Protection of biodiversity is one of the most important ways to measure a Company's sustainability. Preserving ecosystems and species equates to respect for life, the natural world, and community spaces and symbols.
Enel is mindful of the value of ecosystems and biodiversity and is traditionally involved in the responsible management of natural resources during its design, construction and operation phases.
The protection of biodiversity is a strategic objective of Enel's environmental policy and is an integral part of the Group's EMS.
In 2015, Enel adopted a policy on biodiversity that integrates the principles already set out in its environmental policy.
In 2017, initiatives to protect species and natural habitats numbered 158 projects, with a total investment of 10 million euros and a total of 1.94 million hectares of protected areas.
These are initiatives implemented near our plants and infrastructures(thermal, renewables, distribution grids), whose implementation varies according to the characteristics of the environment where they are located, of the technology and of the area covered.
At our large thermoelectric power stations, during their operation and with regard to emissions into the atmosphere and discharges, we carry out extended monitoring programmes on the balance and status of ecosystems (flora, fauna and marine and aquatic environments).
The grid is frequently at the centre of projects for the protection of wild birds and bats through the prevention of the risk of electrocution on lines, the securing of the cables of power lines and the laying of supports when trestles are one of the favourite places for nesting by birds (e.g., storks).
At hydroelectric power plants, our projects aim at maintaining the richness and vitality of river ecosystems and include studies for the characterization of the minimum vital flow, the construction of stairs and elevators for non-resident fish species, fish stocking and repopulation to maintain autochthonous species.
At our wind farms, we carry out constant monitoring of birds both before and after construction. Moreover, since these plants are often located in prairie environments, we promote actions to safeguard fauna that inhabits and crosses through the surrounding areas.
In addition to the projects, Enel is engaged in a series of activities that integrate environmental protection with environmental education, interventions to ensure full fruition of natural havens and reserves around plants and a series of actions to enhance completed projects that have become part of the symbiotic relationship that plants create with the territory.
One example of this is the “Teodora” thermoelectric power plant, a modern combined gas cycle in Porto Corsini ( Ravenna, Italy). In the nearby wetland the “Pialassa della Baiona” there are 1,800 hectares protected by the Ramsar Convention, Special Protection Zone for Birds and Site of Community Importance.
In order to minimize the impact due to the thermal discharge and to protect the high biodiversity value of the area, Enel has started collaborations with all the stakeholders present on the territory for several years and forums with the local associationsfor the protection of the wider system of wetlands of Porto Corsini, an extensive fluvial-marine transition environment relevant for biodiversity (e.g. Greater noctule bat - Nyctalus lasiopterus, European pond turtle - Emys orbicularis, Black tern - Chlidonias niger).