EPIF issues its 2021 Sustainability Report
14. 6. 2022
EP Infrastructure, a.s. (“EPIF”) issues its fourth sustainability report covering its ESG performance in 2021. As a major energy player in Central Europe, EPIF aims to be at the forefront of the ongoing energy transition, while having the principles of energy security and affordability for all in mind. Our efforts center around our long-term commitment announced in May 2021 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 which is reinforced by medium-term goals such as reduction of CO2 emissions from our existing heating plants by 60% by 2030 compared to 2020 levels or phasing out lignite as a primary energy source by 2030. This sustainability report also brings into focus our efforts to reduce methane emissions which is an inherent part of operating gas transit and distribution pipelines and gas storage facilities.
As an operator of critical gas infrastructure, we are aware that successful energy transition will largely depend on the ability to store and redistribute excess energy from intermittent renewable sources on a mass scale. This is currently inconceivable without renewable gases such as hydrogen. Therefore, we aim to deploy the necessary capital to retrofit our infrastructure to accommodate it to these alternative fuels. Projects to assess the compatibility of our infrastructure with blends of hydrogen and natural gas have already commenced. This year, SPP – distribúcia will test the distribution of hydrogen mixture in an isolated part of the network in a selected village in Slovakia.
The importance of robust infrastructure for security of supplies was also highlighted by the unprecedented Russian invasion, resulting in turbulent developments on energy markets. The invasion also created immense human suffering and forced millions of people to flee their homes in Ukraine. From the beginning, we have participated in the humanitarian efforts aimed at refugees as well as people remaining on the Ukrainian territory. EP Corporate Group Foundation, to which EPIF is a major contributor, released €2 million to help provide housing and necessary professional retraining to refugees, enabling them to enter the Czech labor market. Through EPH Foundation in Slovakia, EPIF has further contributed with financial and material humanitarian aid to help refugees in Slovakia as well people staying in Ukraine.
In April 2021, after recognizing the need to formalize our ESG efforts in a comprehensive set of policies, we extended the scope of polices to cover areas such as asset integrity management, cybersecurity, workforce diversity, whistleblowing, or biodiversity. Our continuous efforts to improve our ESG performance were reflected in a strong ESG rating of 20.0 from Sustainalytics in June 2021, placing EPIF in the low-risk category, 6th out of 62 companies in the multi-utilities sector at the time of the rating issuance. In addition, in September 2021, EPIF obtained an ESG score of 66 out of 100 points from S&P Global Ratings Europe Limited, slightly improving our inaugural rating of 65/100 from 2020. Our ongoing interactions with rating agencies help us further improve our disclosure to satisfy the growing needs of all stakeholders.