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Environmental Protection Policy and Management Systems

In CEZ Group the Board of Directors is responsible for Environmental Safety and Protection Policy and Energy Policy. Within these policies Environmental Management System according to ISO 14001 and Energy Management System according to ISO 50001 are the basis for environmental protection.

The Environmental Management System (EMS) focuses on setting, monitoring and improving all activities that affect environmental quality, human health and safety. Within EMS, CEZ Group identifies environmental risks, creates conditions for their prevention and elimination, and reports on the environmental performance and impacts of its activities. These processes are audited as part of regular internal and external audits. Stakeholders are also taken into account in the EMS and their needs and expectations are assessed and solved. All employees receive regular environmental training every two years.

Most of our fossil fuel-fired power plants and thermal power plants have an EMS in place - 99.97% of the installed electrical capacity in 2023. The EMS is in place at all coal-fired thermal power plants and at both nuclear power plants. At the same time, the EMS is in place at 97% of all CEZ Group's energy sources, and certification of the renewable energy segment is being prepared for 2024.

Environmental Management System

GRI 103 / SDG9, SDG12

CEZ Group considers environmental protection as an integral part of its management system. CEZ Group’s Environmental Management System (EMS) follows the requirements of the management system standard ISO 14001. Within EMS, CEZ Group identifies environmental risks, creates conditions for their prevention and elimination, and reports on the environmental performance and impacts of its activities.

The system of environmental management applies in the following CEZ Group locations:

  • Hydroelectric power plants: Lipno I, Lipno II, Hněvkovice, Kořensko, Orlík, Kamýk, Slapy, Štěchovice, Vrané, Dalešice, Mohelno, Dlouhé stráně
  • Nuclear power plants: Dukovany, Temelín
  • Conventional power plants and heating plants: Dvůr Králové, Trmice, Vítkovice, Ledvice, Tušimice, Prunéřov, Hodonín, Poříčí, Dětmarovice, Mělník, Skawina, Chorzów
  • Combined cycle gas turbine power plant: Počerady
  • Cogeneration units and heat management: ČEZ Energo, s.r.o.
  • Non-production sites: AirPlus, AZ KLIMA, AZ KLIMA SK, Centrum výzkumu Řež, ČEZ Distribuce, ČEZ Energetické produkty, ČEZ ENERGOSERVIS, Domat Control System, e-Dome, ELIMER, ENESA, EP Rožnov, ESCO Servis, HA.EM OSTRAVA, High-tech Clima, Hormen, KART, MARTIA, Metrolog Sp., PRODECO, SD – Kolejová doprava, SPRAVBYTKOMFORT, ŠKODA JS, ŠKODA PRAHA, ÚJV Řež, Ústav aplikované mechaniky Brno, ČEZ Energetické služby s.r.o., PV Design and Build s.r.o. , Salleko s.r.o., MD projekt s.r.o., Belectric France, Belectric GmbH, Belectric Solar.

Within each production site, environmental conditions are assessed and verified in relation to:

  • emissions of pollutants and air quality,
  • greenhouse gas emissions,
  • availability of natural resources,
  • biodiversity,
  • impact on the rock environment and soils, existence of old environmental burdens,
  • waste and hazardous substances management,
  • water consumption and the impact of operations on surface and groundwater quality and water availability,
  • prevention of serious accidents caused by selected hazardous substances or mixtures,
  • radiation protection, in relevant cases.

The EMS includes a continually updated register of legal requirements that CEZ Group implements in its management documentation. Obligations established by applicable legislation, permits, and management documentation are monitored, and they are subject to annual internal audits at all locations. Likewise, external audits by an independent certification authority are performed. Registers of environmental aspects are kept for each site, and their significance in terms of environmental impacts are determined for each facility. EMS also includes monitoring of emissions and the evaluation of operational risks. Relevant environmental indicators are monitored in accordance with legal requirements and legitimate stakeholder requests. The scope and methods of monitoring and measurement are included in work documentation and methodologies.

Environmental performance is assessed in the environmental profile, which is established for all generation facilities, and which contains an evaluation of measurable indicators monitored in individual environmental areas. The following environmental performance indicators are identified for electricity and heat supply and generation:

  • air emissions production,
  • amount of surface and groundwater withdrawn,
  • amount of drinking water withdrawn,
  • amount of water for circulation and flow-through cooling,
  • wastewater production,
  • amount of waste produced,
  • amount of sorted recoverable waste,
  • Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) production,
  • amount of recycled CCRs,
  • amount of CCRs disposed of as waste.

