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Resource Use and Circular Economy

Waste and Natural Resources

GRI 103, 306-1, 306-2; SASB IF-EU-150a.1 / SDG12

CEZ Group is aware of the growing importance of waste management and protection of finite natural resources throughout all its operations. Thus, waste is seen as a resource, and principles of circular economy are applied throughout all steps of waste management.

Waste management is based on the Environmental Management System (EMS), which establishes a hierarchy of waste management methods from prevention, preparation for reuse, recycling, and energy recovery to disposal. Waste management is provided by professionally qualified personnel. Specific projects are introduced to reflect our policy and waste prevention.

Circular economy is a sustainable model of production and consumption that extends the lifecycle value optimization of resources and products, reducing waste to a minimum. We have introduced the principles of circular economy into CEZ Group corporate culture, strategy, and processes of our business activities. The Board of Directors of ČEZ, a. s., is responsible for waste management and circular economy through the Environmental Protection and Safety Policy.

The waste management hierarchy is followed in all our activities. Waste is delivered to licensed waste treatment facilities. In 2023, 58% of waste was reused or recycled, and 34% was disposed, of which 28% of waste was sent to a landfill, 8% of waste, predominantly iron scrap from demolitions, remained stored and was handed over for further utilization in the following year.

The more than twofold increase in waste production is related to the demolition of four blocks of the Prunéřov coal power plant. As coal power plants are phased out of operation, technologies are dismantled and obsolete buildings are demolished, resulting in a significant amount of waste. Prior to demolition, we conduct waste screening aimed at identifying reusable equipment / materials and hazardous waste. We manage the demolition to maximize waste utilization. Most of our waste consists of construction and demolition waste originating from the demolition of obsolete structures, and sludges from wastewater treatment, waste metals and municipal waste. Most of our waste consists of construction and demolition waste originating from the demolition of obsolete structures, and sludges from wastewater treatment, waste metals, and municipal waste.

ČEZ Recycling, a subsidiary of ČEZ, a. s., applies the principles of circular economy when taking back discarded photovoltaic panels. This will include batteries in the near future. In 2023, ČEZ Recycling took back 2,368 photovoltaic panels, which is 40,251 tons.

Coal combustion products, and incineration and desulphurization products (4,566,554 t) are subjected to regular testing and certification as part of waste prevention; 99.7% are further used as these products, thus avoiding waste generation. End-of-life products in amount 316 tons were sorted and sent for recycling under the take-back scheme (batteries, accumulators, tires, fluorescent lamps, discarded electrical equipment), thereby prevented from becoming waste.

Data on waste and waste management are reported in accordance with Directive 98/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Decision 2014/955/EU on the list of wastes by waste catalogue numbers and recovery/disposal codes, based on weighing by weight at the time of transfer of waste to the recovery/disposal facility. Data are based on company-wide data collection and waste management data from the companies to which the waste was transferred. The data do not include wastewater or mass from mining that is used for remediation and reclamation works. The GRI 306: Waste 2020 standard has been used for data reporting.

