Measure and reduce the carbon dioxide footprint


The production of greenhouse gas is partly responsible for climate change. This change has visible - and often detrimental - consequences for the ecosystems and the population, also in Belgium. As a responsible company, EDF Luminus therefore decided five years ago to measure its carbon footprint, to identify the most important parts of that printout and to take more targeted actions to reduce it, both within the company itself, as well as among customers and customers. political policy. In this way EDF Luminus can also become the first energy partner in Belgium.

Insight into the origin of the emissions

Every human activity, both professional and private, generates emissions. These can be distinguished according to their nature, origin or type of action that may or may not be undertaken to reduce their quantity..


Some sources of emissions are under the direct control of the company, such as electricity usage in buildings the company owns. This is not the case when the company is renting its premises.


Others are under the partial control of the company. In the case of EDF Luminus, this can include in particular the efficiency of the thermal production units and their operating regime (few or many restarts, at full or partial charge, etc.). The level of associated emissions depends on the choices made by EDF Luminus during renovations of the production park, but also, even especially, on the evolution of the technologies implemented by the builders. In general, increased yield goes hand-in-hand with reduced emissions.


Actual emissions depend on the evolution of customers’ consumption and the company’s market share, but also on each country’s energy policies, and on the wholesale markets’ «merit order», which favours the least costly production units, after the renewable sources. For its own energy mix, EDF Luminus strives to reduce the carbon footprint of its production park, by progressively closing the plants that pollute most, and by developing onshore wind farms.


In the case of an energy company such as EDF Luminus, a large part of the carbon footprint (consumption of natural gas or electricity by end-customers) is not under the direct control of the company. Contributing to the reduction of customers’ consumption, or limiting its environmental impact, is consequently a priority for EDF Luminus.

Highlights: the evolution of generation nets

In 2017, changes to the generation installed base included: the growth of the wind parc, the return to production of two open cycles, and the permanent shutdown of the Ghent-Ham combined cycle.

Actions (1): measuring our global footprint

Actions (2): reducing our carbon footprint

ISO 50 001 certification: the action plan is progressing

For EDF Luminus to retain the ISO 50 001 certification it received in 2016, a specific action plan, focused on energy savings, must be stabilised and its implementation monitored regularly.


In 2017, the action plan progressed on several points:

  • Obsolete lighting was systematically replaced by LED lighting on all sites. This was particularly the case at Ham and Ringvaart.
  • The facility for storing and supplying nitrogen on the Ringvaart site was replaced to avoid nitrogen leaks.
  • An energy audit carried out on the Izegem site by an external expert did not reveal any room for improvement. Other audits were begun in 2017, at Ringvaart and Ham.

Reduction in non-production-related emissions: voluntary actions

New drop in car fleet emissions

In 2017, the average emissions for the EDF Luminus SA/NV car fleet dropped to 110 g/km, a decrease of 1.4% compared to the previous year.

It should be noted that the average emissions of EDF Luminus vehicles registered in 2017 were only 107 g/km, compared to an average of 112 g/km for new company vehicles registered in Belgium in 2016.

Source: EDF Luminus & FEBIAC (latest available figure on the publication date of the report

Average CO2 emissions of the (car) fleet (g / km)

Source: EDF Luminus and car manufacturers

10% decrease in print-outs

In 2017, the number of sheets of printed paper dropped again, by 10% compared to 2016. An impressive reduction in the number of printouts had been achieved in 2016 by modifying the printer fleet and the printing procedures (no remote printing, black & white and recto-verso as default settings).

Number of sheets of paper printed (thousands)

Source: EDF Luminus.

Home-to-work commuting: increased number of cyclists

In 2017, 77 cyclists received bonuses for using a bicycle to commute to and from work, compared to 72 in 2016. More than 80,546 kilometres were travelled, an average of 1,046 kilometres per year per cyclist.


The energy mix

  Net electricity generation (GWh), excluding heat       

Source: EDF Luminus. 

In this and the following graphs the recommendations of the GHG protocol were applied. The graphs contain the figures on the share of EDF Luminus in the production of nuclear energy in Belgium (10.2% of the four most recent plants). However, production from the participation of Chooz B (100 MW) is not included in these figures.

Renewable energy output rose (+2.4%) in 2017 (+15.7% over two years) thanks to the increase in wind energy output (+19,5%), despite the decrease in hydraulic energy output (-31,3%).


The nuclear energy output used by EDF Luminus decreased slightly (-8%), due in large part to an extended shutdown of the Doel 3 plant starting on 22 September 2017 (and expected to continue till August 2018.)


Thermal energy output reached its highest level since 2011, an increase of +43.2%, due to:

  • the unavailability of several Belgian and French nuclear power plants at the beginning and the end of the year 2017;
  • the success of EDF Luminus in the auctions organised by Elia for primary, secondary and tertiary reserves;
  • the base load operation, throughout the year, of two cogeneration engines (2.7 MWe each) at the Ham plant, connected to the Ghent thermal distribution network.


Overall, output from renewable sources made up 12.1% of the total. Thermal energy (natural gas fuelled plants) made up another 38.9%, while 49% came from nuclear sources.

Carbon dioxide emissions from production

The emissions from the EDF Luminus thermal production plants (in particular CO2, nitrogen oxide) must be declared annually to the authorities. Any exceeding of the regulatory limits must also be reported immediately and corrective measures must be taken. These declarations are the subject of internal audits and an annual inspection by a recognized body, in terms of CO2 .

Carbon dioxide emissions rose, due to increased production from gas-fuelled plants

CO2 emissions

Total emissions from the production park (kiloton)

Source: environmental reports. Controlled figures and validated by VBBV (Flanders) and Vincotte (Wallonia).

CO2 emissions from EDF Luminus’ thermal plants rose (+43%) due to the increase in the company’s thermal power generation (+43.2%).

Kg per MWh produced, including heat

Source: EDF Luminus.

Reported emissions per kilowatt-hours produced also rose (+34,7%) due to the increase of thermal production share (from 29% to 38,9%) in the total output.

Know more about...