The protection of the environment and natural resources, the fight against climate change and the contribution to sustainable economic development are strategic factors in the planning, operation and development of Enel’s activities, as well as being essential for consolidating the Company’s leadership in the energy markets. Since 1996 Enel has implemented a Group environmental policy, updated at the beginning of 2018, and included in the beginning of this chapter, that applies to the whole value chain, including the due diligence and Merger&Acquisition processes.
Environmental activities are carried out within Enel through an organization that reaches across operational units, coordinated by a central Holding unit in terms of general environmental policy guidelines. In the Business Lines and Global Service Divisions there are structures and figures in charge at various levels (see also the chapter “Business model for a low-carbon growth”).
In particular, the Staff Functions coordinate the management of the respective environmental issues, ensuring the necessary specialist support consistent with the Holding’s guidelines, while the operating units manage the specific aspects of the various industrial sites. In the Group, the people dedicated to managing environmental issues in 2017 amounted to 425 Full Time Equivalent (FTE). During the year, training activities were carried out for a total amount of about 52 thousand hours, which involved the field of Environmental Management Systems (such as water and waste management, environmental restoration, prevention). The training mainly involved the thermal and renewable sectors, with particular attention to geothermal and solar energy for the entry into operation of the new plants.
The main environmental risks are also monitored through ad hoc analyses on the environmental specificities of the individual Business Lines, such as ECoS (Extra Checking on Site), which are performed to identify the relevant areas and to define and monitor the corrective actions (see also the chapter “Occupational health and safety”).
Environmental Management Systems
A key element of the environmental policy is the gradual application of the internationally recognized Environmental Management Systems (EMS) to all the activities carried out by the Enel Group. In implementing the environmental policy, each Division of the Group has its own EMS compliant with the ISO 14001 standard. The new Global e-Solutions Division was set up in 2017, and it will start the process of preparing and implementing the management system over the course of 2018. During the second half of 2017, it was decided to suspend integrated certification at Group level (present in last year’s environmental policy). A review of Enel SpA’s EMS was launched in light of an organizational change that led to the creation of the Holding HSEQ (Health, Safety, Environment, Quality) unit, which is responsible for direction, coordination and control at Group level.
In 2017, the overall financial commitment for the protection and safeguarding of the environment was about 1 billion euro, divided into 771 million euro for operating expenses and 213 million euro for investments.
Operating expenses mainly concerned the thermal, hydroelectric and distribution sectors in Europe and South America. In particular, the largest share related to the costs for air and climate protection (maintenance of treatment plants and reduction of emissions, waste management, storage, transport, disposal and sending to recovery/recycling) and activities related to radiation protection in the Group’s nuclear plants.
As part of the greenhouse gas reduction policy, Enel participates in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), whose management costs amounted to approximately 236 million euro for Italy (in 2016 they amounted to 359 million euro).
Environmental spending (mil euros)
Current environmental expenditure 20171 (%)
(1) Excluding charges costs for emission compliance (equal to about 236 million euro).
Environmental investments 20171 (%)
(1) Only investments made in new plants or existing plants in the case of structural interventions aimed at environmental protection are considered environmental investments; most of the investments concern thermal plants and only marginally the new renewable plants, such as solar and wind power.
In 2017, there was a decrease in investments compared to 2016 (213 million euro in 2017 compared to 369 million euro in 2016), mainly due to the progress of the work on the plants. Last year, the share of investments was mainly divided between Italy, Spain and Chile, while in 2017 investments mainly went to Colombia, as well as Europe and Chile. The value of investments in environmental upgrading of thermal plants for 2017 amounted to around 130 million euro, as reported in the chapter “Business model for a low-carbon growth”