The protection of biodiversity is one of the most important values for measuring a company’s sustainability committment.
Preserving ecosystems and species means respecting life, the planet’s natural heritage and the places and symbols valued by communities.
Enel recognizes the value of ecosystems and biodiversity and is committed to the responsible management of natural resources during the planning, construction and operational phases of its productive sites, as well as the management of its own transmission and distribution grids and innovative services provided to customers.
Protecting biodiversity is a strategic goal of Enel’s environmental policy and is regulated by a specific policy adopted by Enel in 2015, which sets out the guidelines for all the Group’s initiatives for safeguarding biodiversity.
Enel is committed to planning the activities that may interfere with species and natural habitats, respecting the principle of “no net loss” of biodiversity and, where applicable, creating an overall net gain.
As part of the 2021-2023 Sustainability Plan, Enel has outlined the following goals for preserving biodiversity in the areas in which the Group operates:
- Improving the corporate processes for risk evaluation and management of biodiversity at power plants and assets
- Defining indicators for the Group and adopting a process to monitor biodiversity performance.
Enel’s commitment to biodiversity involved 187 projects in 2020 to protect species and natural habitats at operational plants: 54 of these projects were developed in partnership with government organizations, NGOs and universities. Overall investment amounted to 9 million euros and a total area of 4,356 hectares was the subject of habitat recovery projects.
In 2020 the total area of restoration projects amounted to more than three times that of the previous year (1,300 hectares in 2019). This referred both to the activation of new restoration projects and the effective increase in land that was subject to restoration as part of projects that had already been launched.
These are initiatives created in the vicinity of the Group’s plants and infrastructure, the implementation of which is linked to the context in which they are created, the technology in question and the size of the impacted area.
The potential exposure to risk for biodiversity is already highlighted in the feasibility studies for new plants. These studies take into consideration the geographical proximity of sites to protected areas or those important for biodiversity and the potential presence of species at risk of extinction.
This evaluation is part of a broader analysis of the context and includes the application of the “Creating Shared Value” model, through which Enel holds discussions to evaluate the social, economic and environmental needs of the area to develop projects. These discussions are designed to create long-term value for both the Group and local communities. Moreover, the Group promotes a series of innovative activities to improve the integration between renewable energy plants and the environment and landscape.
To further improve the Group’s own environmental performance, Enel is involved in international initiatives and partnerships with the goal of supporting the definition of new global targets for the protection of nature and biodiversity in line with the 2030 strategic agenda.
To find our more, download the 2020 Sustainability Report.