GRI 102-11, GRI 102-26, GRI 308-1, GRI 308-2, G4-EUS-DMA Biodiversity (Biodiversität)
Environmental and social sustainability, as well as a clear commitment to environmental protection and the conservation of resources are all integral components of the corporate strategy. 50Hertz is a forerunner in the integration of renewable energies into the entire electrical system: In 2018, around 57% of gross electricity consumption in the 50Hertz balancing zone came from wind or photovoltaic power as well as biomass, hydropower and other renewable energies. The development of the extra-high-voltage grid is necessary for transporting steadily increasing amounts of renewable energies over long distances and to ensure the security of the electricity supply and an effective electricity market. Our goal is to keep the impact of 50Hertz’s plants and activities on people and natural habitats to an absolute minimum. Therefore, compliance with the NOVA principle is a matter of course for 50Hertz. NOVA states: grid optimisation (Netz-Optimierung) before reinforcement (Verstärkung) before expansion (Ausbau). What this means in concrete terms is that 50Hertz only builds new lines when all other options for increasing grid capacity have been exhausted.
The planning, operation, maintenance and environmentally friendly conversion and expansion of our transmission grid in the northern and eastern part of Germany follow national and European frameworks and regulations. This operational implementation of environmental requirements is controlled by means of company guidelines and process instructions, which are constantly updated and adapted. In our environmental protection organisation guideline, 50Hertz has defined concrete obligations and tasks. Principally, management is responsible for environmental protection. It defines the goals and organisation of the Company’s environmental protection efforts. Within management, the Chief Technical Officer assumes the function of environmental officer. The management also appoints the hazardous materials, waste and water protection officers, who advise the entire organisation on environmental issues.
50Hertz ensures the availability of any relevant information and all required resources for fulfilling the strategic and operative objectives relating to energy efficiency and environmental protection. Environmental protection activities are documented internally in annual environmental reports. The Environmental Report for the 2018 reporting year will be published in March 2019. For this reason, some of the figures mentioned are based on estimates and have been marked.
50Hertz consistently and actively works on continuously improving its environmental performance, energy-related performance and improving its management system. To gradually further develop operational environmental protection and energy management, you also need to raise the awareness of and actively involve employees, which are motivated to act in an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient way. The legal requirements for training are met. While the law requires water protection and waste officers to attend two-day training every two years, at 50Hertz they receive one day of training every year. The training for employees and hazardous materials officers involved in the hazardous materials process is provided every five years. Individual company departments, such as the Procurement/Facility Management Department and the project units, are given training as required.
As of 1 July 2017, all new supplier contracts at 50Hertz include an “agreement for quality assurance on construction sites”, which contains matters from the precautionary principle in environmental protection, among other things. Compliance with these is regularly assessed via IT-supported construction site inspections. In the reporting year, 1,190 construction site inspections were carried out. The common code of conduct for suppliers of Elia Group, which is currently under review and binding for all suppliers, contains additional principles on environmental protection and resource conservation.