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Environmental governance

  • GRI

Protecting the environment and natural resources, combating climate change and contributing to sustainable economic development are strategic factors in the planning, operation and development of Enel’s activities. They are also essential for consolidating the Company’s leadership in the energy markets. Environmental targets are an integral part of the 2019-2021 Sustainability Plan, submitted to the Board of Directors for analysis and assessment through the Control and Risks Committee and the Corporate Governance and Sustainability Committee.

Since 1996 Enel has implemented a Group environmental policy, updated at the beginning of 2018 and included in the beginning of this chapter, which applies to each company structure and to the whole value chain1.

Environmental activities are carried out within Enel through an organization that reaches across operational units, coordinated by a central Holding unit in terms of general environmental policy guidelines. In the Business Lines and Global Service Functions there are structures and figures in charge at various levels, guaranteeing the operational implementation of shared strategies and guidelines.

In particular, the Staff Functions coordinate the management of the respective environmental issues, ensuring the necessary specialist support consistent with the Holding’s guidelines, while the operating units manage the specific aspects of the various industrial sites.

Within the Group, the people devoted to management of environmental topics in 2018 totaled 567 Full Time Equivalent (FTE), marking an increase over last year (425 FTE).

As far as environmental expenditure is concerned, in 2018 the total financial commitment for protection and preservation of the environment was over 1 billion euros, subdivided into 783 million euros for operating expenses (771 million euros in 2017) and 392 million euros for investments (213 million euros in 2017). The increase in investments is mainly due to progress of the work on the renewable plants, notably hydroelectric and wind power installations. In particular, investments in environmental upgrading of thermal plants in 2018 amounted to around 82 million euros. As part of the policy for reduction of greenhouse gases, Enel participates in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme - EU-ETS, the running costs for Italy of which were around 315 million euros (in 2017 they were 236 million euros). See also the chapter “Growth across low-carbon technologies and services”.

1 The Enel Group environmental policy covers the whole value chain, and applies to: all the production phases for each product and service, including distribution and logistics, as well as the related waste management; each site and building; all relations with external stakeholders; all merger and acquisition processes; each key commercial partner (including partners related to unmanaged operations, joint ventures, outsourcing or third-party manufacturers); each supplier, including suppliers of services and contractors; all due diligence and merger and acquisition processes.

Environmental management systems

Application of Environmental Management Systems certified to ISO 14001 throughout the entire organization is one of the strategic environmental targets defined in the Group’s environmental policy. In accordance with this target, at the end of 2018 nearly all operating assets (power plants, networks, services, real estate, sales, etc.) were covered by an active, certified Environmental Management System. Pre-certification activities were started for new plants and installations.

Given the complexity and variety of operations carried out, the Group decided to adopt management systems based on a modular approach. A management system was therefore defined at a Holding level, ISO 14001:2015 certified in 2018, to steer and coordinate Business Lines on environmental topics. Each Business Line then introduced its own Environmental Management System focusing on its own specific activities. The management systems introduced satisfy the new requirements introduced in the latest edition of the standard (14001:2015). In particular, with regard to the requirements related to analysis of the context, the systems used the analyses presented in the Sustainability Report (see the chapter entitled “Definition of priorities”) which take into account both the external and internal context.

At the main thermal generation sites, from geothermics or from biomass- es in Europe, Enel has also obtained EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, registration.

Moreover, in compliance with the four fundamental principles on which the environmental policy is based, most specifically with the commitment to “protecting the environment by anticipating impacts”, in 2018 the Group’s new “Stop Work Policy” was defined, in which all workers are requested to take prompt action and stop activities not only when there are health and safety risks, but also in the case of risks for the environment.


At Enel we are constantly working to promote and consolidate a culture of health and safety for everyone involved in our activities wherever they are in the world. We are raising awareness of risks and promoting responsible behavior in order to ensure that work is carried out to a high quality standard without accidents or injuries, because everyone who works with us represents our most precious resource, deserving of our protection.

We are committed to protecting the environment, with the conviction that preventing risks and promoting responsible behavior is key to defending our wellbeing and that of future generations.

We therefore ask each and every one of you to intervene quickly and stop any activity that might jeopardize your health and safety or that of others or, similarly, that might cause harm to the environment. Specifically, these are activities that could be detrimental to the quality of environmental elements (air, soil, water, flora and fauna), or to a site’s archaeological and artistic heritage.

We also ask you to promptly report to your immediate superior or to a higher local Enel representative, any unsafe behavior and any action, omission, or situation that could potentially lead to a workplace injury or environmental damage.

The order to Stop Work must be applied without fear of consequences. No blame or responsibility will be attributed to an employee or subcontractor who reports in good faith a situation of particular risk or who stops work, even if this action should subsequently prove to have been unnecessary.

Our daily commitment is to the health and safety of workers and the protection of the environment, which take priority over any other need.

    Francesco Starace
Amministratore Delegato
  e Direttore Generale


Training is one of the strategic targets of the Group’s policy and an integral part of the Environmental Management System. In addition to annual planning of training needs for each production unit, in 2018 an environmental training program was launched aiming to increase the expertise of technical personnel and awareness of those responsible for operational management. The program began in Thermal Generation in Italy and will be extended as from 2019 to the other Business Lines and other Countries. In 2018, an overall total of 32,000 hours of training were given on Environmental Management System issues, such as water and waste management, environmental rehabilitation, and preventive action.

Environmental risk analysis

During 2018, the renewed Environmental Management System previously described was further endowed with three important tools able to increase it safeguards even more:

  • Environmental Risk and Opportunity Assessment Policy, able to integrate divisional approaches synergistically into a single shared, organic and harmonious model. The new policy will guarantee more effective classification and management of risks and opportunities for the environment and the organization. The chosen approach, increasingly more directed towards the whole life cycle of products and services, involves analysis of processes and operational activities conducted at each site or in each territorial area, as well as aspects regarding checking of regulatory and voluntary compliance, governance and strategic guidelines related to the central Functions of the organization;
  • Policy on Extra Checking on Site (ECoS). ECoS is a tool for planning and conducting site visits by groups of inter-divisional experts in support of operating plants and structures, with the aim of identifying improvement plans and sharing best practices. With an approach organized in precise assessment clusters, ECoS analyze workplaces, management and control systems, the organizations and practices used in the environmental, as well as health and safety areas;
  • Group Policy on Classification and Analysis of Accidental Environmental Events. Accidental environmental events are classified by type and significance based on an estimate of their possible impact on the environmental matrices and any sensitive targets (ecosystems and protected areas), as well as their possible negative effects on the organization. Depending on their classification and significance, the policy identifies the procedures to be carried out for their communication, analysis of their causes and monitoring of subsequent corrective action and improvements.