A green footprint
Preserving the environment is one of our guiding principles, as declared in our Business Conduct Guidelines. This code applies globally to all Siemens Gamesa employees, who should be familiar with it and adopt it in their functional areas.
Further, all employees and business partners are expected to act in accordance with the criteria by adopting a pro-environmental mindset, applying environmental best practices and positively contributing to achieving the objectives which have been established and communicated.
They should also endeavor to make efficient use of their facilities, equipment and resources while making continuous efforts to minimize the associated environmental impact of these.
The Siemens Gamesa Policy was released in 2017. It encompasses the previous Quality, Environment, Health and Safety Policies from both legacy companies. The Policy, which will be the basis of our success and guide us towards continual improvement, is based on six pillars:
- Leadership commitment
- Compliance assurance
- Risk management
- Stakeholder engagement
- Product stewardship
- Operational excellence
The following, taken from the Policy, clearly articulates our core philosophy:
“United, we will shape the renewables sector and its entire value chain, leveraging our industrial, technological and innovative capabilities to contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable environment for generations to come.”
Siemens Gamesa is aware that climate change is a fundamental threat that the markets and sustainable development face. It has therefore adopted a Climate Change Policy which applies company-wide and seeks to foster the renewable energies which are deemed suitable and within its reach to attain a global low-carbon energy generation model that reduces environmental impact.
We are committed to fostering the sustainable use of resources, a culture of respect for the natural environment and to leading the fight against climate change by reducing the environmental impact of our company’s activities, defending biodiversity and encouraging information and training on our sustainable culture.
Siemens Gamesa has taken up the challenge of reaching carbon neutrality by 2025. This is one of the most ambitious climate targets any organization can set. The global roadmap for meeting this commitment includes a combination of adaptation and mitigation actions such as:
- Energy efficiency measures to reduce emissions in logistics.
- Measures to purchase clean electric power for plants and offices.
- Adaptation measures, such as fostering the use of electric vehicles, mobility plans which are more respectful to the environment and projects to achieve the complete recycling of wind turbine materials at the end of their life cycle.
- CO2 emission offsetting measures, which will take the form of an exchange of emission rights depending on different scenarios.
Siemens Gamesa products and services require certain natural resources, such as water, fossil fuels and wind, to perform their activities, thereby interacting with, and potentially affecting, ecosystems, landscapes and species. Some impacts to biodiversity can include, for example:
- Potential land use changes by vehicles and machinery to open up paths and remove vegetation
- Prolonged human presence which temporarily affects the behavior of species of fauna in a generally reversible way
- Potential species mortality due to collisions with wind turbines.
We are aware of these potential impacts on biodiversity, and are committed to doing everything we can to mitigate them. Siemens Gamesa wind projects are constructed in a sustainable way that allows for a balanced coexistence, thus conserving and protecting natural biodiversity and climate. This respect for biodiversity and ecosystems plays a leading role in our company’s business strategy.
We use several regulatory and voluntary instruments to achieve a positive net balance in relation to biodiversity and the environment, including:
- Company policies and procedures under the integrated management system
- Full compliance with permits granted by environmental and conservation authorities at each region, which set out requirements to ensure the local environment’s protection
- Setting environmental and control plans and implementing management systems, the majority of which have been certified according to the ISO 14001 standard to prevent and control environmental risks
- Fulfilling legislation on conducting environmental impact studies, which include analysis and prevention mechanisms that take into account different alternatives and lay down corrective measures to avoid, mitigate or offset any possible damage.
Siemens Gamesa calculates the environmental footprint of wind turbines by using Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) according to ISO 14040: A method that assesses the environmental impact over the entire life cycle of a product, from raw material extraction and manufacturing, through transport, installation and operation, to decommissioning and recycling at the end of life of a wind turbine. The results of the Life Cycle Assessment are formalized in the Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). The evaluation not only contributes to improving the new product design, but also increases energy efficiency for our customers.
Siemens Gamesa is continuously improving the environmental footprint of products, services and operations in accordance with Objective 12 Responsible Consumption and Production of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We pursue a life cycle approach so that our wind turbines not only provide clean energy during operation, but are also resource-efficient and recyclable. Our most significant efforts are:
- Reduce materials, waste, energy and water
- Optimize packaging and logistics
- Improve capacity factor for higher annual energy production
- Reduce time between service visits for less fuel consumption
- Apply remote diagnostics to increase availability
- Protect wildlife by using SCADA control
- Extend turbine lifetime by repair and product upgrades
- Modular design to optimize dismantling and waste treatment
- Reuse and recycle components and materials
- Seeking alternative materials for high recyclability