Annually, as part of the EMS review, the Board of Directors is informed about the environmental profile of the generation portfolio; we assess both environmental performance indicators listed above, and environmental targets achieved. CEZ Group tracks both absolute quantities and particular quantities relative to the volume of electricity and heat generated. Monitoring and measurement records and environmental impact records are also subject to review as part of internal and external audits.

CEZ Group informs its stakeholders about the environmental performance and results of monitored environmental indicators in Annual Reports and Sustainability Reports. Additional information is publicly available through integrated permit assessment reports (IPPC) and the Integrated Pollution Register (IRZ). In EU countries, the results are available in the E-PRTR (European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register) at European Industrial Emissions Portal (EIEP). The results of measurements and monitoring are transmitted to the public administration via the Information System for the Fulfilment of Reporting Obligations (ISPOP).

CEZ Group has set up control systems to ensure the release of hazardous substances at its workplaces, which are regularly checked. Emergency plans are created in case of possible spills. Workplaces are equipped with means for dealing with emergency situations. Monitoring of the possible presence of harmful substances in the underground water and rock environment of the production sites is carried out. Regular EMS audits check compliance with regulations and environmental protection objectives.

Energy Management System

GRI 305-2

Since 2015, the Energy Management System (EnMS) has been a key tool for energy savings in CEZ Group. EnMS fully aligns with the Environmental Management System, and together they help fulfill our environmental policy. In particular, EnMS aims to:

  • improve energy efficiency,
  • optimize operations,
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

EnMS follows the ISO 50001:2018 standard and is set up at most of our production sites. Alternatively, regular audits are carried out. Regular internal and external EnMS audits check that energy management requirements are met. Every year, the EnMS – its conditions and targets - is subject to a second review by the management and in case of a significant change (e.g. new technologies and inputs), the EnMS conditions or targets are reviewed.

We have targets and action plans for energy savings at sites with EnMS and regularly monitor energy flows critical to overall energy efficiency. We review our energy consumption annually and evaluate progress against energy targets and action plans. In 2023, while CEZ Group’s total energy consumption decreased by 5 % compared to 2022, the energy intensity ratio also decreased by 3 %.

Employees at sites with an implemented EnMS receive training (in person or online) at least once every two years. Employees learn about energy consumption indicators in office buildings and different technologies, including energy efficiency indicators, and find out how to approach them responsibly. Our suppliers performing site-specific activities also attend EnMS training. In their case, the training primarily focuses on becoming familiar with energy management requirements.

As part of the EnMS, audits are also carried out in power and heating plants in which biomass/biomass fuels are burned in accordance with the requirements of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RED II directive) to verify if such biomass fulfils sustainability requirements, including audits of biomass fuel suppliers.

Low Emissions and Achieving Carbon Neutrality

The strategic priority of VISION 2030 - Clean Energy of Tomorrow is to transform the generation portfolio to a low-emission one and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. The share of coal in production is steadily decreasing; currently more than 60 % of the total generation of CEZ is made up of emission-free sources including nuclear.

Nuclear power plants
Nuclear power plants

Nuclear power plants are a part of a carbon-neutral and stable portfolio. CEZ takes measures to increase their efficiency to ensure stable and reliable operation, such as the renewal of equipment and modernization of Dukovany nuclear power plant.

Renewable energy sources
Renewable energy sources

The need to address climate change is the primary reason for a transition from an energy sector dominated by fossil fuels to one based on emission-free energy sources. A transformation of the energy sector offers opportunities for sustained economic development, energy security, improved health, job creation, and other societal benefits. Generating power from renewable sources is one part of our energy transition. CEZ Group will focus on increasing the capacity of existing emission-free renewable sources in operation and on building new renewable energy sources – mainly photovoltaic power plants.

Transition to a Cleaner Energy
Transition to a Cleaner Energy

Gas plays an important role in energy transition by allowing a gradual coal phase-out. A quarter of the total CO2 emissions in the Czech Republic is generated by heat production, which historically relied heavily on coal. The transformation of CEZ Group´s heating plants is one of the key areas through which we will achieve our environmental commitments and low-emission production that we have set out in our strategy VISION 2030 – Clean Energy of Tomorrow.