Edison’s commitment to reducing environmental impacts is concentrated mainly in the operational management of its assets. Edison’s approach is to continuously implement mitigation, control and monitoring measures.
The Group’s environmental and safety policy highlights the principles that guide the work of its employees and contractors and is meant to further integrate sustainability into the business.
Therefore, Edison believes it is crucial to manage and mitigate the environmental impacts of its plant infrastructure while also increasing its drive towards a more sustainable use of natural resources and more efficient energy consumption. To this end, Edison applies environmental management systems (e.g., UNI EN ISO 14001 and EMAS) to monitor and manage environmental aspects, uses the best available techniques and strives to develop new technologies and environmentally-friendly sources. In addition, it is committed to training and informing its own employees and those of third party contractors about environmental issues and promoting transparent and ongoing communication with local communities.
The continuous monitoring of activities and full compliance with current legislation has led Edison to adopt certified management systems.
91% of Edison plants/operating sites are UNI EN ISO 14001 certified and some have also been registered with EMAS. In particular, in 2016, Edison Energy Solutions, a company operating in the Group’s new Energy Services Market Division, earned UNI EN ISO 14001:2015 certification. This certification was extended to every operating site managed by the company.
Over the course of 2016, Edison met the environmental requirements of current regulations within the established deadlines. Accordingly, it reported on the management of water withdrawn and disposed of, waste production and the management of fluorinated greenhouse gases, transmitted data for the INES/E-PRTR (Italian emission and source register/European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register) on plants within its scope of application (with emissions exceeding the thresholds established by law) and sent the reports required by emission trading legislation. Furthermore, Edison filed an application for integrated environmental authorisation and paid the fee for the Italian waste tracking system (SISTRI), while also consolidating the electronic tracking process for the transport of hazardous waste.
Throughout the year, all integrated management systems used at Edison sites were audited and updated. Specifically, 10 third party audits and 75 internal audits were conducted, mainly focused on maintaining and improving of operating practices. Unannounced inspections were also carried out in 2016 by public bodies and agencies.
Each year, a general review is conducted to ensure that the individual organisations’ management systems are consistent. 2016 results were analysed, improvement projects were planned for forthcoming years, the 2017 targets were set and the internal audit plan and training plan for professionals were announced.
No equipment at Edison sites contains PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls). Routine tests are carried out at the sites with ozone depleting substances and specific plant handbooks have been included in the environment and safety management system.
Edison has reaped substantial environmental benefits, including energy saves, from work on plants carried out in recent years.
The trend in environmental spending has been substantially steady over the 2014 - 2016 three-year period.
There were no incidents in 2016 with an impact on environmental matrices (soil, subsoil, surface water and biodiversity). Moreover, two procedures were implemented to report the potential contamination of oil leakage from wind towers at the sites owned by e2i, which were concluded without any impacts on the environment. In addition, there were two fires that affected part of the plant for the treatment of water from the water table at the Dogaletto reclamation site and part of the Castellavazzo biomass plant, without harming any people, land or the surrounding area.
TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTMENTS
To prevent incidents and manage emergencies, Edison has created management and operating procedures and routinely organises drills in which emergencies that could be harmful to the environment or people are simulated in order to identify the best possible way of containing potential damage.
The Edison Group’s organisational structure underwent a sweeping change in 2016, and this entailed the revision of certain internal procedures, including the “Crisis management guidelines”, to be even more effective in managing any kind of event in coordination with the EDF Group, as always.
Lastly, activities continued to classify, update to safety standards and reclaim sites, most of which are located in highly significant industrial areas that could potentially be polluted by the Montedison Group’s previous activities that have been sold and/or discontinued. Important projects in this respect were completed in 2016, including the completion of reclamation at the Muggia and Milan via Grazioli sites, while pending projects include the definitive certificate for Porto Marghera Stazione Prima, along with the kick-off of the reclamation process through the biodegradation of contaminants at Nuova Alba’s Dogaletto site. Furthermore, preliminary surveying activities were authorised in view of possible work on certain areas of the Bussi site, which is classified as being of national interest.
Edison uses the most innovative methods to minimise environmental impacts, such as ISCO (in situ chemical oxidation) systems or bioremediation, a technique that exploits the natural predisposition of bacterial communities to break down pollutant compounds for the reclamation and environmental restoration of contaminated sites.
