Endesa launches a pioneering environmental footprint calculation tool

Published on Wednesday, 8 April 2015

  • The environmental footprint allows the environmental "pressure" of a certain activity to be demonstrated, quantifying the environmental aspects generated during the life cycle of said activity and calculating the impact caused to the receiving environment (atmosphere, water, or soil, among others).
  • This new tool has been developed voluntarily, once again going above and beyond current environmental legislation, as previously occurred with the carbon footprint.
  • Faced with the lack of standards, the most significant existing international benchmarks have been used to create the tool. Notable among these are the recent guides developed by the European Union to calculate the environmental footprint of organizations and products.

 

Endesa now has its own pioneering tool for environmental footprint calculation, which allows the "pressure" all of its businesses have upon the environment to be demonstrated. Once again, the company has outpaced current regulations, as already occurred with the carbon footprint, and has designed its own methodology based upon European benchmarks. The 2011 footprint has been calculated using this approach, but during the first quarter, footprint evolution between 2011 and 2014 will be made available, with the aim of being able to begin to compare businesses and installations, identify points for environmental improvement, and analyse trends.

This will help with the overall management of all businesses from an environmental standpoint, quantifying the environmental aspects generated during the life cycle of said activity and calculating the impact caused to the receiving environment (atmosphere, water, or soil, among others).

The most significant existing international benchmarks have been used to create the tool. Notable among these are the recent guidelines developed by the European Union to calculate the environmental footprint of organizations and products.

The scope of Endesa's Environmental Footprint includes thermal and hydraulic power generation and electric distribution businesses, mining, port terminals and offices in the areas of Spain, Portugal and Morocco. The value of each installation or business's environmental footprint is the sum total of its sub-footprint. The sum total of the sub-footprints for all of the businesses considered gives Endesa's Environmental Footprint.

The methodological focus for the calculation of this indicator is based upon life cycle analysis. This means that, along with quantification of the direct environmental impacts generated by Endesa's activities, indirect environmental aspects are also quantified. These indirect impacts, although not generated by sources owned by or controlled by the organization, are nonetheless a consequence of its activities.

This tool seeks to integrate other environmental components into the business strategy, together with the carbon component, through the atmospheric, hydro, resource consumption, water, noise and flora and fauna sub-footprints. Endesa already holds certification from the AENOR Carbon Footprint certification agency and has begun work in the area of integral water management.

Other objectives pursued with this tool are to reflect Endesa's global condition in different environments; to optimize processes throughout the supply chain; to analyse evolution in environmental performance, detecting possible deviation and emphasizing the improvements achieved; and to compare businesses, technologies and installations with varying conditions under the same, unified criteria, with the aim of being able to evaluate all environmental risks and make decisions.