Our objective: preserve and protect
In the Iberdrola group, we manage aspects related to biodiversity through four priority lines of action: protect, study and preserve, raise awareness and inform, and collaborate with stakeholders.
Aspects relating to biodiversity are managed following the basic principles of action defined in the Biodiversity Policy [PDF]:
- To protect biodiversity, applying a preventive approach (avoid and minimise impacts) in decision-making at the implementation, operation and dismantling stages of infrastructure projects.
- Biodiversity understanding and preservation biodiversity, through the application of positive conservation management and site research, with the aim of achieving a net balance in relation to the environment.
- A commitment to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity and communicate internally and externally about the impact of our biodiversity conservation activities and actions.
- Collaborate with Stakeholders, considering their needs and expectations in matters of biodiversity in order to integrate them into action plans and collaborate on research projects.
These basic action principles are developed in priority lines of action and are put into practice with specific activities classified in the following categories:
- To avoid, minimise and remedy the impacts of our activities on nature: this includes preventive, palliative and compensatory actions.
- Understanding the environment and assessing the impact of our activities throughout their entire life-cycle: this includes pre-construction studies and monitoring during and after construction, as well as specific studies during operation.
- Awareness-raising and communication: this includes internal and external training and education, awards, publications, cooperation, sponsoring and financing activities, etc.
Iberdrola has been working for many years on biodiversity programs and plans on an ongoing basis, following the above lines of action. In June 2017, and as an example of this commitment to nature conservation, Iberdrola received an award from the General Management for the Environment of the Extremadura Regional Council for its conservation work in the Monfragüe National Park.
|Base Line Plan||Sub-Plan for knowledge of the environment|
|Sub-Plan for communication|
|Main Plans||Reduction of direct impacts on biodiversity||Plan for direct protection of fauna|
|Plan for direct protection of flora|
|Plan for improvement of habitats|
|Reduction of indirect impacts on biodiversity||Plan for edaphic environment management|
|Plan for hydrological environment management|
The following are examples of work that the group is carrying out:
PROJECT / TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS OBJECTIVES Power lines Within the ALETEO project — the object of which is to reduce the risk of harm to birdlife from pylons in protection zones — 4,127 pylons have been rectified and 6,659 are in work in progress. To reduce the risk of harm to birdlife. 132 environmental actions rolled out before and during construction of substations and power lines (restoration and preparation of land, protection of vegetation, bird life and landscape, control of invasive species, training on forest fires and dumping, etc.). To reduce the impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Implementation of 1,152 preventive actions for the protection of wildlife (adaptation and adjustments to pylons). To reduce the impact on fauna. Implementation of 1,610 actions of grid improvements to protect vegetation. To reduce the impact on flora. Management of 34.4 km2 of vegetation to reduce the risk of fire at our facilities. Iberdrola is working with Madrid City Council and the Madrid Regional Community on the "Plan Madrid" which includes the compacting of 16 substations and the dismantling of 125 kilometres of overhead high-tension cables. Thanks to this project 355,000 square metres of surface area have been freed up to create new garden areas, social and sports facilities, homes and offices. To reduce the risk of harm to birdlife. Hydroelectric power plants Limnological control of the most eutrophicated reservoirs in the Duero and Tajo basins (pollutant deposits caused by agents unrelated to Iberdrola that travel along these rivers before they flow into the reservoirs). Prevent potential impacts on fauna located downstream of reservoirs. Ensure turbined waters contain the minimum amounts of dissolved oxygen essential for aquatic life. Avoid levels that are harmful to ichthyofauna. Execution of pollution prevention actions, improvement of the environment and recovery/restoration of the natural environment surrounding power plants such as: ecological conditioning of flows, environmental adaptation of channels and the restoration of the environment surrounding the village of La Rasa (demolishing of buildings and recovery of terrain). To reduce the impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Feasibility studies for ichthyofauna passage devices in the Doña Loba, San Lázaro, Cernado, Vozqueimado, Casteligo and Parafita dams. To reduce impact and avoid harmful conditions for ichthyofauna. Substitution of auxiliary service transformers for dry transformers (they were previously of oil contaminated with PCB). To prevent pollution and possible harm to flora and fauna. Maintenance and upgrading of refuse holding systems to prevent environmental contamination of Esla. To prevent pollution and possible harm to flora and fauna. Thermal power plants Collaboration between the Escombreras Combined Cycle and the "El Valle" Woodland Fauna Recovery Centre for the recovery of birds such as the Bittern and the lesser kestrel, returning them to their natural habitat once their physical and/or psychological defects have been treated. To reduce the impact on wildlife. Execution of a study to assess the ecological state of the Majaceite River in the area of the Arcos de la Frontera Combined Cycle Plant, using biological, hydro-morphological and physical-chemical indicators. Knowledge of the area to take the right actions with respect to the habitat. Activities to prevent pollution, improve the environment and recover/restore nature at the Lada power plant: external noise reduction measures, channelling of rain water, investigation into contaminated ground. Prevention of pollution and environmental recovery. Fundación Iberdrola Projects Collaboration agreement between Fundación