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GEK TERNA Group
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Caring For Our People
Corporate Responsibility Report 2018
Caring For Our People
Corporate Responsibility Report 2018
The Group identifies and prioritizes the environmental risks associated with its activities which may cause negative impacts both on the Group’s stakeholders (e.g. local communities) as well as on the wider natural environment.
In addition, the Group identifies the risks related to Climate Change, which to some extent determines the Group’s business strategy, through the strategic development of renewable energy projects and the adoption of mitigation measures of its environmental footprint.
Such risks may considerably affect the Group’s business model (e.g. need for immediate independence from conventional energy sources, increased operating costs to adopt new environment friendly technologies, regulatory sanctions due to increased requirements).
The Group’s environmental strategy includes provisions for:
• the compliance with legal and other regulatory requirements
• the implementation and upgrade of the Environmental Management System
• the prevention of environmental impacts and the utilization of new technologies
• the training of employees on environmental issues and the engagement with stakeholders
• the integrated management of the environmental footprint (natural resources, energy, materials use, waste) for all of the Group’s its activities
• the synergies to combat climate change and foster an environmental culture
Responsible Energy Management
OUR MANAGEMENT APPROACH
: Responsible energy management is becoming more and more significant as it positively contributes not only to climate protection but also to economic activity, the natural environment and generally to the quality of life. The Group, through the very nature of its activities and particularly in the field of infrastructure, seeks to optimize its energy efficiency through the implementation of low energy footprint infrastructures. The Group’s activities, focusing on energy production from RES and the creation of a decentralized system of power plant units, ensure the access to clean energy, improve the security of energy supply and efficiency, and therefore reduce the adverse impacts of fossil fuel combustion to the environment. With regard to its operation, the Group recognizes that being able to assess its energy demand and mitigate its energy consumption of tis operations presupposes the systematic recording and monitoring of energy consumption throughout its operations. The Group’s goal for 2019 is to continue integrating even more operational units and companies in the process of data collection, while further expanding its methodological approach on data collection.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND EQUIPMENT:
The development of infrastructure with low energy footprint is a priority for the Group.To this end, the Group implements projects with bioclimatic design and is certified by systems which assure that its buildings have been designed and constructed based on environmentally friendly energy saving practices. A prime example of a LEED Platinum certification project is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), which has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification as a Green Building, which is the highest possible award for environmental and sustainable use of buildings internationally. GEK TERNA Group recognizes that the equipment used may adversely affect the environment. For this reason, it invests in the refurbishment and maintenance of its machinery, aiming to improve energy efficiency and increase their lifespan.
ENVIRONMENTAL TRAINING OF EMPLOYEES:
The cultivation of a broader corporate culture in energy efficiency is a prerequisite for the implementation of energy saving measures and the improvement of the overall energy footprint of the Group. To this end, the Group plans training programs on an annual basis to inform and train its employees systematically and properly. The department responsible for the delivery of the trainings is the Environmental Management Department. These trainings are based on both the needs and requirements of the projects as well as the roles and tasks of the employees.
Tackling Climate Change
OUR MANAGEMENT APPROACH:
Addressing climate change is a priority for the Group, which focuses on moving to a less fossil-fuel dependent economy and ensuring the well-being of its stakeholders through the creation of sustainable cities and societies. The Group has the expertise and the operational capability to identify opportunities and to mitigate the risks associated with climate change for the benefit of Sustainable Development. Although climate change affects the business continuity of the Group, the business opportunities created can contribute to both its economic growth and to mitigate the negative effects of the phenomenon. The Group’s activity in the production of clean energy is directly related to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, through the construction of pumped storage projects that will safeguard the country’s energy system, the storage of clean energy, the creation of waste treatment plants that utilize cutting-edge technologies for sound waste management and biogas production, the development of innovative infrastructure projects that minimize their energy footprint and the construction of new highways of international standards, the Group responds to the challenges of climate change and creates indirect and induced value from its operation. This is achieved through a series of projects implemented and investments planned, such as:
- Construction of pumped storage projects that will support the security of the country’s energy system.
- Clean energy storage.
- Create waste treatment plants utilizing state-of-theart technologies for the proper management of waste but also biogas production.
- Development of innovative infrastructure projects that minimize their energy footprint.
- Construction of new highways of international standards.
IDENTIFYING BUSINESS RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES:
Climate change affects almost all areas of activity of the Group, both in terms of supply and demand. Specifically, in supply, there is an increase in the frequency of adverse weather events that may affect the Group’s operations, causing potential disruption of operations and consequently increased construction costs and/or operational costs due to manufacturing and/or operational difficulty associated with the inability of employees to perform their duties. Adverse weather conditions, because of climate change, can affect both the operating costs of project development and the operational and maintenance costs of its projects and consequently the associated risks are considered when designing projects. At the same time the variability of wind data can have a significant impact on the business planning of wind power projects and consequently the associated risks and potential opportunities are taken into consideration during the project design phase through in-depth scientific studies that work in the direction of mitigating the impact of the risks involved and identifying and exploiting potential business opportunities. Regarding demand, the Group recognizes the need to build new infrastructure that respond to the effects of climate change. The selection of materials to respond to climate change because of the phenomenon is taken into account from the early stages of infrastructure design, to accurately predict the energy needs of infrastructure projects that will lead to a reduction in the operational costs of the projects. Moreover, in the field of energy production and distribution, the Group recognizes the increase in electricity demand, mainly for air conditioning and heating purposes respectively, and therefore adapts its business model to the production and storage of clean energy.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION INSPECTIONS:
To tackle climate change, it is necessary to take measures for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. For that purpose and in order to reduce the environmental footprint and to continuously improve its performance, the Group implements a modern and integrated Environmental Management System. In this way, the Group identifies and records the impacts on the full range of the Group activities, which then can take all necessary measures. To this end, the Group applies a certified Environmental Management System in accordance with the international standard ISO 14001 for the companies TERNA, TERNA S.A. ABU DHABI, TERNA ENERGY, TERNA MAG, NEA ODOS, CENTRAL GREECE MOTROWAY, HERON, GEK Services, HELIOCHORA. In addition, through the annual inspections that was carried out in all its activities, as part of the implementation of the System, the Group is able to assess more fully and efficiently the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. MITIGATION OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS The Group’s business model is strategically oriented in addition to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change, mainly through the development of energy production and waste management projects. GEK TERNA Group, mainly through its subsidiary TERNA ENERGY, contributes significantly to the prevention of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere through the production of RES energy, as well as other gas emissions, such as methane which is properly managed in the waste management units it operates. The Group documents and communicates the impact of its activities, through its electronic and printed media (Sustainability Report, website, press releases, etc.), to all its stakeholders.
