Environmental, Social and Governance
Since Atlantica’s incorporation Sustainability has been one of our five Core Values. We view sustainable development as a powerful source of competitive advantage to generate economic value that also adds value for the society by addressing environmental and social challenges and safeguarding the transition to a low-carbon economy.
We own, invest and manage renewable energy, water desalination, efficient natural gas and other sustainable infrastructure assets, focused on North America, South America and EMEA. We intend to expand our business, maintaining North America, South America and Europe as our core geographies.
The earth's climate is now changing faster than, according to the 2018 U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment Report (the U.S. Global Change Research Program). The report indicates that climate change impacts are intensifying, and the severity of future impacts will depend on the efforts to reduce carbon emissions and how fast adaptations are being implemented. On a global basis, the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Risk Report identified extreme weather and failure to mitigate climate change as the two largest risks facing the global economy. We expect to continue delivering accretive growth by investing in low-carbon footprint assets, which undoubtedly will help us to achieve our sustainability targets and achieve further CO2 reduction. We believe that we can create more value over time by investing in assets that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to mitigate the impact of climate change, including energy efficiency and renewable energy assets.
Contributing to mitigate climate change is core in our strategy. We invest in, and manage, a portfolio of assets that reduce carbon emissions. In 2019 we helped to avoid up to approximately 4.7 million tons of CO2 compared with a 100% fossil fuel-based generation plant.
Investing in sustainable technologies and assets is only one part of our strategy. Managing those assets in a sustainable way is key to create value long term. In that regard, we have launched a number of initiatives to ensure that we manage efficiently, effectively and sustainably all key areas of our Company:
- In April 2020, we closed a Private Placement of approximately $320 million (€290 million) Green Senior Secured Notes in Euros. Net proceeds were primarily used to repay the 2017 Senior Secured Note Facility (“2017 NIFA”). The Green Finance was issued in compliance with 2018 Green Bond Principles.
- In February 2020, Sustainalytics updated our ESG Risk Rating assessment. Atlantica was rated as the top company within both the renewable power production and the broader utility industry, and in the top 1% in the global rating universe, improving our score versus last year. Sustainalytics is a leading provider of sustainability assessments globally and rates more than 12,000 companies.
- In January 2020, Atlantica was rated with a “B” by CDP, increasing two notches compared to its 2018 evaluation. Atlantica was rated higher than the Europe Regional Average and than the Renewable Power Generation Sector, both with a C in average. CDP is a leading provider of environmental management and transparency and rates more than 8,400 companies.
- In June 2019, we obtained our first ESG-linked financial guarantee line with a limit of approximately $39 million. The cost is linked to our environmental, social and governance performance under a leading sustainable rating agency (Sustainalytics). This agreement underlines our leading position in ESG.
- In January 2018, Atlantica joined the United Nations Global Compact (the “UNGC”) the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Atlantica reaffirms on a yearly basis its support to the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption. In our 2018 ESG report, which is publicly available to all our stakeholders, we describe our actions to integrate the Global Compact and its principles into our business strategy, culture and daily operations. In addition, we are committed to orient our action to 6 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including Affordable and Clean Energy and Climate Action.
- Health and Safety is our first priority and we want our employees, partners and contractors to apply the strongest standards to ensure safe and sustainable operations. We are firmly committed to maintain a zero-accident culture and to develop new initiatives. In 2019 we improved in all the main metrics. Loss Time Incident Rate decreased by 39% and remains well below sector average in all our geographies. In 2019, we celebrated with our operation and maintenance suppliers the achievement of 2,750, 2,000, 1,500 and 1,000 days without loss-time injury accidents in ATN, Helioenergy, Melowind and Solana, respectively. With this, by 2019 year-end, 80% of our assets had achieved more than 500 days without lost time accidents. As the only acceptable objective is no accidents of any kind, we will continue devoting all efforts necessary to continue improving.
- We maintain a strong Ethics and Corporate Governance culture. In 2019 we updated our compliance documents. Our Code of Conduct and Suppliers Code of Conduct guarantee respect of Human Rights, Labour Rights and Anti-corruption policies.
- We follow the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”).