Care for the environment and biodiversity at Eni

Eni's commitment to the environment and biodiversity is a cornerstone of our mission. We are committed to pursuing an energy transition that is fair to society and protects the planet.

Our commitment to the planet

Fighting climate change; Producing and providing sustainable energy for all; Twinning it with sustainable models of consumption; Encouraging sustainable use of the world's ecosystem.
These are just some of the goals that 150 world leaders agreed at the UN in 2015, when they signed the 2030 Agenda including the Sustainable Development Goals. They are the same goals we have embraced as a global energy company and champion to guide our actions, thoughts and investments.
In compliance with national and international agreements and standards – and national regulations and policies – we base our actions on principles of sustainability and circularity. We are investing more and more in renewable energy sources with a low environmental impact. The way we manage the air, land and biodiversity is based on criteria of prevention, protection, information and participation.

Eni's activities to safeguard biodiversity

Eni is constantly working to safeguard biodiversity, one of the United Nations' sustainable development goals. Goal 14 on life below water, aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. 

Goal 15, on the other hand, deals with life on land and aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of the planet's ecosystem by sustainably managing forests, combatting desertification, halting and reversing land degradation and halting biodiversity loss.

What is the “mitigation hierarchy” and why is it important?

The mitigation hierarchy is the tool we use to mitigate the potential impact of our activity on the natural environment. The mitigation structure sets out a preferential sequence of actions. At the top are preventive rather than corrective measures for potential impact. Where it is not possible to avoid this impact, our actions aim to reduce it to a minimum or get rid of its effects. If serious environmental impact remains, it is compensated for – more stringently if its value of biodiversity is high (for example critical and natural habitats) – so as to avoid as much as possible a net loss of biodiversity, or to guarantee a net positive impact. 

Our commitment to Unesco World Heritage Sites

Eni does not explore for or develop hydrocarbons within the boundaries of natural sites on the Unesco World Heritage List (as specified at 31 May 2019). When we carry out exploration, development or production work in key areas for biodiversity, we are committed to preserving biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES), which is why we adopted a management model in line with our BES policy. In joint ventures where we are not operators, we are committed to developing and adopting good management practices in line with our BES policy, alongside our partners.

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Integrated management of health, safety and the environment

We use the most advanced technologies and technical standards for health, safety and the environment (HSE) in all of our work. We invest in research and technical innovation to create products and processes that are as compatible as possible with HSE goals, and pursue collaborations for developing new technologies. HSE management is governed by an integrated model that clearly defines roles and responsibilities at the various organisational levels, governs HSE activities and how they interact with company processes, and provides common methods and criteria. The coordination of HSE topics is carried out by the HSE Coordination Committee, overseen by Eni’s head of HSE and made up of heads of HSE functions at different units.

Eni's positioning with regards to Green Sourcing

In accordance with the principles set out in Eni's Mission, Code of Ethics and Sustainability Policy, the Company has developed a long-term integrated strategy that reconciles financial soundness with social and environmental sustainability. Likewise, Eni acts in compliance with an operating model that prevents and reduces risks as well as social and environmental impacts associated with its core business. Eni is aware of the importance of mitigating the environmental impact of its activities, including through the application of solutions with lower environmental impact, in order to make an active contribution to sustainable development both locally and globally. In this context, aware that the purchase of goods and services can be a strategic opportunity to spread and share its principles with the market, Eni will also work jointly with its Supply Chain to drive and encourage the adoption of Green Sourcing principles in order to reach the goals of the optimization of:

  • Energy use
  • Use of natural resources
  • Land management (reduction, contamination and impoverishment)
  • Emissions in the atmosphere
  • The consumption and impact on water resources
  • Waste reduction, reuse and recycling (circular economy)

This programme will be implemented through both specific internal operating guidelines aimed at managing the requirements of “energy-intensive” goods, and through the launch of an awareness-raising campaign for vendors in these areas so that they in turn integrate the principles of Green Sourcing in their own operating and procurement models.


Protecting water

Eni promotes efficient water management with activities aimed at mitigating water risks, especially in areas subject to water stress where initiatives to reduce fresh water withdrawals and projects for water access in the upstream sector continued in 2019. Eni annually maps and monitors water risks and drought scenarios to define medium-long term actions in order to also prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change. Specifically, our withdrawals in 2019, were 91% sea water and about 8% fresh water. The remaining 1% was brackish.

