Our goal: to have a net positive impact on biodiversity by 2030

Climate action Nature SDG

At Iberdrola, we are committed to protecting and acting for nature, and we are strengthening our commitment with the launch of our 2030 Biodiversity Plan [PDF]. This Plan establishes the mechanisms to achieve the ambitious goal of having a net positive impact on biodiversity by 2030 and to drive the transformation towards an energy model in harmony with nature and human beings.



Iberdrola's biodiversity goal

Iberdrola will have a net positive impact on biodiversity by 2030. This goal is based on the application of the conservation hierarchy principle throughout the life cycle of its facilities and the implementation of mechanisms to identify, quantify, and monitor compliance therewith.

Biodiversity plan 2030

Iberdrola interacts with different ecosystems and species over a large geographical area. Aware of the urgent need for action to halt and reverse the unprecedented loss of biodiversity called for by the scientific community, Iberdrola reinforces its commitment to protecting and acting for biodiversity and nature with this Biodiversity Plan 2030, which applies to the entire Iberdrola group.

This Plan establishes the mechanisms to achieve the ambitious objective of having a positive net impact on biodiversity in 2030 and promote the transformation towards an energy model in harmony with nature and human beings. The Plan addresses the impacts on ecosystems and species of the group's activities throughout the Life Cycle, considering the supply chain and creating economic and social value through ecosystem services and creating economic and social value through ecosystem services.

The starting point for this Plan is the approval in 2007 of Iberdrola's Biodiversity Policy, which forms part of its Iberdrola Governance and Sustainability System. In 2021, Iberdrola, as part of the annual review process of its policies, substantially modified this Biodiversity Policy to incorporate the new ambition. The Plan therefore builds on years of work in integrating consideration of biodiversity into strategic planning and decision-making.

Commitment to no deforestation 

Iberdrola is committed to ensuring that its activities generate no net deforestation by 2025. This commitment applies both to direct actions and to the supply chain.  The commitments and procedures derived from this Plan, application of the conservation hierarchy, equal impact compensation, application of nature-based solutions, and involvement of the supply chain, among others, provide the appropriate tools to ensure the achievement of this commitment.   

The plan: measure, act and transform 

Iberdrola addresses the challenge of having a net positive impact on biodiversity with three lines of action:


The Biodiversity Plan will cover 100 % of our facilities, which will be evaluated and have a revised action plan in 2030. In addition, for priority facilities the target will be covered by 2025:

  • 2020
    Diagnosis and mapping of evaluation methodologies
  • 2020-2021
    Definition of Biodiversity Accounting Framework
  • 2021-2022
    Testing at Iberdrola facilities in Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, the United States and Mexico
  • 2025
    100 % of the priority
    facilities are evaluated
    and have a revised
    Biodiversity action plan
  • 2030
    100 % of the facilities
    are evaluated and have a revised Biodiversity action plan

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Timeframe implementation of the plan [PDF]

Our vision is to build an energy model in harmony with nature and human being 

The 2030 Biodiversity Plan is part of the roadmap adopted by the company to be positive towards nature. This roadmap includes, in addition to this Biodiversity Plan, the Climate Action Plan and the Circular Economy Model. This roadmap is integrated into the company's environmental management, thus addressing our interaction with the five main drivers of biodiversity loss identified by IPBES in its latest report: land and sea use changes, direct overexploitation of species, climate change, pollution and the spread of invasive species.


What is biodiversity and why is so important?

Biodiversity — also known as biological diversity — refers to the huge variety of living beings that inhabit our planet. This also includes the various land and underwater ecosystems, and the interactions that take place between different species.

It plays a crucial role in the composition and functioning of every ecosystem and their cycles: the water cycle, the food chain, the soil cycle. What's more, keeping a good biological balance helps to stabilise the climate and reduce contamination. For us humans, it ensures we get food, access to raw materials and clean water. It prevents us from suffering natural disasters and also provides energy security.

