GRI 102-11, GRI 308-1, GRI 308-2, GRI Sector disclosure Biodiversity
50Hertz is a forerunner when it comes to integrating renewable energies into the entire electrical system. On average, already around 60% of electricity consumption in the 50Hertz grid area came from renewable energies in 2020. With our new strategy "From 60 to 100 by 2032: for a strong economy", we have set ourselves an ambitious goal. The development of the extra-high-voltage grid is crucial to enabling stable electricity supply in 50Hertz’s grid area with 100% renewable energy by 2032. Thus, the 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 ("Netz-Optimierung vor Verstärkung vor Ausbau": grid optimisation before reinforcement before expansion) is a matter of course for 50Hertz. What this means in concrete terms is that 50Hertz only builds new lines when all other options for increasing grid capacity have been exhausted. 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. In Elia Group’s sustainability initiative "Act Now", 50Hertz and Elia have set specific targets with regard to climate protection, biodiversity and ecoplants. In 2021, for example, a decision-making parameter was integrated into the procurement processes, which takes into account CO2 intensity.
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 the reporting year, the environmental protection organisation guideline, in which 50Hertz defines specific obligations and tasks, was amended and the decision was made to introduce an environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001.
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 2020 reporting year will be published in March 2021. 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 regarding advanced training of agents responsible for waste, water protection and the transport of dangerous goods were fulfilled. In addition, annual training sessions are held for employees. Individual company departments, such as the Procurement/Facility Management department and the project units, are given training as required. All new supplier contracts include an "agreement for quality assurance on construction sites", which contains matters from the precautionary principle in environmental protection, amongst other things. Compliance with these is regularly assessed via IT-supported construction site inspections. In the reporting year, 933 construction site inspections were carried out.
Another step towards consistent reduction of interference with the environment is the development of the "compactLine" pylon design. This innovative research and development project features lower masts, narrower line routes and a solid-panel tower of smaller circumference. It will allow us to reduce our interference with landscapes and nature through overhead lines. The compact design provides a good opportunity to integrate a new 380 kV line into existing 220 kV line routes.