22. 3. 2023

CEZ Group is the first Czech company to join the global UN initiative CEO Water Mandate for reducing consumption

CEZ Group is the first Czech company to join the CEO Water Mandate, a special initiative of the UN Secretary General and the Global Compact corporate platform. With membership in the initiative, CEZ owns up to a commitment to address water protection in a comprehensive manner, in cooperation with the United Nations, national governments, civic initiatives, and others. The participating companies undertake to introduce effective water-management measures and to share examples of best practice in water protection and consumption reduction. Other European utilities companies such as Enel, Engie, E.ON, and Iberdrola have also joined the initiative. By joining, CEZ will step up the water-saving measures with which it has reduced the consumption of drinking water in its classic power plants by two-thirds in the last 10 years.

“Next to fuel, water is the second most important raw material in the energy sector – energy and heat generation cannot do without it. At CEZ Group, we have been working systematically to reduce water consumption for many years. We find it logical to share our processes on a global level and, on the other hand, to gain inspiration from others about how to care for water even more efficiently,” says CEZ Group Chief Sustainability Officer Kateřina Bohuslavová.

Water-savings are one of the top priorities for CEZ Group.  Over the last ten years, CEZ has reduced the consumption of drinking water in its classic power plants by two-thirds. CEZ is successfully saving drinking water in its more than one hundred administrative buildings throughout the country. Last year, when people fully returned to their offices after Covid, the savings compared to 2019 amounted to roughly 13,000 cubic metres, in other words almost 20%. The measures adopted include overall renovations of the buildings that address water and wastewater, but also the installation of more economical taps, tap aerators, and flushers with water dispensers, purchase of more efficient appliances for office kitchens and company canteens, as well as thorough monitoring and timely leak detection.

CEZ also pays attention to retaining water in the landscape. At the Dukovany power plant, for example, they built rainwater infiltration retention reservoirs to boost the ground water level.  This intelligent way of ground water drainage helps retain moisture in the landscape.

CEZ has been gradually upgrading its hydro power plants, increasing their efficiency (more electricity using the same amount of water). The Vltava river power plants Lipno, Hněvkovice, Kamýk, Slapy, and Vrané have already undergone a comprehensive overhaul. CEZ also reuses surface water that has already been used in electricity production. Water from its cooling cycle leaving classic and hydro power plants lends its strength once more to water turbines in Mělník, Ledvice, and Kořensko, below the Temelín nuclear power plant.

The CEO Water Mandate initiative includes some 240 companies from around the world. Besides CEZ, other European utilities members include also the Germany E.ON, French Engie, Italian Enel, or Spanish Iberdrola. The goal is to provide transparently detailed information about water management and to share examples of best practices in water protection and consumption reduction. The measures that the initiative recommends introducing pertain not only to the direct use of water in operations, but also to the supplier chain, cooperation with public institutions, awareness campaigns, etc.