Biodiversity and sustainable development 

Fostering economic and social development, respect for the environment and promoting global biodiversity are Iberdrola's priority corporate values, which are totally in line with Sustainable Development Goals six, thirteen, fourteen and fifteen. Iberdrola group manifests its commitment to safeguarding and promoting the biodiversity of ecosystems according to the action principles set out in its Biodiversity Policy.

 Integrating biodiversity conservation into the group's strategy and in decisions on infrastructure projects.

 Applying the mitigation hierarchy and avoiding placing new infrastructure in protected areas and those with high biodiversity value.

 Integrating biodiversity into the group's environmental management systems (EMS).

 Participating in research, conservation, education and awareness-raising projects.

 Providing information on the group's activities relating to biodiversity.

Iberdrola supports knowledge and research by collaborating with stakeholders and taking part in a range of studies to understand the behaviour of species and habitats in the countries where it operates. Among these are the Coralizar1 project, which studies the effects of climate change on coral reefs, the Flyways project, which tracks 22 species of gulls and migratory birds, as well as the continuation of the "Bird Migration" project, the main purpose of which is to study the migratory habits of birds found in Spain.

1Project by the Neoenergia Institute and the World Wide Fund Nature - WWF Brazil.

It also encourages the conservation of habitats and species, such as the work to protect wild cats in the Mexican mangroves and contributes to research that will lead to a better understanding and management of natural assets. Examples of these are the ES Values Project in collaboration with the University of Salamanca and the Energy and Natural Capital Working Group of the Natural Capital Factory. It is also worth mentioning the implementation project of the Life Institute's methodology taking place at the hydroelectric facilities in Brazil, which will evaluate the performance of biodiversity protection and conservation initiatives.

The company also helps to produce the Practical Guide to Ecological Restoration in collaboration with the Biodiversity Foundation's Business and Biodiversity Initiative. This guide is a methodological tool aimed at helping decision makers to foster ecological restoration in activities in order to strengthen and recover natural assets and fight against biodiversity loss.



Iberdrola initiatives to promote biodiversity

In Spain, Iberdrola has set aside €40 million over to protect plant life between 2018 and 2019. The company is undertaking an adaptation programme for electricity power lines to avoid electrocutions and protect birds. In total, more than 2,700 maintenance activities and power cable renewals have been carried out to reduce all types of risks on the installations. Almost 30,000 kilometres of power lines have been checked.

Of particular note among the biodiversity activities in renewable energy is the environmental protection plan in place for the Núñez de Balboa Photovoltaic Plant in Extremadura. Also, the installation of 162 hives at the plant in Andévalo, in Huelva, and 105 in Núñez de Balboa, an initiative to be extended to some of the company's other photovoltaic plants in Spain, will show how encouraging insect pollinators at renewable generation facilities close to farmland can improve crop yield and contribute to the circular economy.

In Europe the Tâmega hydro-electric complex in Portugal has also involved detailed and specific studies of fauna and flora. Among other actions, 1,000 sampling stations have been created and various species have been monitored for over 80,000 hours.

In the UK, at the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm, a 'Specific Marine Mammal Mitigation Protocol' (MMP) was produced prior to commencement of work.

In addition in Brazil, at the Baixo Iguaçu hydroelectric power plant, a biodiversity corridor is being created that will connect forest areas and permanent conservation areas in the protected zones of the Iguazú National Park.

In California, at the Manzana wind farm, most of the condors in the State have been fitted with radio devices and GPS to monitor their movements.

Furthermore in Mexico, activities are in progress to conserve and protect the Fernández Canyon, one of the most important reserves in the north of the country.


 Discover how we protect biodiversity in some of our more flagship projects

CONVIVE Programme

Iberdrola has fully integrated socioeconomic development and biodiversity conservation into its decarbonisation strategy, demonstrating that it is possible to effectively combine the supply of clean and sustainable energy. And thus, maintain the balance of the environment while contributing to social and economic development.

This is why the CONVIVE Programme was born, a continuous improvement programme that integrates all the initiatives and alliances we are carrying out in this area.

