Spain-headquartered renewable energy generator Iberdrola has committed to ensuring all its global facilities will have a net positive impact on nature by 2030.
The company outlined its new biodiversity strategy on Monday on the sidelines of COP15 in Montreal, building on its previous commitments and actions, which include eliminating deforestation from its activities by 2025 and planting 20 million trees globally.
“This new biodiversity plan establishes the necessary mechanisms to ensure that its activity contributes, by the end of this decade, to generating better environmental conditions than those that existed previously,” Iberdrola said in an announcement.
Iberdrola’s plan is aligned with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s 2050 vision, and includes steps to better account for the impacts of the company’s activities, evaluate and review the actions taken by the company, and contributions to the systemic changes needed to achieve long-term biodiversity goals.
The company’s main activities are in Spain, the US, the UK, Mexico, and Brazil, but Iberdrola also has operations in a number of other European nations as well as in Australia, Canada, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam.
While its biodiversity action will be tested in a few selected countries initially, a 2025 review of the plan will be followed by a global roll-out as the company will seek to reach the target at all its global facilities.
Under the new plan, Iberdrola said it has established a new net balance accounting framework for biodiversity that is applicable to all its facilities and that makes it possible to quantify impacts – positive and negative – on ecosystems and species stemming from the construction, operation, and decommissioning of its installations.
“This will allow Iberdrola to know the degree of compliance with its goal at the global level and to review the biodiversity action plans accordingly,” the company said on its website.
Meanwhile, it also using the Natural Capital Protocol and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures’ approach to help identify various risks and opportunities.
It plans to assess its actions based on the avoid, reduce, restore, and regenerate principles.
That includes avoiding establishing new facilities in protected areas, using technologies that minimise land use change, developing specific plans to minimise impact on species – including collisions with overhead power lines and wind farms – as well as compensating for impacts on habitats and endangered species and promoting ecological corridors where suitable.
In supporting systemic changes, Iberdrola will support action for nature and biodiversity in international negotiations, work with private-sector representative bodies in the space, and contribute to the overall transformation of the energy sector and society.
Iberdrola released its first biodiversity plan in 2007, and has since launched a number of projects to meet its goals, with the company boasting 750 annual actions to protect biodiversity.
COP15 is getting a lot of attention for the unprecedented business interest there, though a report released last week by the Netherlands-based World Benchmarking Alliance found that global companies remain largely clueless about their impact and dependencies on nature, with only a very small number having put in place actions to reduce biodiversity loss.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org