Iberdrola España and the Environmental and Rural Office of Extremadura Council on a project to improve the habitat of the little bustard and other grassland birds in the International Tajo Reserve. Research and conservation and reduction of impact on birdlife. Study by the University of Salamanca by agreement with the Fundación Iberdrola on the Lesser Kestrel around Iberdrola facilities. Research on the Lesser Kestrel. Of special importance is the collaboration with the Spanish Ornithological Society, SEO BirdLife, on the MIGRA project, devoted to the study of the movements of migratory birds. At the end of 2018 the project had 946 birds tagged from 32 different species. Research or conservation and reduction of the impact on avifauna. Collaboration agreement with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Bearded Vulture to study the effects of climate change on it and other alpine birds. Preservation of the Bearded Vulture. Study of bird accident rates with Electricity Power Lines: application of predictive modelling through Salamanca University. Study based on distribution grid characteristics, the surroundings and bird incidents with these structures. Research on avifauna. Corporate Volunteering Projects Day of the Tree in Bilbao. Since 2008 there has been an annual celebration in the Basque Country of the day for Environmental Volunteering and Extension of the "Iberdrola Forest", together with the Lurgaia Foundation and the Gorabide disabled Association. Preservation and management of the natural heritage. Environmental protection activity programme (nest building, removal of invasive species, etc.) for Volunteer Day in Navarre, Madrid, Valencia, Galicia, Castilla y León and Murcia. Protection and preservation of biodiversity. Environmental workshops during international volunteer day in Santiago de Compostela, Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Burgos, Cáceres, Cartagena, Castellón, León, Logroño, Madrid, Navarre, Ourense, Salamanca, Guipuzcoa, Seville, Soria, Toledo, Valencia, Valladolid, Zamora. Protection and preservation of biodiversity. Workshop in the Basque Country to commemorate "Biodiversity Day" on Ereaga Beach (Algorta, Getxo) with tasks to clean up small amounts of waste and micro-plastics. Protection of fauna and flora.
One of the highlights of the Iberdrola Spain Foundation's actions is its collaboration in the MIGRA project with SEO/BirdLife, whose aim is to study the migratory movements of birds present in Spain, funding this program from the 2011 season to the present day.
ScottishPower Renewables (SPR), at the wind farms in the United Kingdom, uses the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy as a reference for both the development of new wind projects as well as existing ones, with a special concern for improving the environment (flora and fauna) of the facilities, and establishes Habitat Management Plans (HMPs) as a tool for each installation. This allows SPR to compensate or mitigate for any habitat lost through the construction of a site, and often provides additional enhancement. This requires SPR to work together with statutory bodies, including Scottish Natural Heritage, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Forestry Commission, to ensure that management complements national biodiversity aims and follows best conservation practice. These HMPs have different aims and targets depending on the characteristics and types of habitat, which is why a specific plan is produced for each affected area. Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) continue to be developed at each facility, except at the Daldowie sludge drying plant. These plans define the goals for maintaining and improving natural habitats on their lands as well as an implementation schedule. Activities and goals include the following: providing natural and artificial refuges for various types of birds and bats, and encouraging the availability of food for them (by increasing the diversity of the flora, etc.); encouraging the preservation of habitats for the development of individual species of flora and fauna; improving the management of arboreal and woodland species; developing aquatic habitats; controlling plagues and animal diseases; limiting the use of herbicides, and establishing good practices for their use; planning work activities so as to minimize the impact during the breeding season; raising employee awareness; and facilitating fish travel (by means of fish ladders, the installation of counters to track the specimens that use them, etc.).
More information at the section ScottishPower Biodiversity Action Plans, which includes records of downloadable information regarding biodiversity and its management at each generation plant.
Generally, the centres work in close cooperation with official bodies, NGOs and volunteer groups to promote BAP goals and carry out specific projects to manage potential impacts on protected sites, improve awareness of conditions at protected sites, and improve the conditions of species included in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP).
The company's network organization in the United Kingdom has a Biodiversity Procedure that affects large projects, including the construction of overhead lines and substations. The procedure covers projects from the planning and consultation phase to the development of specific plans to protect biodiversity and habitats during the construction phase.
In addition the following specific actions are worthy of note:
PROJECT / TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS OBJECTIVES Gas storage plant Implementation of Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) at each facility e.g. creating nesting areas, sanctuaries and food for native species. Providing habitat for the populations of nesting birds. Communication, training and monitoring of ecological activity.(more information is available at www.scottishpower.com/pages/wholesale_energy_markets.aspx/www.iberdrola.com). Recover and promote regeneration of natural habitats and of the flora and fauna characteristic of facilities' environments. Wind farms 62 actions in 20 areas included in the Habitat management plan, basically monitoring of birds and of reforested areas and 39 management actions, such as restoration, elimination of invasive species, vegetation management through grazing, etc. To recover and improve land affected by construction activities.
