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May 26, 2022

GHGSat: Battling greenhouse gases from space

Eco-responsibility is about making the right decisions to be more productive, more innovative and greener. It means wanting to be a part of a global economy that is both responsible and sustainable, and at the same time, sharpens your competitive edge in your own sector. Québec companies are integrating clean technologies in order to contribute to a thriving, innovative, inclusive and open economy. One of these exceptional leaders is : GHGSat Open a new window.



If we told you that one of the most powerful tools for detecting greenhouse gases, and in particular methane, can be found in space, what would you say? Add to that the fact that a Québec company, founded in 2011, is behind the technology, and is one of the global leaders in its field. Are you surprised? Welcome to the exciting world of Québec company, GHGSat.


After years of consultations and rigorous work conducted with global and Québec GHG experts, GHGSat launched its very first satellite, Claire, in 2016. The goal was to help accelerate the decarbonization of the planet by putting its solutions for monitoring emissions forward, and to collaborate with scientific communities at home and abroad “to provide a favorable prospect for the development of humanity on the planet”. Successes achieved by the new detection technology quickly validated the concept and, today, factories, industrial parks, and large manufacturing companies are able to identify and eliminate methane leaks that were previously invisible.


“Our sensors are able to directly observe the manufacturers’ sites, and the high-resolution sensors detect the presence of methane near any infrastructure. Our satellites enable us to accurately determine if there is a leak, and to quickly alert the site operator,” says Émilie Hamel,
Vice-President of Operations.


Detection, however, goes even further, as the technology is not limited to customer “orders”. As an example, GHGSat recently discovered a major source of methane emissions and immediately notified the company concerned, which was previously unaware of the situation. As a result, the leak was plugged, avoiding a CO2 emission equivalent of one million cars circulating on the roads for an entire year. “It is considerable, and there is a great need for this technology,” adds Ms. Hamel.


The Montréal company's clientele includes several oil industry giants who are “aware that there is no alternative”. This is a serious environmental issue that can no longer be ignored, and a priority according to the latest IPCC report Open a new window. With new technologies available, now is the time for action. “We are ahead of the wave,” concludes Émilie Hamel.