Waste generated
Waste generated (t) 2021 2022 2023
Non-hazardous waste 59,235 47,738 119,822
Hazardous waste 2,994 1,733 8,695
Radioactive waste 337 428 238
Total waste generated 62,566 49,889 128,755
Hazardous waste diverted from disposal
Hazardous waste diverted from disposal (t) 2021 2021 On‑site 2021 Off‑site 2022 2022 On‑site 2022 Off‑site 2023 2023 On‑site 2023 Off‑site
Preparation for reuse 188 0 188 1 0 1 9 0 9
Recycling 584 0 584 271 178 93 352 0 352
Other recovery options 603 0 603 65 0 65 289 0 289
Total hazardous waste diverted from disposal 1,375 0 1,375 337 178 159 650 0 650
Non-hazardous waste diverted from disposal
Non-hazardous waste diverted from disposal (t) 2021 2021 On‑site 2021 Off‑site 2022 2022 On‑site 2022 Off‑site 2023 2023 On‑site 2023 Off‑site
Preparation for reuse 17,378 0 17,378 6,128 0 6,128 14,829 0 14,829
Recycling 14,532 0 14,532 17,152 0 17,152 58,080 0 58,080
Composting 20,556 17,005 3,551 15,727 14,882 845 846 0 846
Other recovery options 12,019 7,360 4,659 9,783 9,159 624 269 0 269
Total non-hazardous waste diverted from disposal 64,485 24,365 40,120 48,790 24,041 24,749 74,023 0 74,023
Total waste diverted from disposal 65,860 24,365 41,495 49,127 24,219 24,908 74,673 0 74,673
Hazardous waste directed to disposal
Hazardous waste directed to disposal (t) 2021 2021 On‑site 2021 Off‑site 2022 2022 On‑site 2022 Off‑site 2023 2023 On‑site 2023 Off‑site
Recovery including energy 154 0 154 296 0 296 88 0 88
Incineration 26 0 26 36 0 36 48 0 48
Landfill 589 0 589 193 0 193 6,706 0 6,706
Other disposal options 849 0 849 1,051 0 1,051 1,203 0 1,203
Total hazardous waste directed to disposal 1,618 0 1,618 1,576 0 1,576 8,045 0 8,045
Non-hazardous waste directed to disposal
Non-hazardous waste directed to disposal (t) 2021 2021 On‑site 2021 Off‑site 2022 2022 On‑site 2022 Off‑site 2023 2023 On‑site 2023 Off‑site
Recovery including energy 95 0 95 76 0 76 496 0 496
Incineration 14 0 14 117 0 117 62 0 62
Landfill 10,636 4,683 5,954 16,638 1,498 15,140 29,526 1,150 28,376
Other disposal options 8,708 4,188 4,520 6,587 3,316 3,271 6,012 2,584 3,428
Total non-hazardous waste directed to disposal 19,453 8,871 10,583 23,418 4,814 18,604 36,096 3,734 32,362
Total waste directed to disposal 21,071 8,871 12,201 24,994 4,814 20,180 44,141 3,734 40,407

1) Note: The onsite category also includes radioactive waste in the Dukovany repository of 238 tonnes in 2023.

Waste Produced per Electricity and Heat Generated
Waste Produced per Electricity and Heat Generated (kg/MWh) 2021 2022 2023
Total weight of non-hazardous waste 0.92 0.77 2.02
Total weight of hazardous waste 0.05 0.03 0.15

In connection with the demolition of the Prunéřov 1 coal power plant, the production of other and hazardous waste increased significantly in 2023 per MWh of electricity and heat. Nearly 80 thousand tons of waste were produced during the demolition. Besides the waste generated from the demolition, the production of waste remained at the level of the previous year. Hazardous waste accounted for approximately 6.8% of all waste in 2023. The increase in hazardous waste production is again related to the demolition of the coal power plant, mainly waste contaminated with petroleum products.

The main waste streams which represent the majority shares in other and hazardous wastes from the main production activities:
Waste Streams Waste Composition Waste Production in 2023 (t) Annex III of the Basel Convention
Other waste/Construction and demolition waste Insulation, construction timber, waste plastics, mineral fiber, bricks, concrete, reinforced concrete from demolition and reconstruction of buildings, including excavated soil from construction work. 20,045 N/A
Hazardous waste/ Construction and demolition waste Contaminated waste from demolition sites, waste containing asbestos 6,423 HP 14HP 3HP 7
Other waste /Waste from power stations and other combustion plants that is certified under the product scheme According to Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council, fly ash is not classified as a dangerous substance. The substance consists of glassy/amorphous material and mineral phases. Its chemical composition is preferably analyzed as elemental and is given as the mass fraction of each equivalent oxide, e.g., SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, CaO. 15,725 N/A
Other waste/Waste metals (including their alloys)) The composition depends on the material used in the technology. These are mainly iron and steel, clay, copper, cables, etc. 58,561 N/A
Other waste/Sewage treatment plant waste and sewage sludge Sludge is a suspension of solid and colloid particles of organic and inorganic substances in water. Sludge contains organic substances, nitrogen and phosphorus compounds, heavy metals (Zn, Pb, Cu, Cr, Ni, Cd, Hg, As) in concentrations of1 to 1000 mg/kg dry weight; organic substances, inorganic compounds based on Si, Al, Ca, Mg, etc. 2,157 N/A
Hazardous waste/Engine, gear and lubricating waste oils and oil separator waste Waste oils classified into individual categories in terms of their use for regeneration, reprocessing or energy recovery. 118 HP 3

Our employees sort the generated waste in order to separate usable components. Waste is collected in appropriate collection bins, the number and location of which is continuously optimized according to actual needs. In addition to the usable components of municipal waste – paper, plastics, glass, bio-waste – we also hand over used oil, metal materials and other usable waste for recycling. The system includes the take-back of electrical and electronic equipment and batteries. Electrical waste is handled by sheltered workshops employing the physically disabled.