Main areas of action:

  1. Contributing to socio-economic development.
  2. Protecting and improving biodiversity.
  3. Learning from experts.

Business for Nature's Call to Action

Iberdrola has joined the initiative Call to Action promoted by the Business for Nature platform External link, opens in new window. to urge governments to act now to reverse biodiversity loss in this decade. The declaration, which was adopted on 21 September 2020 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, was presented at the UN Biodiversity Summit on 30 September and has the backing of more than 560 companies from 54 countries with a combined turnover of US$4 trillion and that employ 9.5 million people across all sectors. This is the first time that so many companies have come together with the aim of influencing decisions to be made in this area after the completion of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 [PDF] External link, opens in new window..

The manifesto states that "healthy societies, resilient economies and thriving businesses rely on nature", and that governments need to act with "courage and urgency" and formulate policies that put nature front and centre. Only in this way will it be possible to achieve the climate objective of reducing the increase in the average temperature of the planet below 1.5 ºC set by the Paris Agreement and prevent a catastrophic loss of biodiversity.

Biodiversity Pact

By signing this Pact, Iberdrola underlines its commitment to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. The Pact [PDF] External link, opens in new window. is sponsored by the Spanish Business and Biodiversity Initiative, created by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama) and the Biodiversity Foundation, of which Iberdrola is also a member.

Iberdrola is a member of the European Initiative from the EU Business @ Biodiversity Platform.

ALETEO project

Iberdrola, through its Distribution subsidiary i-DE External link, opens in new window., will invest around 200 million euros to adapt and correct some 234,000 electrical supports in order to minimise the impact of overhead lines on birdlife. ALETEO project [PDF] External link, opens in new window., as it is called, will be carried out in Spain between 2018 and 2025 and will affect one third of the supports the company has installed in the nine autonomous communities where it operates (Madrid, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, the Valencian Region, Castilla y León, La Rioja, Navarre, the Basque Country, Murcia Region and Cantabria).

Read more

MIGRA programme:

This ambitious project, under way since 2011, and developed by Fundación Iberdrola España conjunction with SEO/BirdLife, is a result of Iberdrola's commitment to achieving bird-friendly energy and Spanish biodiversity.

The programme aims to preserve Spanish birdlife by expanding knowledge of bird migratory and bird breeding habits through the latest geolocation and remote-monitoring technologies. Different species have been equipped with GPS devices to gather the details about their migratory trips, the duration, what route they follow, at what speed and altitude they fly, where they rest and feed and if the routes are the same year after year, which make it possible for all of us to see their movements External link, opens in new window.. In addition, they help us anticipate any possible threats that could endanger them, while providing fundamental information to prepare relevant scientific studies.

The MIGRA programme currently has 1,223 birds of 34 different species tagged — useful information has been gathered from 745 birds of 33 different species —, building up a database of millions of locations thanks to the work of over 350 collaborators and 60 collaborating entities from Spain and abroad.

The Migra programme has revealed that booted eagles and black kites spend winter in the Sahel or that the white stork has changed its migratory patterns due to the global changes caused by mankind. We also know that the European roller spends winters in Namibia and Botswana, over 9,000 kilometres away from its nesting grounds, and its migratory path varies from one population to another.

A recent study has revealed that the common swift, one of the most mobile land birds in the world, has a unique migration pattern, called "chain" migration, as opposed to the usual "leap-frog" migration. In the leap-frog pattern, northern populations winter further south, so that they migrate farther than southern populations. In contrast, in "chain" migration, the different populations migrate the same distance, to consecutive wintering areas. This pattern had only been observed previously in two other species: the sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus) and the northern gannet (Morus bassanus). Southern European swifts are also larger, have more chicks and start their migration earlier, so that they reach the best wintering areas.

Migration strategies. A: leap-frog migration. B: chain migration (source: Åkesson et al., 2020. Evolution, evo.14093).
Migration strategies. A: leap-frog migration. B: chain migration (source: Åkesson et al., 2020. Evolution, evo.14093).

The MIGRA Programme results are published in a collection of digital monographs External link, opens in new window. and in several science journals and educational papers to help preserve these species.

