Our strategy for efficient water resource management

African woman takes water from well

Water conservation on our path to net zero

Our commitment to water conservation is a fundamental part of our integrated sustainability goals at every level of the business. We carry out actions to monitor and counter the effects of climate change, such as water scarcity and desertification. We undertake initiatives to reduce freshwater withdrawals and replace them with water from secondary sources (rainwater, reclaimed groundwater, treated wastewater or desalinated water) in order to reduce impacts on local communities and ecosystems. 

The publication of Eni’s position on water is a further concrete step towards strengthening the commitments of the CEO Water Mandate in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Transparency in the pursuit of these goals underpins all our actions. We apply this principle at every level and for every business, adhering to the main ESG indices to this end.

Our position on water

Eni’s water commitments

We directly involve Eni people, suppliers and local communities in spreading the culture of water protection. We manage water resources using prevention, protection, information and participation criteria.

We are among the signatories of the CEO Water Mandate
We are committed to minimising freshwater withdrawals in water-stressed areas
We forge partnerships to protect water
We work with transparency
Our actions are guided by water risk assessments

All data on our sustainability performance

The results we obtain in the areas of sustainability available in the form of graphs and tables.

Our commitment to defending water around the world

The defence of water is a global goal supported by the most important international institutions. We wanted to make our commitment concrete and transparent by voluntarily aligning ourselves with global standards.

Eni was the first company in the energy sector to join the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate. The CEO Water Mandate is a UN initiative supported by more than 180 companies from different sectors. Its goal is to encourage companies to take concrete steps towards the sustainable use of water in industrial processes. Members commit to improving corporate performance in six specific areas (Direct Operations, Supply Chain & Watershed Management, Collective Action, Public Policy and Community Engagement), annually reporting on progress. Contributing to water security and the sustainable development goals is one of the mandate’s core missions.

We apply the principle of transparency at every level and for every business, adhering to the main ESG indices to this end. In 2023, we achieved a score of B in the CDP Water Security questionnaire for transparency on water management, in line with the industry average. CDP is a non-profit organisation that assesses the performance and strategies of listed companies on climate, water resources and the sustainability of biomass used in production processes. The score steers companies towards reducing environmental impacts and protecting water resources and forests, encourages them to capitalise on opportunities, and guides the actions of investors and customers towards a more sustainable world. 

Universal access to clean water is an essential aspect of the world we want to live in, as stated in Goal 6 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. On the same topic, Goal 14 aims to protect marine and coastal ecosystems by reducing marine contamination and ocean acidification through the spread of sustainable fishing systems and scientific research. Finally, Goal 15 also indirectly contributes to preserving water and safeguarding biodiversity through the protection and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems. 

Our commitment to defending water around the world

The defence of water is a global goal supported by the most important international institutions. We wanted to make our commitment concrete and transparent by voluntarily aligning ourselves with global standards.

Eni was the first company in the energy sector to join the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate. The CEO Water Mandate is a UN initiative supported by more than 180 companies from different sectors. Its goal is to encourage companies to take concrete steps towards the sustainable use of water in industrial processes. Members commit to improving corporate performance in six specific areas (Direct Operations, Supply Chain & Watershed Management, Collective Action, Public Policy and Community Engagement), annually reporting on progress. Contributing to water security and the sustainable development goals is one of the mandate’s core missions.

We apply the principle of transparency at every level and for every business, adhering to the main ESG indices to this end. In 2023, we achieved a score of B in the CDP Water Security questionnaire for transparency on water management, in line with the industry average. CDP is a non-profit organisation that assesses the performance and strategies of listed companies on climate, water resources and the sustainability of biomass used in production processes. The score steers companies towards reducing environmental impacts and protecting water resources and forests, encourages them to capitalise on opportunities, and guides the actions of investors and customers towards a more sustainable world. 

Universal access to clean water is an essential aspect of the world we want to live in, as stated in Goal 6 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. On the same topic, Goal 14 aims to protect marine and coastal ecosystems by reducing marine contamination and ocean acidification through the spread of sustainable fishing systems and scientific research. Finally, Goal 15 also indirectly contributes to preserving water and safeguarding biodiversity through the protection and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems. 

