Project-related integration of stakeholders and their interests
EVN is well aware of the social, ecological and economic impact of its business activities. Compliance with all relevant international guidelines and agreements and national legislation, above and beyond legal requirements, is a matter of course. A special focus is placed on the execution of environmental and social impact assessments and on proactive communications for new infrastructure projects. EVN supports the early, comprehensive and open inclusion of stakeholders in decision-making processes. From smallscale hydropower plants, pipeline projects, windparks and biomass heating plants to waste utilisation plants – all projects are planned and realised with the active participation of neighbouring residents, citizens’ groups, NGOs, political representatives, local initiatives and associations. The early inclusion of these various groups creates the basis for broad acceptance, provides valuable information on the best possible resource-conserving realisation and is a decisive factor for planning security (“licence to operate“).
A central role in this process is played by the project communication unit, which was established several years ago to institutionalise EVN’s project-related stakeholder communications. This unit serves as the Group-wide competence centre for participation, project and stakeholder communications, conflict prevention and conflict management and, as such, maintains direct contact with the managers of all major infrastructure projects. With the creation of this unit, EVN has built a bridge between the technical, financial and legal requirements of projects and Group requirements for participation, transparency and proactive communications, on the one side, and the needs and viewpoints of relevant stakeholder groups, on the other side.
The insight gained through stakeholder communications flows into the extensive due diligence audits that are conducted before the start of a project. The results of these audits are used by the Executive Board and/or the Supervisory Board, depending on the size of the project, to evaluate the feasibility of its realisation.
- GRI indicators: Engagement of stakeholders (G4-26); Role of the highest governance body in the identification and management of economic, environmental and social impacts, risks, and opportunities (G4-45); Operations with implemented local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programmes (G4-SO1); Operations with significant negative impacts on local communities (G4-SO2)