In order to prevent waste generation in CEZ Group, we regenerate transformer oils. In 2022, the amount of regenerated transformer oil for reuse was 452 tons.

In connection with the disposal of unneeded assets and inventories at individual sites, disposal committees are established to maximize the use of unneeded assets and inventories within CEZ Group or to sell them externally so that the equipment can be used throughout its life cycle.

Radioactive Waste (RAW)

We manage radioactive waste at nuclear power plants in compliance with Act No. 263/2016 Coll., Atomic Energy Act.

Liquid RAW (radioactive concentrate) from the Dukovany and Temelín nuclear power plants is immobilized in bitumen into a form complying with waste acceptance criteria for disposal. The main process equipment is a film rotor evaporator where the concentrate is mixed with bitumen and water is evaporated. The resulting product is filled into 200-liter drums. Solid waste is compacted or incinerated, melted and supercompacted abroad.

In 2023, there were 29 tracked domestic shipments of radioactive waste from the Temelín nuclear power plant to the Dukovany nuclear power plant site. There was also one international road transport of radioactive waste from Temelín to JAVYS EBO to reduce the by high pressure compaction, and one return transport of radioactive waste after treatment by high pressure compaction from JAVYS EBO to Dukovany. In addition, 5 international shipments of radioactive waste were carried out from Dukovany to the Studsvik Sweden AB incinerator for the purpose of reducing their volume by incineration.

Coal Combustion Residuals (CCRs)

We manage the technological processes of coal and biomass combustion with the aim of utilizing combustion products including fly ash, slag, and desulfurization products (FGD gypsum), in the construction industry. Our target was to reuse at least 98% of the coal combustion residuals by the end of 2023. 83.1% of the CCRs were used for landscaping and terrain shaping, and 16.6% of CCRs were sold for other uses in the construction industry. We sold a total of 402,435 tons of energy gypsum to produce plasterboards and cement. The total of 99.95% of CCRs were utilized or handed over for utilization, both in the certified products regime and in the waste regime.

Waste to Energy (WtE)

The utilization of waste following the circular economy principles brings new opportunities in the energy sector. CEZ Group has the technical, technological, and personal know-how to make the most of these opportunities to help improve the environment and replace primary sources (especially coal).

A project of equipment for the energy utilization of waste in the Energotrans area (Mělník power plant) is being prepared. The objective of the facility is to thermally utilize residual non-recyclable waste to generate heat and electricity, thus replacing up to 3,000 wagons of coal per year. As such, the WtE facility is an important component of circular economy in our industry. The assumption is the commencement of operations at the turn of 2027 and 2028.

Resources Used/Materials

GRI 301-1

In CEZ Group, various fuels, such as natural gas, coal, lignite, uranium, and biomass fuels are used to produce electricity, heating and cooling. We prefer locally sourced coal, biomass and materials for flue gas cleaning. In 2023, 31% of fuel for energy production was black or brown thermal coal. In our two nuclear power plants, we used 81 tons of nuclear fuel to produce 30.41 TWh of emission-free electricity. Nuclear resources produced the largest amount of energy in CEZ Group.

Sorbents and reagents for flue gas cleaning at CEZ Group’s coal-fired power plants in Czechia are delivered under long-term purchase contracts. Sorbent deliveries amounted to 697,000 tons in 2023.

Resources Used in the Production Processes by Weight/Volume/Energy Content
Non–renewable materials – fuels
Non–renewable materials – fuels Total amount (kt), gas (mil. m3) Energy (PJ)
2021 2022 2023 2021 2022 2023
Hard coal 1,864 1,744 1,298 36 33 26
Lignite 12,434 12,469 11,340 143 143 131
Natural gas 696 541 477 24 19 17
Diesel, light fuel oil 3.07 2.63 3.72 0.13 0.11 0.14
Heavy fuel oil 2.36 2.94 1.74 0.10 0.13 0.07
Uranium 0.07 0.07 0.08 289 287 317
Renewable materials – fuels
Renewable materials – fuels Total amount (kt), gas (mil. m3) Energy (PJ)
2021 2022 2023 2021 2022 2023
Liquid biofuels 1,115 912 896 12.4 10.4 9.9
Solid biofuels 0.23 0 0 0.008 0 0
Biogas 1.13 0 18 0.039 0 0.4
Non-renewable materials – other
Non-renewable materials – other 2021 2022 2023
Limestone (kt) 720 757 661
Lime (kt) 41 28 34
Urea (kt) 1.1 0.03 0.005
Ammonia water 0.5 1.5 2.05
Adipic acid (kt) - NEW N/A N/A 0.19