Our actions to protect biodiversity

We work to minimise risks and maximise efforts to protect and conserve marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

Efficient and integrated water resource management

Eni seeks to safeguard water resources and reduce freshwater withdrawals through efficient and integrated management of water required for operations:

We prioritise water-stressed areas and through the reuse of low-quality wastewater (from domestic/industrial activities), we reduce high-quality withdrawals at:

  • the Livorno refinery
  • the Ravenna petrochemical site, where a plant will be operational from 2025 to reduce withdrawals by at least 0.4 Mm3 per year
  • the Brindisi petrochemical site, in addition to the already operational desalination plant, by 2026 a plant for the reuse of approximately 0.5 Mm3 of wastewater per year will be operational
  • the Gela biorefinery, where we manage urban waste water and reuse part of it for industrial purposes.

We are committed to exploiting water from reclamation activities through processes that enable its reuse for industrial purposes. One example is the Eni Rewind initiatives at the Porto Torres, Priolo, Assemini, Manfredonia and Gela sites, where contaminated groundwater is used to produce demineralised water, minimising freshwater withdrawals.

Projects and optimisation measures for the reuse of water otherwise discharged into the sea after its treatment can be found at:

  • the Porto Torres petrochemical site

  • the Gela biorefinery. 

Through treatment and reuse of production water, we strive to limit disposal activities. Specifically, the Viggiano Blue Water project, a plant for treating and recovering production water from the Val d’Agri Oil Centre in Basilicata, is currently being approved. 

One of the levers to reduce freshwater withdrawals is to replace them with desalinated water. Thanks to projects initiated in Egypt in 2022 and 2021, savings of 1 Mm3 per year of high-quality water resources have been achieved compared to withdrawals prior to the measures. At the 2022 EGYPES (Egypt Energy Show), the company operated by Eni Petrobel won first prize in the “Best Environmental Project of the Year” category for its commitment to minimising freshwater withdrawals. 

With Eni Rewind for water resource management

Regeneration and reuse of water are central to the mission of Eni’s environmental company, which carries out groundwater remediation through the use of increasingly innovative technological solutions.

Research on sustainable water management with CNR Metaponto

The Eni-CNR “Ipazia D’Alessandria” Centre in Metaponto, Basilicata, aims to promote innovative solutions and technologies for the efficient management of water resources in order to mitigate the impacts of drought in the Mediterranean and other strategic areas such as the Horn of Africa, Sahel, and the Middle East. 

To achieve this, three research strands have been defined:

  • optimisation of water use in agriculture through innovative irrigation systems and efficiency improvements in water uptake by plants
  • development of new technologies for the treatment of civil and industrial wastewater, with the option of re-using treated water, including in agriculture 
  • optimal management of coastal groundwater, managing the risks of salinisation (by sea water intrusion) and subsidence. 

The first stage of activities involved a survey, carried out with substantial support from Feem and extended to the regions of southern Italy, aimed at: 

  • identifying marginal land for agriculture, analysing the main scientific studies 
  • assessing the availability of water in the central-southern area and the feasibility of using civil and industrial wastewater, including in irrigation 
  • mapping available groundwater resources, assessing their qualitative status and over-exploitation. 

In parallel and in synergy with the activities of the research centre, three PhDs were initiated in agreement with the University of Basilicata. 

 

Our water access projects

Eni has always combined its energy activities with the promotion of initiatives to benefit our host communities. Our value creation drivers include alliances for the promotion of local development in the countries where we operate. Indeed, we are not only committed to enhancing the resources of producer countries, allocating their gas production to the local market and facilitating access to electricity, but also to promoting a broad portfolio of community-based initiatives: water access initiatives are an important part of this commitment.

 

Eni for 2022. How we support development and carbon neutrality

In the sustainability report: goals, strategies, projects, and results for a fair and inclusive energy transition. Browse the interactive feature and download the full document.



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