We are committed to invest in assets that are environmentally sustainable and managed in a sustainable manner. We follow policies that analyze, evaluate and propose measures to minimize the environmental impact of our business activity.
Our Environmental and Quality Management System complies with the standards ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. These certifications cover management and acquisition of contracted assets. They were obtained for the first time in 2015 and are valid until May 2021. Our Environmental and Quality Management System is audited annually by an external third party (DNV GL).
Our management system guarantees that we comply with the regulations in force and with our policies in each of the markets we operate. In this sense, we measure and monitor the environmental impact of our activities and we define and implement action plans to reduce this impact, in relation with:
- Emissions. We calculate and monitor our GHG emissions from Scope 1 and Scope 2. We are currently in the process of estimating our Scope 3 emissions.
- Water. We make a rational and sustainable use of water, including the water we use for desalination and for energy generation.
- Waste: Hazardous and non-hazardous waste is generated in the operation of our assets. Our environmental management system includes actions aimed at minimization and improvement of waste management (identification, segregation, recycling, prevention and reporting).
We have established a goal to reduce our emission rate per unit of energy generated by 10% by 2030. We also intend to maintain 80% of our revenues generated from low-carbon footprint including our renewable, transportation and transmission infrastructures and water assets. The achievement of these targets is reviewed by top management in our Environment Committee, which is held once a month. We also report to our Board at every meeting on the progress of our ESG plan and semi-annually on the main environmental indicators (GHG, water and waste).
In addition, we perform annual internal audits in our assets aimed at reviewing compliance with our best practices and promoting constant improvement. These audits are focused on a broad range of areas of asset management and include environmental aspects. The purpose of these audits is to review operational, maintenance and environmental indicators, as well as compliance and reporting requirements. In 2018, 11 of our assets were audited and 188 improvement actions were identified. Action plans have been set to reach the internal standards required and are currently ongoing.
Regarding our Suppliers, we have a strong system in place to guarantee our suppliers comply with an appropriate level of ethics and respect to human rights (see our Social and Governance sections). In 2019 we intend to reinforce the environmental certification of our suppliers, we have already engaged the services of the external provider Ecovadis to standardize our suppliers by their commitment to sustainability, not only from Human Rights point of view, but also from an environmental perspective.
It is clear that climate change is already having an impact in our activities. Scientists have stated that the world will suffer significant negative impacts if the overall society, governments and corporations do not take the right steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now. A special report published in October 2018 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed that global CO2 concentration since 2000 has increased 10 times faster than any sustained rise in CO2 during the past 800,000 years.
At Atlantica, sustainability is a key pillar of our long-term strategy:
- We are committed to invest in renewable energy assets, and in transmission, natural gas and storage as enablers of the energy transition.
- Environment will remain as a priority in planning our business through: (i) innovation and eco-efficiency initiatives and, (ii) the gradual reduction of environmental impacts of all our activities.
We have set goals related to: (i) maintain a very significant amount of our revenues generated from low-carbon footprint assets (i.e., renewable energy, transportation and transmission infrastructures and water assets) and, (ii) reduce our emission rate per unit of energy.
Through this policy, we commit to:
- Protect the environment in the areas where we operate and integrate environmental protection in the decision-making processes.
- Comply with environmental laws, regulations, permit requirements and internal policies in each of the markets where we operate.
- Continue to increase environmental awareness.
- Reduce our GHG emissions over time and disclose GHG initiatives, targets, deadlines, monitoring and periodic audits.
- Analyze and implement internal energy efficiency measures in our operating assets.
- Maintain and periodically review our environmental management system.
- Foster using natural resources more efficiently.
- Maintain the necessary indicators to obtain quantifiable information to measure and monitor the environmental performance and impacts of our activities and, define and implement action plans to reduce such impact in relation with:
- Emissions: calculating and monitoring our Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions.
- Water: calculating and monitoring our water usage by promoting a rational and sustainable use.
- Waste: calculating and monitoring our waste and implementing initiatives aimed at minimization and improvement of waste management.
- Appropriately manage environmental risks and opportunities. We have developed a risk analysis methodology based on ISO 31000 and common market practices. As such, we commit to maintain a robust risk analysis process that at least contains:
- Risk identification: identify the causes that may turn into a risk situation, classifying those potential causes in natural, human, intentional, accidental and technological.
- Risk assessment: evaluate the risk including an analysis of the potential frequency and impact.
- Risk management plan: manage the risk in order to mitigate the effects that it may cause.
- Consult and collaborate with environmental third-party oriented stakeholders when appropriate and foster discussions and partnerships on environmental issues with public and private entities.
- Identify relevant non-GHG air emissions, analyze initiatives and appropriately implement measures to reduce such emissions.
- Implement and share best practices when appropriate.
- Report key measures taken towards the conservation of environment in the areas where we operate.
The Board of Directors of Atlantica is responsible for the oversight of environmental risks and opportunities as well as overseeing the implementation specific initiatives.
Atlantica’s senior management monitors the accomplishment of this Environmental Policy in the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Committee.