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Study on the impact of climate change on bearded vultures:

Iberdrola — through Fundación Iberdrola — and the Bearded Vulture Conservation Foundation (FCQ) have presented the results of the Study on the Effects of Climate Change on the Bearded Vulture Population in the Central Pyrenees. The study reveals the presence of more than 800 mosquitoes, black flies and midges carrying avian malaria, a disease more dangerous for birds than initially thought.

The bearded vulture is at serious risk of extinction in Europe.
The bearded vulture is at serious risk of extinction in Europe.

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LIFE+ Cantabrian Capercaillie Project:

Urogallo cantábrico.

The programme for the conservation of this emblematic and endemic species in danger of extinction in the Cantabrian Mountain Range has involved active work between 2010 and 2016 with the two-fold objective of halting its decline and fostering its recovery.

Read more



What biodiversity protection plans are in place?

Iberdrola first established its biodiversity action plan many years ago. This strategic plan is motivated by four principles of behaviour, defined in its biodiversity policy: to protect, understand and conserve biodiversity and to raise awareness and inform stakeholders. In the various operational units, this strategic action plan is translated into action lines and work programmes such as the protection of fauna and flora or pollution reduction.

Do you know the real importance of forests in our ecosystem?

The importance of forests to our planet is undeniable They are vital ecosystems for protecting the world's biodiversity. In order to achieve sustainable development, they must be looked after in the knowledge that they are finite and essential to life. Without them, there would be no drinking water, no clean air, nor much of the necessary food. Furthermore, the importance of primary forests is not only because of the source of oxygen they provide but also because they mitigate climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and therefore reducing the greenhouse effect.

What is Iberdrola's biodiversity policy?

The development of the group's businesses inevitably produces interactions with various ecosystems. That is why we are committed with the protection of biodiversity and environmental conservation. We promote a social culture aimed at raising the awareness of all stakeholders, identifying specific actions that help to conserve natural environments and act against the loss of biodiversity in favour of living beings and the conservation of species.

Find out the details biodiversity policy.

What is the importance of biodiversity for the conservation of life?

Biodiversity has a great influence on the conservation of living beings. If we do not take the importance of biodiversity into consideration, acting with a focus on sustainability and respecting the rules of environmental conservation, we will be acting against the interests of human beings. Because the loss of biodiversity has a direct impact on our food security, on vulnerability to natural disasters, on access to clean water, and on the extinction of species.

Overexploitation of biological resources and its negative effect on biodiversity

Human impact is a direct cause of loss of biodiversity. Not knowing how to manage resources, ignoring that they are finite, brings with it the depletion of natural resources. Constant human activity and the undeniable overexploitation of resources at a higher speed than their natural regeneration makes life difficult and brings with it the loss of biodiversity. Deforestation and overfishing are clear examples of this.

Here we explain overexploitation and its consequences for natural resources.

Which animals are in danger of extinction?

Global biodiversity is suffering an unprecedented decline. More than one million species are in danger of extinction and may disappear within decades, according to a report issued by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The report identifies which animals are in danger of extinction due to climate change (which will be responsible for five per cent of these losses if the temperature increases by two degrees). The natural habitats of these animals are under threat from global warming, and the risk of extinction is increasing. Among the most severely endangered species are Madagascar crickets and millipedes, the African antelope and the snow leopard. However, climate change is not the only thing threatening biodiversity. Soil depletion, pollution and the over exploitation of species are as big a threat to their survival than climate change, if not more so.

How can we handle the conservation of the environment and the sustainability of the system?

Biodiversity and its conservation are irremediably conditioned by human interference in the environment. In order not to generate environmental problems that result in the loss of biodiversity, it is necessary to carry out conservation measures and know how to implement them. Conservation is a basic principle in the environmental policy of the Iberdrola group, and it is committed to the biodiversity of the ecosystems, landscapes and species where it carries out its activity.

In addition, environmental conservation will be helped by small actions that each one of us can carry out in our daily lives: using reused products, turning off taps properly, using public transport, separating rubbish or consuming ecological products.

