Biodiversity

The protection of biodiversity and nature is an integral part of corporate strategy and is one of the most important values for measuring a company’s sustainability.

183
projects for protecting species and natural habitats at our operational plants were developed in 2021
8.2
million euros of overall investment
9,092
hectares of land involved in habitat recovery

Enel’s commitment to biodiversity

Enel commits to achieve No Net Loss of biodiversity for new infrastructures by 2030, starting implementation on selected projects in high Biodiversity significance areas as of 2025. To reach this goal, Enel will operate in line with the mitigation hierarchy principles, to avoid, minimize and recover impacts on natural habitats and species that are threatened, endemic or restricted-range.

Moreover, Enel commits to preserve forests and in case deforestation cannot be avoided, Enel pledges to restore/benefit areas of an equivalent value in line to No Net Deforestation principle.

Enel will not build new infrastructures in UNESCO World Heritage Natural Sites1.

 

1 In any case, Enel commits to accomplish the obligation arising from service needs with the best viable and affordable solutions.

Enel’s flagship biodiversity projects

Flagship projects

{{selectedCountry.title_detail}}

  • {{item.label}}: {{item.value}}

The protection of biodiversity and nature is one of the most important values for measuring a company’s commitment to sustainability.

Preserving ecosystems and species means respecting life and the planet’s natural heritage, as well as places and symbols that are special to communities.

Enel is fully aware of the value of ecosystems and biodiversity and is committed to the responsible management of natural resources during the planning, design, construction and operational phases at its production sites. This is in addition to the management of its transmission and distribution grids and innovative services for customers.

The protection of biodiversity is one of the strategic goals of Enel’s environmental policy and is regulated by a specific policy which it has been adopted since 2015. It provides guidelines for all the Group’s initiatives in order to protect biodiversity, as well as a set of guiding principles.

With the conclusion of the United Nations decade of biodiversity, which is based on the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan, at worldwide level awareness has increased of the need for further efforts to tackle, together with the climate crisis, the increasing loss of biodiversity.

Enel is fully aware of the opportunities, but also the risks, that the energy transition can envolve. It has therefore decided to make an active contribution to enhance its commitment to the achievement of No Net Loss for biodiversity concerning the development of new infrastructure by 2030 with particular attention to high Biodiversity significance areas and the conservation of forests, as well as safeguarding protected areas.

The achieving the goal of No Net Loss is based on the application of the Mitigation Hierarchy for all new infrastructure, operating in order of priority to avoid, mitigate and restore the impacts. Only when significant residual impacts are unavoidable, the most appropriate offsetting actions are considered with a view to conserving the overall value of biodiversity. This commitment is in line with the timeframe of the goals identified in the European Union’s Strategy for biodiversity for 2030, and involves operating in compliance with these principlesfrom 2025 on selected projects in important biodiversity areas.

With reference to the goal of No Net Loss and with the same timeframe, Enel has decided to make a further commitment to the conservation of forests based on the principle of No Net Deforestation. It recognizes the importance of forests both in terms of the wealth of the biodiversity they conserve and the role they play in long-term carbon capture and storage.

Finally, on the subject of safeguarding protected areas, Enel will not build new infrastructure in UNESCO World Heritage Natural Sites, the company is, nonetheless, committed to fulfilling its service obligations with the best and most appropriate feasible solutions.

In addition to these new commitments, as part of the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan, Enel has defined a series of targets for improving its processes for managing biodiversity and preserving the areas where it operates:

  • Improving corporate processes for assessing risk and managing biodiversity at facilities and assets
  • Consolidating and aligning the Group’s indicators, and adopting the process for monitoring biodiversity performance
  • Internal awareness-raising initiatives about protecting biodiversity, reaching 100% of the Enel population
  • Increasing the framework of partnerships and the engagement of stakeholders.
 

Enel’s commitment to biodiversity in 2021 involved 183 projects for protecting species and natural habitats at operational facilities of which 60 have been developed in partnership with government bodies, non-governmental organizations and universities, for an overall investment of 8.2 million euros.

The projects involving activities to restore habitats were affected an area of more than 9 thousand hectares, it was more than double compared to the previous year (around 4,000 hectares). The increase was due to both the activation of new habitat restoration projects and the expansion of existing projects.

These are initiatives created in proximity to the Group’s facilities and infrastructure. Their implementation is linked to the context in which they are developed, as well as the technology and the size of the impacted area.

Potential risks of a negative impact on biodiversity are flagged even in the feasibility study phase for new plants. During this phase, the geographical site proximity to protected areas or to those in high biodiversity significance and the potential presence of species at risk of extinction are taken into consideration.

This assessment is an integral part of the analysis of the context in which it is expected to build new facilities as foreseen by the “Creating Shared Value” model, through which Enel takes into account the social, economic, and environmental needs of the territory and defines projects in such a way as to create long-term value for the Group and local communities The Group also promotes a series of innovative activities to improve the integration of renewable energy plants into the environment and the landscape.

Moreover, with the aim of further improving its environmental performance, Enel is actively involved in international initiatives and partnerships, in order to support the definition of new global targets for protecting nature and biodiversity in line with the strategic 2030 Agenda.

To find out more, download the 2021 Sustainability Report.

Legenda

The IUCN Red List: Compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, provides information on the conservation status of various species, classifying them as: extinct (EX), extinct in the wild (EW), regionally extinct (RE), critical endangered (CR), endangered (EN), vulnerable (VU), near threatened (NT) and least concern (LC)

High Biodiversity significance important biodiversity areas: Important biodiversity areas are identified based on the following general criteria: 1) protected areas (UNESCO World Heritage Natural Sites and IUCN I-IV); 2) Critical Habitats as defined by the IFC Performance Standard 6; 3) the presence of protected species (“Biodiversity indicators for site-based impacts” – UNEP-WCMC 2020)

Conservation of forests: Using the FAO definition of a forest as an area greater than 0.5 hectares characterized by trees taller than 5 meters or with the propensity to reach that height, in an area with tree cover greater than 10%. Excluding land that is prevalently for urban or agricultural use. The actions of reforestation to offset unavoidable impacts will be offset, alternatively, with dedicated projects or by contributing to reforestation initiatives promoted by partners, conservation organizations or through public or private initiatives, giving priority to offsetting the same geographic areas in which there has been an impact, if possible, of the same value.