Protecting and Preserving Biodiversity
OUR MANAGEMENT APPROACH:
Many of the Group’s activities, such as infrastructure development and highway construction, wind farms and hydroelectric projects, take place within areas of high biological value. The adoption of a broader culture of protection and preservation of biodiversity by all employees is a prerequisite for responsible environmental performance, regulatory compliance of the Group with relevant environmental legislation, mitigation of its impact on biodiversity and safeguarding the Group’s business continuity. To achieve this, the Group implements certified systems, conducts trainings on biodiversity conservation to its employees and the visitors of construction sites, takes initiatives to promote and protect local ecosystems and continuously operates in accordance with and beyond the standard environmental legislation framework, by using mechanisms to monitor and record its effects on biodiversity and the wider natural environment. To protect and preserve biodiversity, the Group prepares Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), which are required for the environmental licensing process for new projects. Along with the EIA, the Group is conducting Special Studies in collaboration with other bodies, specialized scientists and organizations, such as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), aiming at retrieving information and utilizing studies conducted for protecting local ecosystem and integrating them into the business planning of his projects and their use in the design of studies that will ensure the environmental licensing of its projects.
RESTORATION OF AREAS AND WORK SURFACES:
The Group recognizes that each of its activities create an environmental footprint in the area where the project is being carried out and therefore, minimizes its footprint through environmental studies it performs in each of its projects and its rehabilitation studies. the natural environment and the relevant action plan it develops, with the aim of responsible and integrated management of the whole life cycle of the projects it undertakes. The restoration works considers the existing biological wealth of the adjacent or passing ecosystems of the Group, in order to ensure the preservation of the ecosystems at the end of its operations and to secure its social license to operate. Specifically, in the anticipations for the restoration of the natural landscape, in the case of wind energy projects, the Group makes detailed forecasts for the wind turbines’ decommissioning and the restoration of the surrounding area. The provisions are part of a broader and more comprehensive rehabilitation design, which incorporates the recovery operations of significant quantities of raw materials and materials for reuse in other identified needs among the Group’s various activities.
RESPONSIBLE ENVIRONMENTAL BEHAVIOR AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY:
The Group ensures the protection and preservation of the natural ecosystems that surround its activities, through the responsible management of the waste that generate all its operations and activities. Through the systematic monitoring of waste by category (hazardous - non-hazardous), by kind (solid-liquid waste) and by type (lubricants, lamps, timber, paper, municipal waste, etc.), the Group is able to evaluate and apply the best waste management methods. To this end, it collaborates with licensed bodies and special partners to collect - recover, process, reuse and / or dispose of its waste, reducing its environmental footprint, lighten landfills and protecting local ecosystems and biodiversity areas in which it operates. The adoption of the principles of the circular economy, under the context of responsible environmental operation but above all in reducing the impact on biodiversity, allows the Group to reuse significant quantities of generated waste (e.g. excavation, construction and demolition waste) to meet other needs between the Group companies and the different points of operation. During the reporting period, 33,939 tons of waste were reused for the restoration of Temploni and Lefkimi landfills in Corfu. Regarding the management of hazardous waste, the Group’s activities often produce waste with high concentrations of toxic substances, that makes them hazardous to the environment and public health. In this regard, the Group shall design and take all necessary measures to eliminate the risk of potential contamination of the natural environment, forexample using UN-certified barrels, to ensure the transport of hazardous waste and more specifically for the collection and storage of lubricating oils used for its equipment. Additionally, all office buildings and Group workplaces implement a complete recycling system for paper, electronic and electrical equipment and lamps and batteries, using special collection bins and in collaboration with specialist partners to further dispose and reuse recyclables.
MATERIALS AND RAW MATERIALS:
The Group, from the planning phase of its projects, is making sure to select those materials that will have a long-life span as well as the lowest possible environmental footprint in order to contribute to its effort to adapt the structures it develops to climate change. More specifically, in Group projects, which have a life span of several decades, the right choice of materials capable of operating at rising temperatures, severe weather and extreme changes is critical to the durability of the infrastructure and their long-term sustainability. Moreover, The Group, is taking into account the principles of Circular Economy, ensures the most efficient use of the raw materials and materials selected, by adopting materials recovery and reuse practices between the different activities and companies of the Group, aiming to a responsible management and conservation of natural resources.
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