To reduce the impact on wildlife.
Foundation projects Sussex Wildlife trust in the environmental and educational project "Wild Side of the Track". Sustainable improvements to habitats.
In the regions where Avangrid subsidiaries operate, areas with high biological diversity (whether protected or not) are avoided in new overhead power line projects. Moreover, Iberdrola is working with the Audubon Society and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation in order to provide nesting areas away from power lines, e.g. for the Osprey.
The Renewables Business continues to implement the Avian and Bat Protection Program (ABPP), which is aligned with the new biodiversity guidelines and recommendations for wind energy facilities from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, an organisation with which it actively cooperates.
Also, extensive studies of birds and bats at the wind farms has been done, and scientific research work supported. Every year, activities for the conservation of biodiversity related directly or indirectly to wind farms are developed, as required by the laws and regulations of the United States. The actions carried out include studies on the effects on wildlife of wind power plants, always validated by expert biologists, studies on birds and bats in wind farms environments, in which NGOs are involved, and monthly monitoring of indicators associated with biodiversity.
In addition, the following specific actions are worthy of note:
PROJECT / TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS OBJECTIVES Power lines Water treatments in collaboration with land owners in two river basins, treating runoff from impermeable areas in the basins prior to its entry into the river. Improve water quality and the aquatic and riverbank habitat. Adaptation of power lines. To minimise impact on the osprey in its nesting and reproduction processes. Collaboration in obtaining wetlands with the organisation Ducks Unlimited through financial collaboration, stemming from the Auburn Transmission Project. To improve the quality of the aquatic habitat and help the species. Wind farms Recover natural habitats and foster their regeneration, avoid the displacement of indigenous species, monitor species, raise awareness, and train local communities. In 2018, 20 monitoring and mitigating activities were undertaken. Reduce impact on flora. Raise social awareness of the area's rich biodiversity.
PROJECT / TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS OBJECTIVES Power Lines Compensatory reforestation, programs for the rescue and relocation of wildlife, monitoring of wild fauna, limnological studies, programs for the recovery of degraded areas, use of protected lines, etc. Ensure the success of programs to recover and offset impact on Permanent Conservation Areas (APPs) and degraded areas (quarries, tips). Hydroelectric power plants Reforestation of affected areas. Ensure the success of programs to recover and offset impact on Permanent Conservation Areas (APPs) and degraded areas (quarries, tips). Continuation of environmental biodiversity conservation programs depending on the impacts of the operation: monitoring of fauna (ichthyofauna, herpetofauna, avifauna, mammalian fauna, entomofauna, etc.); monitoring of flora in reforested areas; water quality control; monitoring of erosive processes, etc. Ensure the success of programs to recover and offset impact on Permanent Conservation Areas (APPs) and degraded areas (quarries, tips). Flyways Brasil in association with with SAVE Brasil (Birdlife International), seeks to ensure the conservation of birds and their habitats, contributing to the preservation of species at hemispherical level. Reduce the risk of harm to birdlife. The "Eco Citizen: building a sustainable future" project gives free public courses on bioconstruction. Reduce impact on local biodiversity.
As additional information it should be noted that Neoenergia has several environmental programs in the communities where it operates, developing partnerships with management units of Natural Parks, Ecological Stations, Experimental Reserves, among other conservation units and communities, seeking the recovery and preservation of the environment, education and environmental development of the local population. The environmental programs are based on monitoring and reporting, which records the changes that affect biodiversity and environmental benefits generated.
PROJECT / TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS OBJECTIVES Thermal power plants Development of the Garrapatas Estuary Rescue Project, with support from the Iberdrola Mexico Foundation. Improve the habitat, fostering indigenous species, and raise social awareness of the area's rich biodiversity. Development of the Feline Support Project in the Altamira region, with support from the Iberdrola Mexico Foundation. Improve the habitat and reduce impact on flora. Reforestation and protection of wild flora program at the power plants of Topolobampo II (39 ha), Topolobampo III (35.10 ha), El Carmen (35.37 ha), and Escobedo (36.41 ha). Improve the habitat and reduce impact on fauna. Wild fauna protection program at the power plants of Topolobampo II, Topolobampo III, El Carmen, and Escobedo. Ensure the success of reforesting work. Wind farms Follow-up of reforestation carried out during construction of the La Ventosa wind farm. Ensure the success of reforesting work. Starting of the reforestation of an approximate area of 25 ha in the surroundings of the La Venta III power line. To improve the habitat. Starting of the reforestation of an approximate area of 19 ha in the surroundings of the La Venta III windfarm. To improve the habitat.
For further information about biodiversity protection measures undertaken by the Iberdrola group, please see Iberdrola and Biodiversity, which covers the management focus, strategies, and the progress of actions instigated on by the different businesses and regions where the company operates. You can also take a look at Iberdrola's 2014-2017 Biodiversity Report.