During the entire lifecycle of the wind farms, EDPR provides several economic benefits to the surrounding areas.
For the construction of wind farms, some infrastructures like roads, are required for the transportation of heavy equipment. Therefore, the construction of new roads and the rehabilitation of the existing ones will also benefit the surrounding community improving the connection for the local inhabitants. In addition, to continue with the construction flow of the wind farm and mainly in areas where wind energy is in early stages, it may be essential an upgrade of the distribution and transmission grids from the existent distribution and transmissions system operators. EDPR supports these upgrades, financially and technically, indirectly benefiting the quality of the electric service on the area. In 2017, EDPR invested c. €7 million to develop community roads and €1.6 million to improve public electric facilities.
LOCAL HIRING AND PROCUREMENT PRACTICES
With the aim of improving the local economic development, a high percentage of the employees and 99% of the purchases come from locations where EDPR operates. These employees usually are designated to operational activities, such as wind farm management, wind turbines operation and maintenance, electrical and civil works maintenance environmental surveillance and other support services. EDPR benefits from the specific knowledge from the local workers.
It is an ethical and civic duty to contribute to the financing of the general functions of the States where the Group is present through the payment of taxes, contributing to the welfare of citizens, to a sustainable development of the Group’s local businesses and to the value creation for shareholders. The total tax contribution of EDPR Group to the public finances amounts to €171 million in year 2017. Moreover, EDPR’s Social Security contribution amounts to €13 million.
EDPR believes that in order to make a positive impact on the communities where is operating and to enhance the responsible company reputation, it is vital to work for the common good by promoting and supporting social and environmental initiatives.
In 2017, EDPR invested €2 million in initiatives with the community and approved the Social Investment Policy. This policy establishes the corporate objectives and strategies related to EDPR’s Social Investment, which is expressed in Corporate Social Responsibility programs and activities in the communities where EDPR is present through internally developed and collaborative initiatives, donations and volunteering. This initiatives will impact positively the promotion and development of the following four main areas: Culture & Art; Social inclusion, Sustainable ways of living & Access to energy; Natural heritage and Biodiversity and Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency.
In 2017, these were the most relevant initiates throughout EDPR’s geographies:
EDPR Rural was launched in Brazil in 2016 in partnership with SEBRAE. The goal of this partnership is to qualify and train rural farmers to effectively produce and market their products in order to increase family incomes, better organize production and guarantee a diverse and secure supply. The program also contributes to restoring dignity and pride to agricultural professions. During 2017, two big initiatives called “Mais Negocio” were held in two municipalities of Rio Grande do Norte in order to provide training on entrepreneurship and business management to the rural families enrolled in the program.
EDPR invests in the development of communities located near its operations and strives to form close relationships with them in order to guarantee a positive legacy for future generations. In keeping with these commitments, the company created the Closer2You initiative, whose first edition was held in Constanta County, Romania in 2016.
This year EDPR extended the initiative to Poland, Brazil and Portugal and rehabilitated a total of five homes. The biggest challenge was in Babilônia, Brazil, where EDPR worked with a low-income family with three children, two of whom suffer from a mental illness. The house was in such poor condition that it was decided build the family a new one. Collaboration agreements were reached with local authorities and suppliers in order to provide the family with water and more dignified conditions.
The initiative is a way of enriching EDPR’s relationships with stakeholders and is focused on sustainable communities. In 2018, Closer2You will continue to help families close to EDPR’s facilities.
Generation EDPR, like the other programs, is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. The differentiation point is its educational approach through renewable energy. Currently, there are four main projects: Your Energy, University Challenge, Windexperts and Green Education.
University Challenge aims to foster the spirit of innovation and creativity within the academic community, which in turn will promote a greater bond between universities and the business world. The program continued this year in its ninth edition in Spain and its second edition in Poland. It saw a significant increase in the number of projects submitted.
Your Energy is an international program that helps children discover the world of renewable energy, and Green Education supports the education of children and teenagers from families with limited resources.
Wind Experts is an educational program for children aged 10 to 13 about renewable energy while developing their sense of creativity. Through a partnership with Science4you, children received a model of a wind turbine, which they had to use to create a new structure using only recyclable materials. In 2018 it will also be developed in Portugal.
Learn more at generationedpr.edpr.com
EDPR SUPPORTS HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF EFFORTS
In August 2017, the city of Houston and other surrounding cities were devastated by Hurricane Harvey and the damage caused by the severe flooding and wind. Having its headquarters there, EDPR reacted quickly in helping all the community affected by the disaster.
Both the company and its employees jumped into action by assisting their colleagues and the rest of the community. Initiatives including housing assistance, disaster pay, and additional paid volunteer time were offered to EDPR’s employees. For the communities, several actions like home tear-downs and repairs, food banks and city clean-ups were organized by a group of volunteer EDPR employees, who dedicated some of their time (during or after work) to help. EDPR also donated over $100,000 to some charities helping Hurricane Harvey Relief. These initiatives showed the spirit of share and compassion for the community that the company constantly strives to achieve.
Fundación EDP’s mission is to reinforce EDP’s social responsibility with its stakeholders in the geographical areas in which it carries out its activity. This happens every year with the implementation of several programs and initiatives that seek to create value for society in different areas:
According to the code of ethics, EDPR respects and undertakes to promote human rights, particularly in its supply chain.
The Principles of Sustainable Development of EDPR affirm the commitments to integrate the social aspects in planning and decision-making, to respect and promote respect for human rights in their sphere of influence, to reject abusive and discriminatory practices, as well as to ensure equal opportunities.
Additionally, EDP Group assumes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the conventions, treaties or international initiatives, such as the conventions of the International Labor Organization, the United Nations Global Compact and the guiding principles for business and human rights endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council – Ruggie Framework.
The strong sense of ethics at EDPR requires that its suppliers do not have conflicts with EDPR ethical standards. In this way, the acceptance of alignment with the spirit of EDPR’s Code of Ethics and the UN Global Compact principles is required. Additionally, the EDP Group Sustainable Procurement Policy includes a reference to the promotion of respect for dignity and human rights and rejection of any form of forced labor or child labor, harassment, discrimination, abuse or other types of physical or psychological violence.
The channel for complaining to and questioning the Ethics Ombudsman of EDPR is the preferred means of contact related to the matters of human rights and labor, including in the context in the supply chain.