What is the importance of protecting and conserving biodiversity?

Protecting biodiversity and ecosystems means protecting ourselves as a species, because we depend on them for our own survival. Forests reduce global warming and end water pollution. Biodiversity helps to pollinate flowers and crops, among other things. We get food and medicine from nature, and micro-organisms help us with soil fertilisation. The benefits that biological diversity provides to all living beings are innumerable, and that is why we have to take care of the interactions in the ecosystems and have clear environmental conservation areas. Our duty as a species is to encourage ecological transition, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency, and with it, the survival of the earth's flora and fauna.

Biodiversity and its conservation must be a sure bet for the future

Opting for the conservation of the earth means opting for the conservation of biodiversity. Biological diversity safeguards the functioning of vital cycles of water, nutrients and soil. So we have to minimise the impact of human beings on the environment in order to guarantee food security and access to clean water and different raw materials, among other things. It is also a chance to prevent natural disasters. Therefore, when it comes to action policies, among the objectives for development, particular emphasis must be placed on the conservation of biological diversity, and on ensuring the protection of environmental conservation areas.

How does climate change affect biodiversity?

Climate change is one of the direct causes of loss of biodiversity. Global warming and global climate change mean that many animal and plant species are not adapting to the situation and are abandoning their reference habitats in the face of drought, rainfall and extreme weather events. Many of the animals suffering from climate change will be driven to extinction as they are unable to adapt to the effects of the change. That is why conservation policies are so important to look after species and ecosystems.

What does environmental management mean?

Environmental management is the strategy that the various organisations use to try to make their activities have as little impact on the environment and nature as possible. It is a question of seeking a balance between geo-economic interests and environmental conservation. There are different approaches to management control, depending on the scope. These include preventing future environmental conflict; the correction of existing environmental problems and reversing environmental damage caused in the past.

What is a protected area?

Protected areas are extensions of land or sea that are protected so that they don’t lose their biodiversity, geodiversity and natural and cultural resources. The aim is to contain natural ecosystems that are threatened or of special ecological, educational or scientific interest, among others. They are usually recognised as natural heritage, and their biological diversity and species' habitats are protected and looked after.

According to the map of protected areas, the Iberdrola group selects the location of new infrastructure, avoiding protected areas or those with a high impact on biodiversity.

What are the principles of conservation of biodiversity?

The Iberdrola group undertakes different actions to conserve biodiversity in the different ecosystems in which it carries out its activities. These principles include integrating environmental conservation into decision-making at the various stages of their infrastructure projects; applying a precautionary approach to environmental conservation; compensating for the impact produced and restoring natural capital; and protecting species and habitats through positive conservation and research.

What are the basic principles of environmental management?

The Iberdrola group has defined a series of basic management principles in its environmental policy with the aim of achieving sustainable development and avoiding environmental degradation. These include: respecting the environmental regulations in force in the countries in which it operates; knowing and continually evaluating the risks involved in its facilities; preventing those risks; responsible consumption; and incorporating environmental considerations into investment and planning decision processes. In short, these are basic ethical principles for respecting and ensuring biodiversity and ecosystems.

How can we manage energy efficiency and environmental sustainability?

Achieving energy efficiency and promoting environmental sustainability can be achieved by responsible energy use and advocating efficient technologies that reduce energy consumption. At Iberdrola we encourage responsible energy use and pay special attention to optimising our entire energy chain (production, transport and distribution). We never lose sight of our goal of protecting biodiversity and ecosystems.

However, small actions also count, and any household can achieve its own energy efficiency and sustainability, with the aim of protecting biodiversity on a small scale and fighting climate change. Commitment to renewable energies, efficient technologies and simple rules for private energy use.

How can the GHG protocol impact in biodiversity conservation?

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol provides a standardized way to calculate and account greenhouse gas emissions. Its use allows to compare the results between different organizations all over time to better knowing if reductions of emissions have taken place, and to evaluate climatic benefits. Knowing the indices and protocol standards helps to guide policies for combating climate change and looking after and promoting biodiversity.