In addition to sustainability in the upstream stages and efforts to offer products and services that are as sustainable as possible, BKW is committed to improving the ecological and social impact of its own operations.
Our day-to-day operations are characterised by versatility. We produce electricity in our power plants and distribute this energy via our grid. We are in personal contact with our customers and anchored locally, while at the same time being interconnected with the world via trading. Engineers lay the foundations for future infrastructures and entire natural and urban habitats. Installers, fitters, electricians, technologists and many other experts carry out projects in and on buildings, in transport or water networks.
For electricity generation, we continue to invest in renewable energies such as water and wind. In 2018, we increased our renewable energy production by ten percent. By 2023, 75 percent of our production portfolio will be renewable. Our hydropower plants in Switzerland, as well as our distribution system, are certified according to the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard. Hence, we continuously monitor and improve the environmental impact of our plants.
While we continue to work on expanding renewable energies, it is also important to us to improve the efficiency of our own processes. This includes, for example, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of our operations, primarily through energy efficiency measures and increasing the efficiency of power plants and grids. In the long term, we also aim to promote recycling management in our operations.
When it comes to sustainability in operations, the social component also plays an important role. Employees are particularly important – together as a team, they make BKW successful. The pace of change in our working lives is increasing to a state of almost permanent change. This places very high demands on our people. Topics such as flexible working hours and workplaces, occupational health and safety, qualifications for specialist subjects and project work, family life and social commitment are expectations and challenges that BKW addresses with a variety of offerings.
We take a variety of preventive and supportive measures to ensure that our employees remain healthy and productive. Our company health management system, which is based on three levels, has proven itself effective: promoting, maintaining and regaining health. In addition to various exercise courses, we offer advice on topics such as nutrition and stress situations. We cooperate with various external partners for these courses.
As a company embedded in society, we have mutual influence on various stakeholders (interest groups). These include our employees, customers, suppliers, investors and business partners as well as politicians, the local population, scientists and NGOs. Exchange with our stakeholders is important to us. We do this on a regular basis through, for example, various association memberships in which we actively participate in working groups. In addition, we cooperate with stakeholders such as public authorities, associations and NGOs in the course of power plant projects and in the project work of the eco fund.
Our infrastructures are designed to last several decades. However, they also come to a point where they have to be redeveloped or shut down and dismantled.
The most prominent example at present is the decommissioning and dismantling of our Mühleberg nuclear power plant. While some nuclear power plants have been decommissioned abroad, we are breaking new ground in Switzerland and we are the first company to decommission a commercially operated nuclear power plant. The safety of people and the environment has the highest priority at all times.