Enel acknowledges the vital importance of climate change among its responsibilities as a large global company in the energy field and has started to take action years ago to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all the countries in which it operates, both by observing the obligations prescribed by the ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) Directive and by enacting a long-term strategy. In this context, its CEO has signed the Eurelectric initiative under which 60 companies are committed to transform by 2050 the electricity sector into a ‘neutral’ industry as regards CO2 emissions.
Compared to 1990, base year for the Kyoto Protocol, the Enel Group has cut its specific CO2 emissions by 37%. In 2013 Enel achieved a 16% reduction compared to emissions in 2007, already meeting the reduction target established for 2020 compared to 2007, the year immediately previous to the first commitment period foreseen by the Kyoto Protocol.
The Enel Group’s long-term strategy is based on the development of zero emission sources, the adoption of the best existing technology, energy efficiency promotion, the development of smart grids, technology research and innovation and emissions reduction through projects in developing countries and economies in transition, also exploiting the flexible mechanisms introduced by the Kyoto Protocol (Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation), regarding which the Group has gained over the last decade an extremely high experience and level of competence..
In particular, the application of flexible mechanisms allows not only to achieve a less costly emissions reduction (with the same benefits for the environment), but also to facilitate technology transfer and the sustainable development of less advanced economies. By applying flexible mechanisms, in 2013 the Enel Group has saved emissions for about 20 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
Clean Development Mechanism, Joint Implementation and voluntary initiatives
Enel’s CDM and JI – which are about 80 – are located in Asia, Africa and Latin America and cover a wide range of technology: renewables (hydroelectric, wind and geothermal), biomass, methane distribution, energy efficiency, water and waste management. Details regarding the CDM projects in which the Enel Group is Project Participant can be found on the United Nations website starting from the page http://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/projsearch.html.
Enel is also supporting the first CDM project (registered in November 2013) in Haiti, aimed to manufacture and distribute efficient cooking stoves. Thanks to Enel’s participation, such activities, previously handicraft, will allow thousands of households to benefit from a more efficient and clean technology at affordable costs. For some years now, Enel has also been active on the voluntary market of emissions reduction, addressing parties (companies, institutions, end users, etc.) who aim at monitoring or offsetting their carbon footprint, that is, the impact of their activities (events, publications, products and services, both internal and external). All the initiatives are associated to the “CO2 NEUTRAL” trademark, which Enel registered in 2011. Moreover, for the past three years Enel has given an account in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) of its climate strategies, entering the ranking of world’s most sustainable companies.