Our role

We minimise our impact and implement sustainable and innovative solutions to generate value in the environment.

Our commitment to the fight against climate change is consolidated through the implementation of strategies aimed at the production of renewable energy and the minimisation and compensation of the emissions generated by our activities.

CO2 avoided: 2018-2022

CO2 avoided: 2018-2022

Decarbonising our electricity production

Decarbonising our electricity production
As of the end of 2020, the carbon intensity of ERG's generation portfolio stood at 150 gCO2 /kWhe which is less than half of the average intensity of Italian generation and about a quarter of that in Europe (source: Terna).

Atmospheric emissions: a sustainable and reliable commitment

Our commitment to the fight against climate change is consolidated through the implementation of strategies aimed at the production of renewable energy and the minimisation and compensation of the emissions generated by our activities.

The environmental management systems adopted to stimulate sustainable growth allow us to optimise our production processes, control plans, monitoring systems and continuous improvement goals. While producing electricity from renewable sources does not generate direct emissions, as part of our energy transition our technology portfolio also contains a CCGT, a natural gasfuelled high-yield cogeneration turbine.

This confirms our willingness to reduce both direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and minimise our impact on the natural environment.
    Almost all of our direct emissions ("Scope 1" emissions) result from the operation of ERG Power's CCGT plant. In operation since 2010, the plant has a configuration that guarantees high yields and minimal emission levels in line with the Best Available Techniques (BAT) and well below the legal limits.

    The improvement processes introduced over the years have led to an increase in efficiency and a gradual reduction in emissions per MWh produced. As the plant is subject to the EU-ETS regulation and does not benefit from the allocation of free allowances, the CO2 emissions are certified by a third party and sent to the Italian Ministry for the Environment on an annual basis.
    Other Scope 1 emissions are generated by:
    • SF6 (sulphur hexafluoride) leaks from some high voltage equipment;
    • F-gas (fluorinated gases) leaks from air conditioning systems;
    • the use of company vehicles.

    The values of these emissions are negligible (approximately 0.05% of total SCOPE 1 emissions).

    In 2018 we adopted a sustainable transport programme that takes account of the Group's mobility requirements and the distribution of our employees across Italy: around a third of employees are located in Genoa, with the remainder split between the sites in Rome and Terni and the plants distributed across the country.

    Although this geographic distribution precludes the direct implementation of sustainable transport, we have aimed to optimise the logistics regarding employee transport in order to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible.
    In particular, the following measures have been adopted:
    • company vehicles can be shared by employees for transfers between the Group's sites (typically Genoa-Terni and Rome-Terni transfers);
    • vehicles for General Services, generally used in the city, are 100% electric;
    • our "car policy" involves the use of hybrid vehicles.
    Meanwhile, our indirect GHG emissions from energy consumption ("Scope 2" emissions) are generated by the purchase of national grid electricity required for the functioning of the plants if they are not operational, and by condominium services for the offices.

    In mid-2016 the Sustainability Committee approved a project for the supply of renewable energy for all Group requirements where technically feasible.

    We have continued to pursue this commitment over the years with around 89% of our supply requirements met using renewable energy at the end of 2019, with estimated savings of around 12,000 tonnes of CO2.

    Emissions can also be reduced by using energy more efficiently: for this reason we have launched a project to replace existing lighting systems with new LED technology systems. The first step in this direction took place in 2016 in the Genoa offices and at
    the ERG Power plant.

    In 2017 we extended the project to the ERG Hydro site in Terni. At this site the energy diagnosis studies have made it possible to improve the efficiency of the heating, air conditioning, sanitary water and lighting systems.
    Commissioning of new plants in the offices and in the control rooms, will produce savings of around 700 kWh/year (-57% consumption).
    The balance for the activities will therefore make it possible to reduce consumption of over 500 t/year of CO2.
    Atmospheric emissions are generated by burning methane gas in our CCGT plant, which was launched in 2010. However, the NOx (nitrogen oxide) emission levels are well below legal limits and in line with the BAT, thank to high-yield combustion units that reduce emissions.

    These emissions (NOx - nitrogen oxide, and CO - carbon monoxide) are constantly measured through Monitoring Systems (EMS), which monitor the plant during "normal" and "transition" operating phases and verify compliance with the legal limits. If the instrument is unavailable, they also calculate and validate the missing data.

    The validity and functionality of the equipment for monitoring and maintaining the performances of the EMSs is guaranteed by application of the UNI EN 14181:2015 standard that establishes the periodic maintenance and calibration by both internal staff and specialised companies, with a final audit by external bodies. Thanks to the use of methane there are no particulate emissions.
    Our indirect GHG emissions ("Scope 3" emissions) comprise emissions generated by:
    employee transfers.
    The travel agency that manages employee transfers reports the data based on a certified method, according to which indirect emissions in 2019 amounted to around 1.0 kt of CO2 (0.9 kt in 2018);

    the wind energy supply chain.
    The estimated values, calculated using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of certain turbine models (over 79% of production and around 83% of machines), come to around 31 kt CO2.

    It is much more difficult to estimate the emissions along the supply chain for the other technologies (hydroelectric and thermoelectric) as the plants are comprised of numerous components from different suppliers, unlike wind farms, which have a single supplier. Furthermore, some of the hydroelectric infrastructure were built between 1920 and 1950, and their environmental impacts can therefore be considered to have already been amortised over the years.

    Our contribution to reducing the emission of pollutants is further formalised in our "Plastic- Free" project. Thanks to this initiative, we have significantly reduced our use of bottled water through the introduction of water purifiers throughout the public network and the substitution of plastic single-use cups with paper ones, resulting in a reduction of around 15 t of CO2 in 2019 and around 26 t on an annual basis.

    Emissions relating to the electricity acquired and resold in Italy to wholesalers and end clients have not been reported in line with the recommendations of the GHG Protocol - Appendix A - "Calculation of indirect emissions generated by acquired energy".
    2020 2019 2018 2017
Scope 1 emission originated by energy production kt 1,147 1,155 1,008 1,130
Other Scope 1 emissions (2)  kt 0.4 1.3 1.4 1.0
Scope 2 emissions (1) kt 1.3 1.4 1.5 2.2
Scope 3 emissions generated by capital goods (Wind) kt 26 31 29 -

(1) The indirect emissions are calculated on the basis of the conversion factors relating to the gross thermoelectric production of each country published by Terna on its website (Source: Terna, international comparisons) and according to the Location Based and Market based approach.
(2) The variation is determined by the inclusion of the company technical fleet not previously accounted for. The emissions generated by vehicles allocated for mixed use were counted at 50%.