Ambitions and goals

In 2015, Statkraft performed a materiality analysis to identify the sustainability issues that are most important to the company and its stakeholders. Three of the issues identified were: Climate change mitigation, adaption and preparedness, Biodiversity and Water management. Ambition, goals and status for 2015 is presented below.

2015 status on goals related to Climate change mitigation, adaptation and preparedness

The possible effects of climate change on Statkraft’s Nordic hydropower assets are well understood. Statkraft has adapted regional climate models to assess probable future changes in precipitation and temperature, which affect water values and production possibilities. Operational and investment decisions are based on such assessments.

Statkraft has used IPCC/UNFCCC and other scientific data as basis to decide upon one global warming scenario.  This scenario is used in the Nordics to assess the effects of climate change on our assets.  

Outside the Nordics, our understanding of climate change effects is not so detailed. Several R&D projects have therefore focused on this issue. For non-Nordic assets we conduct hydrological impact studies and also assess future water availability to understand future implications on balancing water needs for energy production, ecosystem services and environment.  

Statkraft has had a strategic collaboration with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute since 2009, and is also involved in a number of R&D projects supported by the Norwegian Research Council.

Statkraft also assesses and develops tools to evaluate potential greenhouse gas emissions from our hydropower reservoirs. This is done in collaboration with leading research institutes, other industry actors and industry associations such as IEA and IHA.

Statkraft continuously follows national, EU and global climate policy developments to assess the possible impact on our business.  We have provided direct input to policy processes in Norway and the EU, and also participated in relevant public consultations. Statkraft joined the World Bank Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition in 2014 with the goal to establish carbon pricing as the core approach to decarbonization on a global level, and participates in other international partnerships to promote international carbon markets. Statkraft established a new office in California for carbon trading in 2015 and is directly involved in various markets for carbon related products in order to contribute with product development and enhance the development of carbon markets.

2015 status on goals related to Biodiversity

Statkraft acknowledges that its core business – wind- and hydro power – has an impact on biodiversity and ecosystems.  Biodiversity issues, including red-list species and protected areas, are therefore mapped and evaluated before an investment decision is made. In project operations, Statkraft works systematically with biodiversity issues where such action is warranted. Any impacts on biodiversity defined as serious, less serious or unwanted environmental incidents are reported through Statkraft’s non-conformity system.

As part of our efforts to effectively manage biodiversity issues, Statkraft has previously developed a geo-reference database for for red-listed species and critical habitats. The system is intended to act as an information database to ensure that potential impacts are followed up and evaluated systematically. The system is still a pilot, focusing on Statkraft’s Norwegian operations.

Biodiversity is one of the prioritized areas for Statkraft’s environmental R&D strategy. Impacts on ecosystem services, development of new holistic tools for improved management in regulated systems, and impacts on habitat fragmentation through two way fish migration are some examples of recent R&D projects related to biodiversity.

2015 status on goals related to Water management

Sustainable water management and impacts from project development and operations is a central part of project leader course. Furthermore, any breach on water levels, minimum flow or self-restrictions linked to hydropeaking requirements is reported through the non-conformity system and evaluated.

To further increase our knowledge and potentially reduce our impacts on the environment and use of water as a natural resource Statkraft invests in specific and selected research programs and projects, both nationally and internationally. Important R&D topics related to water management includes hydropeaking and environmental impacts and mitigation measures, technical design of hydropower operation in northern regions, climate effects on the hydropower sector and water availability, and GHG emissions from reservoirs and reservoir operation.