In April 2019, before any other O&G company, Eni signed up to the CEO Water Mandate, unequivocally showing the importance it places on water resources. 1

Eni, with an A- score, was among only three Oil & Gas companies considered leaders in water management in the CDP Water Security 2019 assessment on water safety. Around 8,500 companies representing more than 50% of the world capitalization were invited to complete the CDP2019 questionnaires, including 250 from the Oil & Gas sector. CDP is a non-profit organization internationally recognized as one of the leading institutions in assessing, both, climate and environmental performance and strategy of listed companies.

Protecting air

An energy company like Eni produces emissions throughout its industrial process that have an impact on the atmosphere. That is why we use the Best Available Techniques (BATs) and the highest procedural standards to reduce emissions and assess the main pollutants in the atmosphere. The results confirm how committed we are. In 2019, Eni's emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere all showed downward trends, with the exception of emissions of NMVOC which increased by 4% compared to 2018, in particular in the E&P sector where the gas composition of the Bouri field in Libya was updated, with a consequent increase in the percentage of non-methane compounds sent for flaring. Emissions of NOx fell by 2% compared to 2018, due to decreased contributions from all sectors. 

Oil spill management

Eni is involved in the daily management of risks deriving from oil spills both in Italy and abroad, through increasingly integrated activities across all stages, from administrative to technical prevention, control and quality/speed/effectiveness. Total barrels spilled following operational oil spills fell by 61% compared to 2018, with significant reductions in Italy and Nigeria. In relation to sabotage events, there was an increase in both the number of spills and spilled quantities in 2019. All these events related to upstream activities in Nigeria, where the increase in spills could have been partly linked to increased social tensions due to elections taking place at the time.

Circular economy and waste

The transition towards a circular economy is a response to current environmental challenges, replacing the classic linear economy model with a regenerative approach based on industrial synergy and symbiosis, and associated with an ecodesign revision of production processes and asset management. This process is carried out by reducing the extraction of natural resources in favour of materials from renewable sources (or production process waste), decreasing and using waste (waste, emissions, discharges) through recycling or recovery activities, and extending the useful life of products and assets by reusing or converting them. In 2019, a model was developed in collaboration with Certiquality/the Università S. Anna di Pisa, based on national and international references, which will allow sites to acquire a certain degree of circularity. In addition, since 2017, Eni has carried out site-specific circularity analyses to map already existing circularity factors and identify possible improvements, with four analyses carried out at company sites in 2019. 

Virtuous activities identified in circularity analyses:

  • BRINDISI MULTICOMPANY SITE: a floating photovoltaic system for energy production is being designed; the use of treated groundwater (TAF4) is also envisaged at the new membrane technology plant to produce demineralised water, allowing a further reduction in the levels of sea water used until now.
  • BOLGIANO OFFICES: energy saving technologies such as Smart Windows and Organic Solar Panels are in use in the offices.
  • RHO STORAGE FACILITIES: possibility to collect rainwater to be reused in the fire protection systems, thereby replacing the groundwater taken from the well.
  • TARANTO REFINERY: opportunity to optimise the Water Reuse plant to further reduce well water withdrawals and the discharge of process water into the sea, as well as to allocate separated mud to waste water treatment, for recovery instead of disposal.
         4 TAF: Treatment of Groundwater Waters

Waste management

In 2019, the waste generated from production activities by Eni fell by 15% compared to 2018, in particular non-hazardous waste (equal to 78% of the total) while hazardous waste increased. Waste recovered and recycled by Eni in 2019 stood at 7% of total disposed waste, down compared to 2018, when the Zohr rump-up project generated significant quantities of recovered waste.

Reclamation activities

Protecting the countries in which we operate is an absolute priority for Eni, in line with our corporate mission's objective to preserve our planet. That is why, over the years, we have put in place ever more effective techniques and practices of reclamation. In 2019, the total expenditure on reclamation amounted to approximately 367 million euros, down 2% compared to last year. Over 50% of reclamation expenditure is incurred by Eni Rewind, a company dedicated to the reclamation of contaminated brownfield sites, and increased in 2019 to over 197 million euros (175 million euros in 2018).

Furthermore, compared to 2018, there was a 5.1% reduction in quantity produced as a result of the contribution of all sectors. The activity volume is evidence of the complexity and variety of Eni’s business, which ranges from National Interest sites (refineries, petrochemicals and abandoned sites), to sales outlets in the R&M sector and well pitches in the E&P sector. Reclamation activities are substantially in line with previous years, with continued implementation of approved reclamation projects and the technical/administrative follow-up of the numerous existing procedures.


¹ The CEO Water Mandate is a special initiative on the part of the United Nations Secretariat and the UN Global Compact that is being implemented in conjunction with the Pacific Institute. Mandate holders acknowledge that they are able to identify and reduce the risks to their own business where water resources are concerned, seize opportunities relating to water resources and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

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