When selecting and using materials and resources, we respect the requirements or prohibitions on their use according to specific European regulations and directives (e.g., REACH Regulation, Regulation on Persistent Organic Pollutants, Directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment, or Regulation on f-gases). In the case of substances for which a ban is being preliminarily discussed in connection with the preparation of new legislation, we analyze the situation and seek alternatives (currently for silicone sealants and lubricants, PFAS).

Energy Consumption and Reduction of Energy Intensity

GRI 103, 302-1, 302-3; SASB IF-EU-000.D / SDG7

Energy consumption within CEZ Group includes all energy consumption, including primary energy (chemically bound in fuels) used to produce noble forms of energy (electricity and district heat).

The Total Energy Consumption3 Corresponds to the Difference Between the Energy Input and the Energy Output:
+ energy consumption from non-renewable (fossil)  fuels (coal, natural gas, liquid fuels)  sale of energy (electricity, heating, cooling, process steam)
+ energy consumption from renewable fuels (biomass, biogas, liquid biofuels)  
+ heat produced in steam generators from nuclear fuel
+ energy production from non-fuel sources (wind, water, photovoltaics)
+ purchase of energy (electricity, heat) for own consumption

The most significant item of total energy consumption is the energy chemically bound in fuels used to generate electricity and heating. In addition, the total energy consumption includes own consumption of electricity for electricity production, consumption of electricity for heat supply for heating purposes, consumption of electricity for other purposes (buildings, lighting, etc.), own consumption and losses of process heat, and own consumption of district heating (heating, hot water, etc.).

The energy intensity indicator for electricity and heating production in CEZ Group is expressed as the ratio of energy consumed from renewable fuels, non-renewable fuels (including nuclear fuel) to energy sold (electricity, heat, cold, process steam).

Energy balance
Energy balance (energy consumption from fuel per energy supplied) Unit 2021 2022 2023
A) Energy consumption in fuel for electricity and heat production TJ 535,991 523,519 495,341
o/w non-renewable fuels TJ 523,583 513,851 486,165
o/w renewable fuels TJ 12,408 9,668 9,176
B) Energy generated from nonfuel TJ 7,351 6,936 6,366
C) Energy supplied TJ 199,166 194,061 188,910
o/w electricity TJ 172,773 170,543 161,103
o/w heating TJ 26,393 23,412 27,793
o/w cooling* TJ N/A 53 14
o/w steam* TJ N/A 0 0
Total energy consumption, including primary energy for electricity and heat production (A+B-C) TJ 344,176 336,393 312,796
Energy intensity indicator (A/C)   2.691 2.698 2.622

* Indicator reported since 2022.

Resource Share of the Energy Mix in 2023
Resource %
Nuclear 59.1
Hydro 4.6
Photovoltaic 0.3
Wind 0.7
Coal 30.0
Natural gas 3.9
Biomass 1.4
Biogas 0.0

Our energy-saving commitments, which are described in the CEZ Group Energy Policy and approved by the Board of Directors, set the framework for energy management and efficiency. Fulfilling these commitments will also help us achieve our target to reduce our GHG emission intensity.

In line with the Czech National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, we implement energy efficiency initiatives with our customers. We install modern technologies, smart products, and systems that intelligently manage energy consumption.

We also raise customer awareness of energy savings through information campaigns.

Major energy-saving projects we implemented for our customers in 2023 are listed below:

  • high-efficiency cogeneration of electricity and heat,
  • heat pumps in residential buildings,
  • energy services with guaranteed financial savings,
  • energy-efficient lighting in non-residential buildings,
  • energy-efficient outdoor lighting in industrial premises.

In the next few years, we will focus primarily on digital transformation and decentralized energy generation. We see digitalization as a driver for lower energy consumption, and we have set a target to cover 80% of consumption with smart meters by 2030.