ECO-EFFICIENCY AND WASTE
The main impact of EDPR activity is clean energy, green energy, renewable energy.
Environmental compliance and continual improvement are major concerns of EDPR. This section includes environmental performance regarding our operational wind farms in the reporting period.
EDPR indirect emissions are much reduced and they’re limited to the administrative buildings consumption and wind farms’ auxiliary consumptions (when self-consumption is not possible).
Usually, the energy needed for wind farms’ auxiliary consumptions (lights, wind turbine orientation, etc) comes from the energy produced by itself, but if there isn’t any operative wind turbine, this energy must be purchased.
In the reporting period, the amount of energy consumed as auxiliary consumptions in EDPR wind farms was not relevant, 148 TJ, just 0.28% of produced energy.
Even though EDPR’s business reduces carbon emissions as a whole, we are still making an effort to minimize our indirect energy consumption in our offices. In 2010, indirect energy consumption by our offices was 7.2 TJ, just 0.01% of produced energy.
EDPR also takes efforts to reduce and eliminate unnecessary indirect emissions very seriously. a number of initiatives regarding reduction of energy consumption and emissions have been developed during 2010.
EDPR has signed an agreement with a car rental company to provide employees with hybrid vehicles for their business travel as an alternative to traditional vehicles in some cities of Spain. Hybrid cars use less fuel than traditional cars and therefore, produce less harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases than comparable gasoline vehicles.
In addition, the company has made great efforts in its administrative buildings in order to improve resources use:
- Open area design taking full advantage of natural light and near air conditioning and heating vents.
- At least one videoconference room in each office to reduce business travels.
- Use of recycled paper, bleached without chlorine or which satisfies other environmental requirements in all offices.
- Refuse not to re-use is the slogan used in the decoration of EDPR office in Madrid with the aim of fostering recycling in the company. This initiative will be launched in 2011 in other EDPR offices.
- Reusable bags printed with this catchphrase have been made as EDPR merchandising in different events.
In 2010, we launched the first Sustainability survey in order to know what’s relevant for EDPR employees regarding sustainability. employees suggested numerous proposals to improve our sustainability performance.
During 2011, we will develop some of them at EDPR offices:
- Set double-sided printing by default
- Look for an alternative to water plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic packaging generated.
- Establish internal measures to reduce power consumption and perform staff awareness campaigns.
- Improve waste collection points in the offices, data collection and its analysis.
As well, ongoing educational campaigns for employees regarding environmental good practices will continue
Initiatives focused on EDPR sustainability improvement are not only taken at offices. In 2010 several actions have been also launched in our wind farms:
- Installation of programmable thermostat to minimize energy consumption.
- Laptops and printers turning off at the end of the day to decrease electricity consumption.
- Rainwater supply system installed at substations.
- Employees at wind farms have begun sharing the responsibility of recycling by voluntarily carrying recyclable materials to the nearest waste recycling point in areas with lack recycling facilities nearby.
- Ordering of large-capacity containers to reduce the amount of waste when purchasing oil or other products.
Waste generation is one of the main environmental aspects to control wind farms in operation. In EDPR we pay special attention to enhance monitoring of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. as part of our training plan, EDPR employees as well as those working on our behalf are aware of its importance. the training helped increase awareness on waste management requirements, challenges and solutions, and addressed issues such as material storage, labeling, transport and recycling.
“It is in our interest to reduce the waste generated in every project. I believe that we do and must continue to work even more closely with our suppliers to minimize labor and material waste.”
EDPR Project Manager
In Spain a guide with information about hazardous and non-hazardous waste management (segregation, packaging, labeling, storage and related documents) has been distributed.
In the United States, site specific Waste Management plans were developed for every wind farm, specifically tailored to outline waste storage, disposal and transport for every solid waste, including any hazardous material that could be found on site.
Currently we’re working to collect waste generated regarding disposal method.
The raise on the amount of waste generated is due to the increase of installed power.
EDPR has defined a systematic environmental emergency response as part of the EMS implementation process. This procedure sets out the guidelines regarding environment in case of fire, flood or spill at wind farms. These guidelines are annually checked through questionnaires, simulacrum, etc.
Any environmental incident is recorded in the emergency register which collects information about the event date, location, emergency situation occurred, causes, impacts and corrective measures taken.
Also, under the EMS, employees at wind farms attend training sessions in which, apart from other things, is explained how to deal with an environmental emergency and what to do once it is overcome.
In the united States all our wind farms have a spill plan in place that registers how the sites will respond to spills.
Environmental emergencies are not common at our wind farms. In 2010 there were a total of 3 significant spills. All of them were oil spills and took place in the United States. The total quantity for these spills equals 1 m3.
The spills were promptly reported to the local environmental government agency and all necessary cleanup measures were completed and verified, so that no oil remained on the ground or reached a waterway. Since half of these incidents were a result of electrical failures, we have replaced grounding transformers, and installed concrete containment pits for the grounding transformers at one of our wind farms in the United States. The transformers were replaced to reduce the possibility of future equipment failures. The concrete containment pit will significantly diminish the chance of releases to the environment if additional failures occur.
With the purpose of minimizing emergencies at our facilities, we implemented an environmental incident database in 2008 in the united States, which serves as system to capture near misses. In europe we are currently working on a near-miss system which will be operative in 2011.