Enel and the new environmental handbook

Published on Wednesday, 18 January 2017

“Protecting the environment is central to our company, as is the involvement of all stakeholders. For years we have been partners of the United Nations and we participate in the Global Compact, created to bring together the companies around the world so that they will apply sustainable policies”

– Andrea Valcalda, Enel’s Head of Sustainability

The four key pillars

The focus is primarily on the prevention of material impacts: maintaining the balance in nature is indeed the best form of harmonising and guaranteeing human activities.

It is also established that the characteristics of Enel’s services and products should adjust to the environment, so as to avoid any discrepancy between production methods and the product’s end fallout.

The third point focuses on creating value for the company, that is, on maximising the economic relationship value/costs, by continuously monitoring the competitive advantages arising from environmental compliance.

Finally, the goal of pushing standard protection requirements is pursued satisfying on the one hand the legal obligations of compliance as well as voluntary commitments, on the other encouraging a constructive approach regarding environmental issues.

“After years of discussion we met Greenpeace, with whom we shared the need for an energy transition towards the efficiency of renewables. Our strategic plan now reflects a common vision”

– Andrea Valcalda, Enel’s Head of Sustainability

Monitoring and green projects
 
Nowadays, environmental certifications are one of the main indices of corporate credibility and authority. Therefore, in addition to the annual confirmation of the ISO 14001 standard, Enel is actively searching for synergies and sharing of environmental management experiences. This process aims to streamline and simplify all certifications in the various organisational areas.

Every industrial project, new or old, is related to the maintenance of biodiversity in the area where we are operating, assessing every time the best location and visual impact mitigation. Along these lines, we have launched projects for the conservation of protected species, sometimes even including the reintroduction into their habitat, in collaboration with research centres and observers in the field of nature. These projects, far from being improvised, are strengthened by a regular bio monitoring of the land or of the marine and fluvial environment.

Birds are protected through the insulation of the power distribution lines, and if necessary, the bare conductor cables are replaced.

“We reported this experience to the financial community. Today we carry out our actions keeping in mind these objectives and, for the same reason, we regularly present our plans to eco-investors”

– Andrea Valcalda, Enel’s Head of Sustainability

Plant optimisation

Besides assessing external environmental impacts, plants are subject to a process of constant improvement based on the best practices in use, in the phases of construction, operation and dismantling, with a sustainable study and use of the most advanced technologies, especially renewable ones. Alongside the gradual expansion of renewable power plants, Enel implements a more efficient use of all available resources, focusing in particular on the risks of "water stress" on watersheds, network losses in electricity distribution, the adoption of smart meters and of technologies for energy saving and the extension of lighting life cycle. At the same time we aim at decreasing waste production and their pollution load, increasing the recovery percentage.

Increased public awareness

Transparency in relations with end consumers and local institutions - essential to harmonise the industrial impact - can now be pursued on several fronts, from publicising internal environmental reports and analyses, to the opening of plants or communicating basic science concepts through the web. Even employees and suppliers are part of this educational process, which is being carried out by implementing training initiatives or information on the Intranet, in order to respond on all levels to respect the legal requirements of compliance.