Benefits for society

 

Wind energy creates a direct positive impact for society. This impact is not limited to the supply of clean electricity. The nature of our business creates additional long-lasting positive impacts to the rural municipalities where our wind farms are located. These benefits include, but are not limited to, infrastructure investments, tax payments, landowners’ royalty payments, job creation and direct contributions to community projects. The economic contributions to neighbouring municipalities, through land leases and taxes, are a large contribution to the yearly budget of those administrations and are complemented with the participation in different local projects. As a result, the construction of a wind farm becomes an economic development driver for the municipalities where we are present. In 2012 alone, we contributed to these communities with 48.8 million euros in taxes and payments to the administrations and we invested 1.4 million euros in projects to support local education, culture and other local associations. Our focus in our work with the community is based on three pillars: broadcast our knowledge, support local capital development and involve in the community.

BROADENING KNOWLEDGE

During 2012 we contributed to broadening knowledge through the participation and sponsorship of several conferences and workshops. We have contributed by sharing our knowledge in order to improve biodiversity protection, the adoption of socially responsible practices and the promotion of renewable energy. During 2012, EDPR also sponsored the 7th annual Social Responsibility Forum, participating in the session “How to make renewables work”, organized by the prestigious IE Business School.

First scientific – tec hnical meeting on wind energ y and biodiversit y conservation
EDPR took part in the First scientific-technical meeting on wind energy and biodiversity conservation held in Extremadura (Spain). This conference brought together leading specialists to present results from the most advanced scientific studies on the effect of wind farms on wildlife, sharing best practices on how to minimize impacts and agree a response to new challenges.

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SUPPORTING EDUCATION

Supporting local inhabitants of our communities, particularly those struggling to access quality education, has a strong impact on the society in the short term. Additionally these efforts will, in the long term, benefit the company as we will find a more skilled workforce to potentially hire or establish partnerships with.

Green Education grants

EDPR continued with the second edition of the Green Education program that awards grants to promote education among Spanish students whose families have financial difficulties. The grants were awarded to children from EDPR’s communities based on academic performance and the income of the family. The total value of the grants reached 12,500 euros.

EDP University Challenge

Under the title “EDP and renewable energies: facing the future side by side”, the company organized the EDP University Challenge.
From 30 projects coming from 25 different universities, three projects were awarded with educational grants for a total of 16,500 euros.

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Sharing benefits of wind

In an effort to spread the benefits of wind energy, we have promoted educational activities and visits to our wind farms. Our wind farms host visits from a wide range of visitors: children, students, professionals, authorities and the public in general.

BECOMING PART OF THE COMMUNITY

Our wind farms are long term partnerships with the communities where we are present. As a result, we want to become an integral part of them. To do so, we want to host our stakeholders in our facilities during special events, as well as participate in special events of our neighbouring communities.

Opening ceremonies

Opening wind farms ceremonies not only provide great exposure to our business but they are also good opportunities to share the results with the community. Local inhabitants, industrials, authorities and the general public have the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishment with EDPR and its employees. Opportunities like these deepen the roots of cooperation between the company and its local stakeholders.

EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES IN POLAND
In Poland a wide range of educational activities are conducted every year. Over 2,000 pupils from all over Poland have participated in an event initiated in 2011 to explain how wind power works and the impacts on the society through theatre performances. These activities are complemented with ecology workshops for children to transmit our commitment to the environment and to shape their awareness about renewable energy.
In the areas where our wind farms are located, we gave specific safety workshops to raise awareness of the importance of following safety behaviours to avoid potential dangers of the construction works carried out in the area. In addition, more than 40,000 bulletins were distributed to the inhabitants of the neighbouring areas.

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As an example, in June 2012 EDPR inaugurated two wind farms located in the towns of Marcellois and Massingy-lès-Vitteaux in France’s Burgundy region.

Global wind day

In June 2012, EDPR participated in the Global Wind Day, an initiative that promotes awareness for wind energy worldwide and creates opportunities for every citizen to discover the benefits of wind energy.

Several wind farms in Europe hosted open houses with information sessions and other recreational activities for our students, local residents and the general public. Communication campaigns are also reinforced around this special day.

Sponsoring local activities

EDPR sponsored different local events, important for the local communities where we are present, such as the Movie & Music festival Wiatrakalia, the main summer event near the Margonin wind farm in Poland, or the KiteSurf Pro Cascais 2012 in Portugal.

In North America, the initiative of an employee led to organize a charity run for Jog the Journey, a non-profit organization co-founded by the employee. EDPR employees supported this initiative with over 200 runners and more than 6,000 dollars funds raised.