Enel is well aware of the value of ecosystems and of the environmental services associated with such systems and is traditionally engaged in responsible management of natural resources during its operations. Protecting biodiversity is a strategic objective of Enel’s environmental policy and is an integral part of the Group’s Environmental Management Systems (EMS).
In 2015 the safeguarding of species and natural habitats involved 146 projects, for a total investment of 8.7 million euro, and involved a total surface area of protected areas of 722,550 hectares (the change in the figure for 2015 compared to 2014 refers to a change in methodology in collecting data, based on the greater granularity of the information requested).
The projects include studies, stocktaking and monitoring plans for sensitive species, programs to reintroduce native species, reforestation, infrastructure work such as the insulation and replacement of electric cables which are dangerous for birds as well as the installation on electric cables of supports for the nesting of birds of prey and migratory species, the construction of ramps for the transit of fish near hydroelectric plant. Interventions are planned by assigning priorities as regards ecosystems to protected areas and as regards species to those in the “Red List” of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), but local situations which may have particular importance for local communities are treated equally with the utmost attention.
In 2015 Enel drew up a specific policy to be considered as a reference point and guideline for all the Group’s initiatives to safeguard biodiversity in its electricity generation, transmission and distribution activities. The policy has been developed to contribute to the objectives of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the 2011-2020 Plan for Biodiversity and associated Aichi targets. In particular Enel undertakes to:
- plan activities which may interfere with species and natural habitats in compliance with the principle of “mitigation hierarchy”, which above all consists of the commitment to: i) avoid and prevent the occurrence of negative impacts on biodiversity, secondarily, when the impacts cannot be avoided; ii) to reduce the damage and remedy its impact; and, finally, iii) to offset the residual negative impacts;
- in the case of residual impacts, undertake offsetting works in compliance with the principle of “no net loss” to biodiversity and, where applicable, with a net positive balance;
- for each new plant undertake Environmental Impact Studies which include an assessment of the effects on biotypes, on animal and vegetal species, in order to avoid operating in areas of high natural value, envisaging also the adoption of the best solutions to limit the impact on;
- collaborate with local communities, research centers and environmental and local associations to identify biodiversity values and develop studies and projects for their safeguarding and valorization;
- monitor the effectiveness of the measures adopted in order to protect and preserve biodiversity;
- regularly report on its performance in relation to biodiversity.
Project portfolio (%)