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When you expand hydropower plants – you also need to keep an eye on the ecological balance

There’s a great deal to be said for expanding hydropower: it doesn’t produce any emissions and is renewable in the best sense of the word. But the ecological balance is also important. EVN operates five pump storage plants and 67 hydropower plants, and is working to further strengthen its generation capacity in this area – that brings added security for customers. But in all these activities, the company never loses sight of its ecological footprint.

As an energy and environmental services company, EVN is committed to ensuring the careful use of resources and to making an active contribution to climate protection.

EVN and its stakeholders defined “environmental protection and resource conservation“ and “sustainable energy generation and climate protection“ as central areas of activity. These sustainability issues are therefore given high priority in the corporate strategy and the company’s daily actions. One of the primary goals is to also transfer the principles of environment-oriented management from Lower Austria to EVN’s international subsidiaries.

EVN has established an environmental protection department already in 1990. It is responsible for the collection and analysis of data on the ecological impact of issues that include the use of resources, energy and water consumption, emissions, biodiversity, transportation, as well as wastewater and waste. Based on its analyses, the department assists the operating units in preventing or minimising the environmental impact of their activities. EVN’s environ mental policy statement defines central goals and values as well as procedures and methods. The environmental management system at all of EVN locations, which also covers occupational safety requirements, has been certified according to ISO 14001 and EMAS standards since 1995.

EVN makes an important contribution to the attainment of Austria’s climate protection targets through the continuous expansion and use of renewable energy sources, efficiency improvement measures and extensive advisory services for customers on reducing energy consumption. The decisive factor here is the creation of a balanced mix between optimal supply security and a minimal impact on the environment. Climate protection management by EVN includes the following initiatives and strategic approaches:

  • Increase in the use of renewable energy sources such as water, wind, sun, biomass and biogas
  • Improvement in the energy efficiency of EVN’s own production plants and networks
  • Active participation in innovation, development and research projects (among others, carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies)
  • Information and advice for customers on reducing their energy consumption
  • Increase in regional value added through the use of local energy carriers like biomass and biogas
  • Active participation in the introduction of alternative mobility concepts such as electricity- or natural gas-powered cars
  • Creation of a stronger awareness among the general public and employees through training courses and information events
  • Internal measures such as an increased focus on environmental aspects in procurement

Six new EMAS certifications

EMAS, the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, was introduced by the EU in 1993 as a voluntary environmental management system. The goal of the EMAS directive, which is seen as the most demanding and comprehensive environmental certification in the world, is to establish a continuous improvement process. In addition to the internal audit of compliance with legal regulations and the requirements of public authorities, this directive defines measures to conserve resources and reduce emissions. EVN started the certification process for its power plants in 1995. The Theiss power plant was one of the first plants in Lower Austria to be certified under EMAS, and the Dürnrohr power plant followed shortly thereafter.

The newest member of the EMAS family is the thermal power plant in Korneuburg, which was successfully audited under EMAS/ISO 14001 in March 2014. EMAS certification now covers 100% of the energy supplied by EVN’s thermal power plants in Lower Austria. EVN Wärme has also used this environmental management system for 15 years: the number of certified facilities is increasing continuously from the current level of 45 to include newly built or acquired long-distance heating plants. The next external audit in spring 2015 will focus on the addition of five new plants. In 2013/14, a planning project was also started to include EVN’s headquarters in the EMAS environmental management system.



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