Biodiversity indicators

INDICATORS 2022Sites (specific installations)Electricity and gas networks (linear infrastructures)
Number of sitesAreas (hectares)​Number of sitesAreas (hectares)
Overall: What is the total number of sites and the total area used for operational activities?92226.120n.a.283.242
Assessment: Have you conducted biodiversity impact assessments for sites used for operational activities in the past five years?92226.120n.a.283.242
Exposure: Of the sites assessed in the past five years, how many sites are in close proximity to critical biodiversity, and what is the total area of these sites?25020.925n.a.34.380
Management plans: Of those sites in close proximity to critical biodiversity, how many sites have a biodiversity management plan, and what is the area covered by these biodiversity management plans?25020.925n.a.34.380

Note 1: To determine the surface areas of electricity and gas networks, which are linear infrastructures, not only their physical limits but also a buffer of influence have been considered. Therefore, the surface area reflected in the table is significantly higher than real land occupancy as gas pipelines are buried and power line occupancy is limited to the surface area of the supports.

Note 2: The sites include 72 hydroelectric power plants, all of which are more than 10 years old. These installations cover a total area of 21,765 ha. Of these plants, 34 are in or near protected spaces of high biodiversity value, occupying a surface area of 19,511 ha. If these installations were not considered, the number and total surface area of sites (specific installations) would be 851 and 4,279 ha, respectively, while the number and surface area located near or within areas of high biodiversity are 249 and 1,629 ha, respectively.

Note 3: Another consideration is that among Naturgy’s 72 hydroelectric power plants, there are 25 Spanish hydropower plants located in or close to protected spaces of high biodiversity value as they were built after 1910 and before any environmental protection measures were in place in these areas. Many of these reservoirs created by hydropower plants were later awarded environmental protection and are today natural water spaces of great natural and biodiversity value. The surface area of these 25 hydropower plants is 19,374 ha. If these 26 plants were not considered, the number of facilities located within or near areas of high biodiversity value would be 224, which would occupy an area of ​​6,747 ha.

Other considerations of interest:

To determine the installations located adjacent to protected natural areas of high biodiversity value, the physical limits and a buffer of influence, depending on the type of installation, have been considered. Installations whose surface area is totally or partially located on land with a level of protection are classified as interior; those located within the radius that affects the protected space are considered adjacent; and those whose surface area is not within a protected area and not within the radius are classified as exterior.

It is important to stress that all the installations and networks are ISO 14001 certified and have environmental management and biodiversity plans that are audited annually.

In all cases, the company complies with the requirements imposed by the environmental authorities to minimise the negative effects the installations might have on surrounding species and habitats. In addition to mandatory Environmental Impact Studies and Environmental Monitoring Plans, the company often undertakes voluntary actions above and beyond the established environmental legislation. Preliminary environmental and archaeological studies based on the precautionary principle are carried out for all projects that require them to choose the best alternative for reducing the negative impacts of the entire life cycle. In addition, from the construction stage to dismantlement, measures are taken to mitigate the impacts caused by the installations on the natural environment and cultural heritage, particularly with regard to those located in an area of high environmental value and protected areas. The environmental and ecological status of surrounding areas is also monitored. When an impact cannot be completely avoided, mitigation and restoration measures are implemented, and the required compensatory measures taken for residual impacts. In addition, the company applies strict operational control and risk management procedures (environmental emergency plans, drills, etc.) to prevent incidents before they occur or to minimise any damage.

One of the tools used specifically in biodiversity management and monitoring is the geographic information system, which the group has developed in-house. This system is used to locate natural areas and protected species, the group’s installations and the initiatives being undertaken to protect and enhance the natural capital.