GRI 102-11, GRI 308-1, GRI 308-2, GRI Sector disclosure Biodiversity
50Hertz is a pioneer in the integration of renewable energy into the electricity system: in 2021, an annual average of 56.1% of electricity consumption in the 50Hertz grid area was covered by renewable energy. This was less than the figure for 2020 (which was 62%), due to several factors, including an increase in power consumption across the 50Hertz grid and a lower wind farm output.
Through our initiative “100 by 2032: new energy for a strong economy”, we have set ourselves an ambitious goal. In order to ensure that 100% of the energy demand across our grid area is covered by renewable energy by 2032, the development of the extra-high-voltage grid is essential. It is with this goal in mind that we seek to ensure that 50Hertz’s assets and activities have the lowest impact possible on people and natural habitats. Following the NOVA (Netzoptimierung vor Ausbau) principle, which states that the grid should be optimised and enhanced before it is expanded, is therefore self-evident for 50Hertz. In concrete terms, this means that 50Hertz only builds new lines if all other options aimed at increasing grid capacity have been exhausted. Another step towards the consistent reduction of our impact on the natural environmental is the development of the compactLine pylon design. The latter is characterised by lower mast heights, narrower lines and a full-wall mast with a smaller circumference. Commitments to ecological and social sustainability, environmental and climate protection and resource conservation are integral parts of our corporate strategy. As part of the Group’s ActNow programme, 50Hertz and Elia have set themselves clear ambitions related to climate protection, biodiversity and the eco-design of their substations. In 2021, a project focusing on circularity in procurement was launched. Moreover, an internal carbon price (IPC) was introduced as an additional parameter which needs to be considered in the procurement process (see also Link_Supplier) The planning, operation and environmentally friendly conversion and expansion of our transmission grid in the north and east of Germany are based on national and European framework conditions and regulations. New requirements were outlined in a number of legal provisions and changes to these are constantly monitored. The requirements are included in the company’s internal regulations. Deviations are systematically analysed and measures for improvement are determined.
50Hertz's environmental management system is based on the principles of complying with obligations and continuously improving our environmental performance. Responsibilities and processes are defined in internal policy documents, and environmental risks and targets are determined. Measures to achieve the targets are measurably controlled and driven forward. Legal requirements are monitored and evaluated by means of ongoing legal monitoring and, if necessary, anchored in the organisation. The control of environmentally relevant requirements, processes and goals is carried out through internal environmental audits, quality assurance controls, annual site inspections and visits. The environmental management system was successfully externally audited and certified according to ISO 14001 for the first time in 2022.
To continuously improve environmental performance, measures to increase biodiversity, save energy and digitalisation were implemented in 2022. For example, HSE processes such as the tracking of permit requirements or the documentation and evaluation of accidents are mapped in SAP EH&S. Deviations from existing processes but also environmental incidents are assessed, if necessary evaluated with the companies involved and improvement measures agreed upon. Furthermore, the employees in the regional centres and the headquarters are regularly made aware of topics relevant to environmental protection in the form of instructions and training.
50Hertz ensures the availability of all relevant information as well as all necessary resources for the fulfilment of the strategic and operational goals within the framework of energy efficiency and environmental protection. Environmental protection activities are documented internally in annual environmental reports.