Electricity is a unique product that has the power to enhance quality of life. As a company involved in the provision of such a vital commodity we must demonstrate responsible and ethical working practices. For a global wholesale generating company like International Power, this equates to following fair and ethical principles to govern the way we manage and conduct our business. It means working in a smart and integrated way – by ensuring our key competencies, technical expertise and best practices are properly implemented over a widely dispersed and diverse range of assets to produce power, water and process heat safely and cleanly.
The measures necessary to combat global climate change represent one of the biggest challenges to our business. Government actions across the world to meet the Kyoto Protocol and other climate change initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions will, over time, increase the cost of emitting carbon. These measures will alter the economic balance between different fuels, favouring low carbon and renewable technologies. New business opportunities may be created to exploit renewable energy technologies and potentially also carbon capture and storage technologies. Our strategy is to generate energy in an efficient way, to develop low carbon technology and expand our renewables portfolio.
When generating electricity, the key environmental issues are:
- Emissions to atmosphere of carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide and particulates (dust)
- Management of waste materials, including ash, waste oil and other wastes
- Resource use, including fuel (coal, gas and oil), electricity, water and land
- Water discharges
- Managing our impacts on biodiversity
- For those assets which also produce desalinated water the temperature and salinity of water returned to the sea is also a key environmental issue.
Our company operates across the globe and the local environmental conditions and regulatory frameworks vary considerably. All assets, regardless of their location, are required to comply with the Company’s environmental policy and management systems.
Our development and acquisition projects are financed by international banks, export credit agencies and other multilateral finance agencies that require compliance with International Finance Corporation (IFC) or similar standards. Many International banks have formally committed themselves to these standards in signing up to fund projects in accordance with the Equator Principles, which require that projects meet IFC standards relating to social and environmental responsibility. Read more about the Equator Principles.
A key driver of company policy in the last five years has been to establish a cohesive and consistent approach to health, safety and environmental management. All International Power assets, where we have operational control, have ISO 14001 certified environmental management systems - apart from those recently acquired or in the process of construction, where we are in the process of obtaining them.