You are here

Greenhouse gas emissions

The use of fossil fuels to produce electricity represents one quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Enel’s industrial activities contribute to the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and methane (CH4). In 2016 the direct emissions of CO2 equivalent (Scope 1), of 106.7 million tons, fell by 11% compared to 2015, a result due to the lower thermal production in 2016 compared to 2015 and, as part of this, lower production from coal.

SF6 is used in high- and medium-voltage electrical equipment for its insulating properties and ability to dampen electric arcs which make it irreplaceable in such applications. The emissions into the atmosphere in 2016 totaled 5,765 kg, or 135 thousand tons of CO2 equivalent (23,500 - Global Warming Potential - GWP). In percentage terms, SF6 contributes 0.13% of the Group’s greenhouse gas emissions, an extremely limited quantity.
As for methane (CH4), Enel until the previous year reported the fugitive emissions due to the extraction of coal in the mines it owns. During 2016 there was no mining, but restoration of the sites is taking place.

Enel records the emission of ozone depleting substances in accordance with the Montreal Protocol, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), halon and methyl bromide. The emissions of these substances totaled 27,675 tCO2e1.

Scope 2 emissions (0.61 million teq) concern indirect emissions arising from the generation of the electricity purchased and consumed by the Company. Scope 2 includes the emissions of CO2 associated with the consumption of electricity purchased on the grid for civilian uses and for pumping in hydroelectric plant, since it is not possible to precisely confirm the producer and so they cannot be classified differently. All electricity supplies for Italian offices and power plants are from renewables. 

In 2016 Scope 2 emissions fell by around 6% compared to the previous year.

Scope 3 emissions are the consequence of the company’s activities, but derive from sources which the company neither controls nor owns. It includes fugitive emissions of methane from coal mines which are not owned by the company and those generated by the transport of fuel and waste. In 2016 the value was around 7.2 million teq, down by around 11% compared to 2015 owing to the fall in thermal generation and consequently the lower volume of fuel used.

1 The value obtained is calculated by converting the tons of each individual gas recorded (CFC, halon, methyl bromide, R22 and freon) by applying the average Global Warming Potential value for the families of gas (source: IPCC, WG1AR5_Chapter08).

Reference SDGs: 
Main actionsTargets
Reduction of SO2 specific emissions-30% by 2020 (vs. 2010) 
Reduction of NOx specific emissions-30% by 2020 (vs. 2010) 
Reduction of particulates -70% by 2020 (vs. 2010)
Reduction of specific water consumption-30% by 2020 (vs. 2010)
Cabling ratio74% by 2019
Reduction of waste produced-20% by 2020 (vs. 2015)
Implementation of biodiversity plan
Continuation of protection of species in the “Red List” of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in the protected areas near plants
Circular economy

Adoption of a systematic approach to the circular economy in the Group Launch of project to assess circular economy impacts Coherent application of the principles of
the circular economy to Future-e projects, considering the circular economy as a key factor in developing the projects

Sustainability Plan 2017-2019