision is expected in two to three years.
progressing advanced recycling
ExxonMobil is building its first, large-scale plastic waste advanced recycling facility in Baytown.
Upon completion of the large-scale facility, the operation in Baytown will be among North America’s largest plastic waste recycling facilities and will have an initial planned capacity to recycle 30,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year. Operational capacity could be expanded quickly if effective policy and regulations that recognize the lifecycle benefits of advanced recycling are implemented for residential and industrial plastic waste collection and sorting systems.
A molecular conversionAdvanced recycling, also called chemical recycling, refers to technologies and processes that can enable us to molecularly convert difficult-to-recycle plastics into virgin-quality raw material used to make a wide range of valuable new products – and potentially repeat that process over and over again.
Benefits of advanced recyclingAdvanced recycling is a necessary complement to mechanical recycling to help reduce plastic waste in the environment. Each time plastic is mechanically recycled, it degrades in performance. Plastic can also become contaminated when it is recovered from waste streams, so there are limitations on food contact for some mechanically recycled plastics.
Potential emissions advantagesUsing plastic waste as feedstock for refineries and chemical plants creates identical final products, but with potentially lower GHG emissions versus traditional fossil fuel-based feedstock. Both advanced recycling and mechanical recycling have a GHG emissions advantage over incineration, which is a common method to dispose of plastic waste, particularly in the developing world.
1 Data between 2016 and 2020.
2 Emissions intensity is calculated as the total emissions of a particular pollutant divided by some measure of production; and is typically represented with units of (tons emissions/100 tons production). “Production” is based on crude feed to the facility (refining sites) or total production of major products from the site (chemical sites). Variation in methods to determine “production” makes emissions intensity useful to compare relative emissions between similar sites (i.e. asset class), but less useful to compare sites with significant differences.