Action taken in response to climatic change

Like any other Utility company which produces electricity, Acea deals with the problem of the containment of greenhouse gas emissions.

The aim is to contain the carbon footprint of the production processes, for a future less dependent on fossil fuels.One of the most incisive actions in this sense was the modification of the electricity generation mix which took place in the last two years, which caused an essential shift from primary sources to renewable ones (81%), making the contribution of the traditional sources for the production of electricity entirely marginal.

Acea has also paid attention to the evolution of the cultural context in which questions linked to climatic change are dealt with, seeking to rouse, within the Group, greater awareness of the importance of keeping the problem of climate-altering gas emissions under control. In this sense, participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project – CDP revealed itself to be very useful (see related box for details). Acea has been involved in the initiative from its very first edition in 2006 and in this period improved its system for the monitoring of carbon dioxide emissions, transparently reporting the quantities and the sources and established the increasingly challenging reduction targets.

During the last CDP, the “Italy 100 Climate Change Report 201294study was presented in which Acea received a decidedly positive assessment.The opinion on the clarity and completeness of the disclosure was expressed by means of a score of 81/100 (67/100 in 2011), while in terms of the management capacity of the emissions, the “C” rating was maintained (on a scale of E/A).

Conference of the Parties on Climate Change in Doha  

The 18th Conference of the United Nations on climate change was held between 26 November and 7 December 2012 in Doha, Qatar, in other words the COP 18, where the Minister for the Environment, Corrado Clini, was present for Italy. 17 thousand delegates attended, representing 190 countries and international bodies, discussing how to lay the foundations for a new global agreement to combat the rise in the temperatures of the planet for two weeks.

The “Kyoto 2 Protocol” was signed in Doha by: the European Union, Australia, Switzerland and Norway (responsible for around 15% of global emissions). These Parties, having originally signed the first Kyoto Protocol, committed themselves to continuing until 2020 the action for containing their emissions, but with the intent of extending the agreement by 2015 to all the other parties who have not signed up.

Italy belongs to the group of European countries most firmly convinced of the need to convert the development models, pushing towards an economy with low carbon emissions. In his speech, the Minister Corrado Clini declared: «Italy is furthering a low carbon economy. Renewable sources, energy efficiency policies and incentives are the key for achieving this objective. Annual incentives of Euro 6.7 billion on photovoltaic plants and Euro 5.8 billion on renewable energies, permitted Italy in 2011 to be the first country in the world with regard to new renewable energy plants and the second in terms of total installations».

Source: http://www.minambiente.ithttp://unfccc.int

94 Available on-line on the website www.cdproject.net.

Acea in the CDP Italy 100 Climate Change report 2012:

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an international initiative launched in 2000 by the non-profit organisation Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors of New York, supported by around 400 institutional investors, mainly large banks and financial brokers, aimed at evaluating the strategies put together by the companies in order to deal with the phenomenon of climate change.

In fact, the financial markets not only demonstrate interest for the subject but tend to promote the companies which respond pro-actively to the challenge of climate change, assigning them greater probability of success over the mid/long-term.

The companies which agree to subject themselves to assessment are obliged to answer a complex questionnaire drawn up and forwarded by the CDP, capable of highlighting the effective ability of management to exercise control over greenhouse gas emissions and plan reduction objectives.

The score which is assigned by the CDP assessment team, during the analysis of the compiled questionnaires, regards two separate areas of judgement:

  1. the clarity and transparency of the answers, in other words the quality of the disclosure, which is gauged on a scale of 0 to 100;
  2. the performances in terms of specific CO2  emissions – for example kgCO2 per Euro of additional value produced –, which is assessed on a scale of E (minimum) to A (maximum).

In Italy, 46 companies - out of the 100 who were sent the 2012 questionnaire - answered and Acea was among these, having subjected itself to assessment for some years now. The CDP Italy 100 Climate Change report 2012 was presented in Milan in 2012.

The following chart illustrates the summary of the results obtained by the leading Italian Utility companies answering the questionnaire:

Disclosure score vs performance bands – utilities –

Disclosure score vs performance bands - utilities -

Other information is available on the website: https://www.cdproject.net.

Reduce the Carbon Footprint  

Acea’s response to the challenge of containing the Carbon Footprint in its processes, is essentially based on three lines of action:

  • the reduction of the indirect emissions, in other words those deriving from the consumption of electricity;
  • the increase in the portion of energy produced from renewable sources, in particular bio-mass and hydroelectricity;
  • support for electric mobility.

The first line of action aims to improve the energy efficiency in the end uses, cutting the total consumption of electricity by at least 1% a year. For a Group whose energy consumption amounts to around 700 GWh per year, this is equivalent to a minimum efficiency recovery of 7 GWh per year, corresponding to 1,200 tCO2 per year avoided. The energy saved during 2012 in just the water sector, equal to around 10 GWh, made it possible to exceed the annual target. In terms of equivalent (indirect) emissions, known as “Scope 2” within the sphere of the CDP, Acea reached a total of around 643,550 tons of CO2 (conversion factor equal to 0.52 t/MWh95).

Significant investments were incurred in 2012for the development of renewable sources. In detail, the measures concerned hydroelectric generation, with the modernisation of the Salisano and Narni plants (Terni) and the complete renovation of the waste-to-energy plants at San Vittore del Lazio and Terni. The investment programme into photovoltaic sources continued, despite the fact that the company has sold the majority of the installed power and exited from this specific technological sector. The portion of electricity generation from renewable sources reached 81% of the total in 2012.

With regard to the development of sustainable mobility, during 2011 Acea entered into two important Memorandums of Intent96 with Enel (for the joint development of the recharging infrastructures for electric vehicles) and with FIAT Group Automobiles (for the search for the most suitable technological solutions for sustainable mobility); in 2012, the Acea vehicle fleet was extended with 40 FIAT Fiorino Cargo electric vehicles.

95 The emission factor (t/MWh) is not a value defined univocally in Italy. However, it can be estimated as:  0.52 tCO2/MWh = 0.187 tep/MWh * 2.8 tCO2/toe. References: AEEG DCO 2/2008 and EU Decision 2007/589/CE.
96 The memorandum with Enel for the installation of 200 recharging stations for electric vehicles, was renewed by a new memorandum also signed by Rome City Council in 2012.