There are numerous benefits provided by water for our life, well-being, productivity and enjoyment. These include hydroelectricity as our main generation resource given that it represents 91% of our installed capacity, which we promote as a sustainable, efficient and clean source that contributes to the social and economic development of the territories.
That is which we are committed to a comprehensive water management, working in collaboration with our stakeholders so that this resource is protected and used properly. We will protect water as inheritance to future generations only if we are aware of its value for preserving life.
We develop action lines that allow us to improve our Company's productivity and competitiveness, contribute to the creation of value for our stakeholders and build an organization that is oriented to learning, innovation and sustainable development.
We promote hydroelectricity as our main source of energy generation that relies on the force of water as a renewable, clean, efficient and reliable source that contributes to the sustainable development of regions.
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- It provides more reliability to the National Electric Grid at reasonable costs.
- It contributes to the mitigation of the effects of climate change, helping through reservoirs to control floods and regulating the water resource during dry seasons.
- It generates low CO2 emissions.
- It does not waste or pollute the water.
- It is the most cost-effective and sustainable way to produce energy, thereby effectively responding to the variations in demand.
- It drives the development of other economic activities in the areas of influence.
- It provides resources for the protection of basins and the environment.
- It can be complemented with other renewable energy sources, such as wind and geothermal energy which are becoming ever more reliable and effective.
Climate change and climate variability
Climate change affects the availability of water, a resource largely used, to fulfill economic, energy and food needs. According to the Water, Environment and Health Institute, at present, water demand is increasingly higher than the water supply in the world (-40%).
According to the UN, Colombia is the third most vulnerable country to climate change since it drives the intensity of climate phenomena like El Niño and La Niña. This may result in risks, as well as physical, economic and regulatory impacts for the energy generation business, since it affects the uptime of water power reserves.
Knowledge and information
At the national and international levels, there is disinformation and unawareness on the technical and scientific aspects regarding hydroelectricity, as well as the advantages it offers the country and its communities. This form of generation is a process that functions with water and that strengthens the progress of regions and its inhabitants.
The country requires clear policies on water management, protection and regulation, in order to obtain a greater collective benefit regarding the sustainable use of resources. In Colombia, the Law 1715 / 2014 on non-conventional renewable energy promotes the inclusion of these energy sources in the country´s energy system.
Changes should happen within the energy sector at the regulatory and business levels due to reduction in solar, wind and other energy source costs, as well as the distributed generation, the energy generated by several small energy sources located near consumption locations.
The National Electric Grid’s flexibility, security and stability depend on the policies and regulations that position hydroelectricity as a renewable energy source that offers benefits and enables possibilities.
In 2017 we signed the ‘Agreement on Hydroelectricity’ in cooperation with the Colombian Association of Power Generation Companies (ACOLGEN) and EPM, also CELSIA backed by the International Centre for Hydropower (ICH). This publicly restated our interest, willingness and capacity to continue incorporating high sustainability standards in order to optimize Colombia’s utilization of its hydroelectric potential, protect water resources and contribute to the development of those territories and the country’s competitiveness.
Our hydroelectric power plants, Miel I and Sogamoso, stand out in the compilation of successful sustainability stories published by the World Bank and the International Hydropower Association (IHA). They highlight innovations in hydroelectric power plant project execution and operation around the world according to the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol developed by the IHA.
- Efficient use
We protect every detail in our administrative and production processes to properly preserve the resource. In our operations we use only water sources under concession (granting the right of use for a specific period by an authority) and consider criteria for its sustainability and habitats associated to these sources.
- Governance and regulations
We analyze the regulation of the resource and propose a governance system of water resources countrywide for its administration, regulation and conservation. It is made up of four fundamental points: strengthening the National Water Council, support the National Water Policy, create a Water Information and Knowledge System, and have a National Water Authority.
This proposal was built as a result of the Water Encounters that we conducted since 2012 with El Espectador, WWF and People & Earth. These are regional and national spaces to visualize water issues in Colombia and the relevance of its governance, where various sectors of society have participated.
- Water Risk
We have an action plan in place to manage water risks associated with climate change and other variables, which is aligned with the National Water Policy, aimed at securing water sustainability through a participative management, coordinated with territorial order and conservations of the ecosystems.
We also design adaptation measures to security the Company's sustainability, and we thus incorporate measurement of water stress (ratio between available water and water used in processes), and the water footprint (measurement of water amounts used for a product) in our management indicators.
They enable us to implement best practices, generate dialogue and reflection, propose joint plans, all of it based on collaboration with others. In this regard, we have joined in group actions with associations and other organizations to promote a comprehensive management of water. We also carry out specific actions with our stakeholders so that altogether we use the resource in a more sustainable manner.
- Knowledge and information
Each day, we seek to improve our understanding of water in terms of supply, forecasting and price structures, so that we can act in accordance with this information and promote continuous improvement.
Working with others drives us to be better, to combine efforts and skills, and to share learning. As a result, we have joined various collective sustainability initiatives that relate to several aspects of our management efforts, such as the comprehensive management of water resources.
- CEO Water Mandate
It's a UN Global Compact initiative that seeks to consolidate an international movement of companies committed to mitigating the emerging global crisis regarding this vital liquid. It covers six key areas and aims to develop a comprehensive strategy to manage and monitor water.
We signed up to this initiative in 2014 with a commitment to move forward with the implementation of direct operations, supply chain and watershed management, collective action, public policy, community relations and transparency.
- Sustainable Development Goal: Clean water and sanitation
Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation affect food security, subsistence and education. By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.
We committed to this Sustainable Development Goal in 2016 in order to contribute towards its fulfillment, implementing practices and programs that contribute to progress in the regions, and to the comprehensive care of this valuable resource.
- Basin Compact
This Compact brings together local, regional, national, public and private institutions that express their commitment not only to care for and conserve the Guarinó, La Miel and Chinchiná river basins, but also to inclusive social and economic development for communities in the area of influence.
We signed the Compact in 2013, making a commitment to care for water resources, as well as a commitment to social development, all in order to create synergies and reaffirm our commitment to caring for water.
- Water Stewardship
It is an initiative that seeks to contribute to the understanding and subsequent reduction of our water footprint, strengthening dialogue and cooperation between authorities, institutions, organizations and associations, as well as local community stakeholders, with a view to improving the way we interact with water and its sustainability, and thus transition from philosophical commitments to concrete actions.
We have been promoting the Water Stewardship initiative in Eastern Antioquia since 2014, specifically in Negro and Nare rivers basins, along with other organizations such as WWF, Cornare and EPM. We have agreed shared actions with communities, local authorities and other stakeholders that are present in the region, with the aim of ensuring responsible water use.
- Comprehensive Action Plans
Through the participation of all influential stakeholders in the area, this strategic territorial management tool seeks to plan actions for the care, protection and development of basins.
We are committed to Comprehensive Action Plans in which companies and all river users commit to caring for and maximizing the potential for life in tributaries (minerals and nutrients). These plans are also platforms for socio-environmental dialogue among the various stakeholders, so that they can analyze problems, as well as agree, manage and implement actions for the protection, recovery and development of basins.
ALSO OF INTEREST
2016 Management Report
Review in depth our business development supporting actions.