Prevent and protect

Aspects relating to biodiversity are managed through four priority lines of action:

  • Mediation, for the protection, conservation, and sustainable use of the environment (air, water, soil, fauna, flora, and landscape).
  • Information, through impact assessment and the development and application of guidelines on biodiversity for new projects.
  • Relations with Stakeholders.
  • Commitment to form, make aware of, and communicate both internally and externally.

These lines of action group together the basic principles of action defined in the Biodiversity Policy [PDF] and are put into practice with specific activities that are classified in the following categories:

  • To avoid and/or mitigate the impact and restore natural assets: includes preventive, palliative and compensatory actions.
  • Impact assessment: includes pre-construction studies, monitoring during and after construction, as well as studies of specific species.
  • Awareness-raising and communication: includes internal and external training and education, awards, publications, cooperation, sponsoring and financing activities, etc.

Iberdrola has worked many years with biodiversity programs and plans, with a permanent management and attending the last action lines. In June 2017, and as an example of this awareness raising activity on the preservation of natural spaces, Iberdrola received an award from the Department for the Environment of the Autonomous Government of Extremadura for its contribution to the preservation of the Monfragüe National Park.

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
Specific plans for biodiversity management


Next, some examples are described:

  • Spain

    Power lines A total of 99 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 1,058 preventive actions for the protection of wildlife (changing the support and making it sufficient). To reduce the impact on wildlife.
    Implementation of 1,610 actions for improvement of the vegetation protection network. To reduce the impact on vegetation.
    Management of 32.96 km2 of planted surface area to reduce the risk of fire in our facilities. To reduce the impact on vegetation.
    Hydroelectric power plants Limnological control of the most eutrophicated reservoirs in the Duero and Tajo basins (pollutant loads caused by agents unrelated to Iberdrola that travel along these rivers before they flow into the reservoirs). Prevent potential impacts on fauna located downriver 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 remediation/restoration of the natural environment surrounding plants such as: ecological conditioning of flows, environmental adaptation of canals, restoration of the environment surrounding the village of la Rasa (dismantling of buildings and soil remediation). To reduce the impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
    Improvement and building of discharge containment systems in the Trespaderne and Contreras hydroelectric power plants. To prevent possible impacts on the wildlife located downstream from the reservoirs.
    Improvement in the waste water purification systems in the Barazár and Ullivarri hydroelectric power plants. To prevent possible impacts on the wildlife located downstream from the reservoirs.
    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.


    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 the this program from the 2011 season to the present day.

  • United Kingdom

    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 the section ScottishPower Biodiversity Action Plans, which includes records of downloadable information regarding biodiversity and its management at each generation plant.

    Generally, the centers 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 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.

    ScottishPower Renewables (SPR), at the wind farms in the United Kingdom, the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy is used as a reference for both the development of new wind projects as well as existing projects, with a special concern for improving the environment (flora and fauna) of the facilities, and establish Habitat Management Plans as a tool for 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, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Forestry Commission, to ensure that management compliments national biodiversity aims and follows best practise.

    In addition, the following specific actions have been developed:

    Thermal and gas storage plants Implementation of Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) at each facility (more information is available at Recover and promote regeneration of natural habitats and of the flora and fauna characteristic of facilities' environments.
    Wind farms 50 actions in 20 areas included in the Habitat management plan, basically monitoring of birds and of reforested areas and 41 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.
  • United States

    In the regions where Iberdrola (Avangrid) operates with high biological diversity (whether or not the diversity is protected) are avoided in new overhead power line projects. Moreover, Iberdrola is partnering with the Audubon Society and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation in order to provide nesting areas (for instance, for the osprey) away from power lines, i.e for the Osprey.

    Avangrid Renewables business continues to implement the Avian and Bat Protection Program (ABBP), which is aligned with the new guidelines and recommendations for wind energy facilities of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

    There were also broad studies of birds and bats at the wind farms, the financing of scientific research. Every year, activities for the conservation of biodiversity related directly or indirectly to develop wind farms are developed, as laws and regulations of the United States require. Among the actions carried out studies on the effects on wildlife of wind power plants, work always validated by expert biologist, studies on birds and bats in wind farms environments in which NGOs are involved, monitoring include monthly indicators associated biodiversity.

    In addition, the following specific actions have been developed:

    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 improve the aquatic habitat of the riverbank.
    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. Reduce impact on flora.
    Raise social awareness of the area's rich biodiversity.
  • Brazil

    Power Lines Reforestation, programs for the rescue and relocation of wildlife, monitoring of fauna for a minimum period of two years, programs for the recovery of degraded areas, 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 based on the impacts of plant 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).


    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. Environmental programs are based on monitoring and reporting, which records the changes affect biodiversity and environmental benefits generated.

  • Mexico

    Thermal power plants Development of the Garrapatas Estuary Rescue Project. 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. Improve the habitat, fostering indigenous species, and raise social awareness of the area's rich biodiversity.
    Wind farms Follow-up of reforesting 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.

More information about the Biodiversity Report 2014-2017 [PDF] of Iberdrola.