Employee awareness and training on the environment are key gears in this process: Edison offers specific training and in 2016 it completed an environmental training program for the “professional family” of company experts in environmental protection. The program included courses on the new ISO 14001:2015 standard, waste management and artificial fibre glass, for a total of 16 hours.
CO2 EMISSIONS (t)
SPECIFIC CO2 EMISSIONS (gross g/Kwh)
EMISSIONS INTO THE ATMOSPHERE (T)
ELECTRIC SECTOR AND HYDROCARBON OPERATIONS
(thousands of m3)
WASTE PRODUCED (t)
WASTE DESTINATION (%)
Edison’s carbon emissions increased in 2016 due to the growth in thermoelectric operations, as certain nuclear power stations in France were stopped, reducing energy imports from France. NOx and SOx atmospheric emissions rose following the inclusion of Fenice in the reporting scope. The sale of the thermal plants in Milazzo and Piombino affected indicators on water use and effluents, while the consolidation of Fenice was the main reasons for the increase in waste produced.
As part of Edison’s complex environmental performance management, it devotes specific attention to the issue of biodiversity: in past years, it has assessed information on the use of soil, protected areas and the distribution of vertebrate species.
This information has made it possible to classify the sites on the basis of their sensitivity, above all by virtue of the fact that the authorisations for the realisation of new wind farms and photovoltaic power plants always include biodiversity monitoring for birds, bats and flora in general (considered as a habitat).
The Edison Group has conducted a comprehensive risk assessment of the activities performed at all its operating sites as part of the application of integrated health, safety and environmental management systems. In particular, atmospheric emissions, noise emissions and the management of hydroelectric basins are monitored in relation to complex weather events.
Collaboration with local communities is fundamental and often in the form of groups of people with specific interests in the areas where the Group operates, such as mountain communities, fishermen groups and local residents.
The most important activities carried out in 2016 concern:
- The heart of energy. Discovering Edison’s plants (July 2016): organisation of an open-house weekend at the hydroelectric power station in Meduno (Friuli), a press conference and VIP tour for local stakeholders. 2016 was the third year in a row that this event was held and it saw the participation of over 900 visitors who gained a better understanding of how the power station works by seeing it up close with guides. In collaboration with the local administrations of Meduno, Tramonti di Sopra and Tramonti di Sotto, during the two days of the open house, Edison proposed three energy redevelopment projects to be carried out in the local area, which visitors could vote on as part of a contest. The energy redevelopment project that garnered the most votes was a photovoltaic plant serving the multi-functional centre in Tramonti di Mezzo, with a public internet station, a medical clinic and blood donation offices.
- The “Tracciolino” trail was opened to the public. It is a 10-km long trail connecting the two dams Val Codera and Val di Ratti owned by Edison, now granted to the Valchiavenna mountain community and the Verceia and Novate Mezzola municipalities for free use. The trail will continue to be improved in 2017 with the help of schools in the local district, which will make signs with information about Tracciolino’s nature and history.
- The “Edison, power for the heart” project was made official. This project, in partnership with AREU, the regional emergency unit, will bring nine municipalities in the province of Sondrio into the network of sites with lifesaving cardiology equipment. Edison will donate 11 lifesaving automatic external defibrillators to the municipalities in Valchiavenna and Valtellina where it has hydroelectric power plants and to the provincial offices and Sondrio STER offices. It will also provide training on how to manage first aid outside the hospital.
Its years of experience with the Collalto seismic monitoring network is also significant. The infrastructure was created to monitor natural seismic events and any micro-events caused in the area where the field used for the Collalto stocking station is situated, in collaboration with the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics.
As for the Collalto seismic monitoring, the Ministry of the Environment and Land Protection and the Veneto Region expressed their opinion with respect to the installations near the stocking station, agreeing with Edison’s observations that no seismic micro events were recorded near the tank due to activities carried out at the stocking station. The Veneto Region also believes that the network of seismic micro-events tied to operations at the stocking station is correctly placed and sized considering its efficiency and functionality.
As a prerequisite for the concession renewal, in June 2016, a similar micro-seismic grid was build and rolled out at the Cellino site as well.