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  • GRI

ProjectsProjects by categorySpecies involvedHabitats affectedNumber of threatened species
NumberOf which voluntaryMonitoringRestoration (habitat)Conservation (specie)Mammals and batsBirdFishAmphibians and reptilesFloraTerrestrial ecosystemsAquatic ecosystemsWet zonesUrban enviromentCritically Endangered (CR)Endangered (EN)Vulnerable (VU)Near Threatened (NT)Least Concern (LC)

United States978%7-2132585
South Africa2-2-------

Biodiversity is one of the strategic targets of the environmental policy and is regulated by a specific policy, adopted by Enel in 2015, which establishes the guidelines for every initiative to safeguard biodiversity undertaken by the Group when generating, transmitting and distributing electricity.


Enel’s policy on biodiversity has been developed to contribute to the objectives of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the associated Aichi targets.

In particular, our company is committed to:

  • planning activities which can impact species and natural habitats respecting the principle of the “mitigation hierarchy”, whereby priority is given, rst, to avoid or prevent negative impacts; second, where impacts cannot be avoided, to minimize damage and rehabilitating their eects; and, lastly, to compensate (or osetting) for residual adverse impacts;
  • in case of unavoidable impacts, taking measures to compensate the residual impact to achieve “no net loss” of biodiversity and, where applicable, a positive net balance;
  • performing, for every new installation, impact studies that include a systematic assessment of the eects on biotypes, animal and vegetal species with the aim of avoiding operating in areas with the highest biodiversity values and adopting the best solutions to decrease the pressures on biodiversity elsewhere;
  • cooperating with local communities, academia or NGOs to identify the values of biodiversity and to develop projects for the ecosystem safeguard and restoration;
  • monitoring the eectiveness of implemented measures; 
  • reporting regularly on its performance related to biodiversity.

Enel has consolidated experience in the management of biodiversity in and around its sites, thanks to over 60 years experience operating plants that use thermal and renewable energy. Activities to safeguard biodiversity accompany the evolution of the company’s plants. In recent years the company’s growth has focused on the renewable energy sector and on grids in an ever-increasing number of countries. At dams and large thermal generation plants that have been present for a long time, large scale monitoring activities are maintained to prevent impacts on coastal and alluvial environments. As far as the location, especially for plants that use renewable energy, the possible exposure to biodiversity risks is highlighted right from the start, when the feasibility studies are conducted for the new plants, and considers the geographic proximity of the sites to protected areas, to areas that are important for biodiversity and to the possible presence of species that are at risk of extinction.

This evaluation is part of a broader analysis of the context, envisioned in the application of the “Creating Shared Value” model that the Company uses to evaluate the social, economic and environmental needs of the territory and to define the project in such a way that it creates long term value both for itself and for the local community. In order to get to know the location and its peculiarities local professionals are engaged to take part in field activities and follow some operations designed to safeguard the ante operam (baseline) biodiversity of the site, these include inventories of the flora and forests, a census of the species of animals in the area and of the plant’s impact, especially if the species will need to be partially captured and relocated. The movement of birds and bats is monitored before new wind plants are created.

These activities are followed by the authorization phase, in accordance with national regulations. Various alternatives are evaluated and the most suitable actions are defined, to minimize the impact of the plant on the habitats and species. Compliance with authorizations and with the mitigations proposed once again requires the involvement of external professionals during the construction phase for the plant. Once the plant is in operation, safeguarding biodiversity becomes an integral part of the environmental management plan. Over this phase periodic monitoring is used to control the impacts highlighted during the authorization phase. This is also the moment when the plant consolidates its engagement with the territory and develops initiatives, such as projects for the protection of local species, on a voluntary basis, based on the knowledge of the environment around the site.

Enel also works to keep its biodiversity management aligned with the best practices in the sector. In 2017 it even initiated a collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) whose conclusions are now an integral part of the definition of indicative guidelines for biodiversity management to be applied by the Group.

In 2018 157 projects were active for the safeguarding of species and natural habitats, with a total investment of 9.2 million euros and affecting 3.9 million hectares. The projects mainly affect Brazil, Chile, Spain and Italy and the technologies most affected are grids and hydroelectric and wind energy. Examples of measures taken to mitigate the impact on biodiversity, in application of the given policy, are available in the Sustainability section of the https://www. website. Some measures are put into effect as early as the worksite phase (during the construction of the plant, for example), others take longer and call for long term compensation (the reforestation project at the El Quimbo plant, for example).


The indigo macaw is an endangered species of parrot (Anodorhynchus leari, EN) that lives in the Brazilian Caatinga, the largest dry forest in South America. Its survival is threatened by the loss of habitat due to the expansion of agriculture and to its being used as a household pet.

In 2016 Enel Green Power started a project for the re-population of the indigo macaw in the Boqueirão da Onça region in Bahia, the location of the Delphina wind power plant (210 MW). At the moment of the plant’s construction only two non-nested specimens were known. The re-population happened in phases. The first phase (August 2017) called for the capture of six specimens donated by the Loro Park Foundation in Tenerife, Spain. A recovery site was then created for the reintroduced specimens (September 2018), where they were trained for survival in the natural environment. Once the coaching ended (January 2019) the parrots were released with sensors attached to track their movements by GPS. Action was also taken to raise the local population’s awareness, to help them recognize and contribute to the defense of the indigo macaw.


The LIFE Egyptian vulture project stems from one of five LIFE Nature & Biodiversity projects with an Italian leader presented for the competition opened in 2016 and co-financed by the European Commission. The beneficiary is the Egyptian vulture, an endangered vulture for whom the main hazard is its natural instinct to rest on electrical infrastructure, risking electrocution. With a five year duration (October 2017-September 2022) and a 5.1 million euro budget, of which 3.8 million were financed by the European Union, the project will be developed in Basilicata, Apulia, Calabria and Sicily, regions that are the location of nesting or transit by the Egyptian vulture, as it migrates toward Africa, and in Fuerteventura and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands (Spain), which are home to a subspecies known as the “guirre”, that is also in need of special attention given the limited number of pairs (about 60). The project partners are E-Distribuzione (project coordinator), Endesa Distribución, ISPRA (Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale), Federparchi, Regione Puglia, Regione Basilicata, the Government of the Canary Islands and GESPLAN (Gestión y Planeamiento Territorial y Medioambiental). Specifically, the project calls for preparatory actions, like workshops to share best practices or learn reproduction techniques, protective activities like the surveillance of nesting locations, the management of feeding areas, fighting the illegal use of poison and releasing specimens born in captivity. Both in Italy and in the Canary Islands, Enel will protect the electric lines to avoid the electrocution of Egyptian vultures when they rest on them.