ACCIONA has been granted Chile's National Environmental Award due to becoming a carbon-neutral company. The award was presented during the 4th Edition of the National Environmental Award organised annually by the Recyclápolis Foundation and sponsored by the Chilean government. The main address at the ceremony was given by Prince Albert of Monaco, as president of the "Prince Albert II of Monaco" Foundation, which is devoted to environmental protection.
The Chilean National Environmental Award seeks to highlight initiatives that foster and promote new trends in sustainability, a commitment to environmental innovation and the development of projects that improve efficiency, reduce negative impacts on the environment and can be replicated nationwide.
In this edition, 160 initiatives were nominated in the following categories: Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Sustainable Culture and New Generations. ACCIONA won the Air category.
Carbon neutrality was achieved by putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions so as to ensure that the various business areas became implicated in reducing such emissions by implementing efficiency measures and purchasing green energy. ACCIONA became a carbon-neutral company in 2016, fulfilling the commitment made by Chairman José Manuel Entrecanales at the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015.
This award shows that ACCIONA's global leadership in implementing a crucial policy in the fight against climate change has begun to penetrate in the countries where it operates, blazing a trail for other companies to follow.
ACCIONA's infrastructure and renewable energy businesses, through which the group has a footprint in more than 40 countries, are carbon-neutral after reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 43% through the Sustainability Master Plan 2010-2015. ACCIONA's greenhouse gas emissions in 2016 amounted to 817,204 tons, which the company offset by acquiring Certified Emission Reductions, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), from wind energy projects in Mexico. In 2016, ACCIONA avoided the emission of 14.8 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere due to generating electricity solely from renewable sources.
ACCIONA's renewable electricity generation in Chile contributed to avoiding the emission into the atmosphere of 92,241 tons of CO2 through the operation of the Punta Palmeras wind farm (45 MW), located in the Coquimbo region, and of the El Romero photovoltaic plant, located in the Atacama region. At the same time, the company continues to implement energy efficiency and emissions reduction measures in its infrastructure business in Chile.