Renewable energy, like wind, has a strong influence in the local communities. Assets are usually constructed in remote locations, which brings positive direct and indirect economic benefits to the local communities, while contributing to the global fight against climate change. EDPR’s activity has a direct economic impact, an indirect impact on supply chain and induced impacts on community.
EDPR provides long-lasting economic benefits to surrounding areas throughout the entire lifecycle of its wind farms. These benefits include, but are not limited to, infrastructure investments, tax payments, landowners’ royalty payments, job creation and direct contributions to community projects.
The construction of a wind farm comprises the construction of new roads and the rehabilitation of existing ones in order to transport heavy equipment (i.e. wind turbines) to the site during construction works. The local communities benefit from these roads, as they provide an improved connection for local inhabitants to perform their agricultural activities.
The integration of our generation capacity may require upgrades in the distribution and transmission grids that belong to the distribution system or transmission system operators. Most of the times, these upgrades are financially and technically supported by EDPR, indirectly benefitting the quality of electric service in the surrounding areas. This is particularly important in countries where wind energy is in its early stages. Utility systems upgrades are also performed in countries where wind energy is already in a mature stage.
Leases, taxes, and revenue sharing
EDPR also provides direct economic returns to the local and regional communities by means of land leases, local taxes and property taxes. For example, in the US, property tax is paid to state and local entities in the states where the assets are held, which benefits the local communities. This sharing of revenues is a large contribution to the yearly budget of rural municipalities where wind farms are located. Furthermore, during the construction of our wind farms, the local community can see an influx of temporary construction workers that provide a positive impact on the local economy through local spending and increased sales tax revenue.
As part of the relationship with the local communities, we also make donations to the local social development. These contributions include, but are not limited to, investments in associations, universities, schools and youth organizations, entities that work to preserve the local culture, organizations focused on sports and physical activity and also contributions to medical causes
Local hiring and procurement practices
Although there are no in-house procedures explicitly requiring local recruitment, a high percentage of our employees come from the locations in which the company operates. As a result, we contribute to the local economic development.
For operational activities, we usually hire members of the local community for the operation and maintenance services of the wind farms, such as wind farm management, wind turbines operation and maintenance, electrical and civil works maintenance, environmental surveillance and other support services. These practices let us benefit from local workers specific knowledge.
EDPR considers 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 and contributions due, in accordance with the applicable Constitution and remaining laws of those States. This way we contribute to the welfare of citizens, to a sustainable development of the Group’s local businesses and to the value creation for shareholders.
EDPR has defined policies, procedures and standards to ensure the sustainability of its supply chain, and in order to manage and mitigate environmental, social and ethical risks.
We are guided by a strong sense of ethics and require our suppliers to comply fully with EDPR’s ethical standards.
EDPR is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact directives for sustainable development. As part of this agreement, EDPR only works with suppliers that are in compliance with the UN Global Compact’s 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption.
EDPR suppliers must also adopt all necessary measures to ensure strict compliance with all applicable environmental regulations, as well with as EDPR´s Environment and Biodiversity Policies and the internal norms, procedures and systems that govern environmental management.
Specifically, EDPR has implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) developed and certified according to the international standard ISO 14001:2004 for all its wind farms in operation. EDPR suppliers must know and understand the EMS. They must make the EMS available to their employees and subcontractors, and ensure their full compliance with the procedures set out in the EMS.
Finally, suppliers are also included in our Health & Safety policies and initiatives. Specifically, EDPR is committed to striving for zero accidents in its activities, a principle backed by the company’s OHSAS 18001 certification. The company aims to have its entire installed capacity certified by 2017.
Sustainable Supply Chain
Check out here the sustainable procurement policy for the EDP Group: