EPIF reinforces its decarbonization strategy by announcing a net zero target by 2050
23. 6. 2023
Over the past few years, EP Infrastructure (“EPIF”) has emerged as a frontrunner in the transformation of the energy system in Europe. EPIF continues to believe that the EU decarbonization strategy and emission reduction goals shall remain valid. The transition strategy of EPIF has been well established in recent years with a clearly defined vision for all our assets and their roles in a carbon-free world. However, we recognized the need to formalize this strategy by setting medium-term and long-term targets which are aligned with scientific evidence. EPIF has refined its decarbonization targets to be in line with emission reduction pathways consistent with limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5°C. The previously established long-term goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 has now been complemented by a net zero target by 2050. EPIF aims to actively contribute to accelerated decarbonization with its unique combination of infrastructure assets which are well positioned to facilitate the transition.
“We considered it critical to come up not only with ambitious decarbonization targets but also have them backed by a credible transition plan. These targets have been formulated through extensive dialogue with teams throughout our business sectors. The long-term targets effectively imply that EPIF aims to eliminate combustion of fossil fuels by 2040 and reduce methane leakage from its gas infrastructure to absolute minimum by 2050, while offsetting any residual emissions,” says Petr Choutka, Sustainability manager of the EPIF Group.
As a significant operator of natural gas related infrastructure, EPIF acknowledges the temporary role of natural gas in swiftly reducing emissions, while being aware of the need to gradually replace it with renewable gases like biomethane or hydrogen. EPIF positions itself as a leader in the transition to hydrogen future. EPIF now considers the compatibility with hydrogen or the potential for refurbishment to hydrogen as critical factors in its investment planning process. In the medium term, the key building block for rapid emission reductions is represented by the phase out of coal and gradual replacement of the lignite-based heating plants by a balanced mix of highly efficient hydrogen ready gas-fired plants, biomass units, and waste incinerator plants. These actions shall enable EPIF to achieve its goal of 60% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to the 2022 level. In addition, EPIF is committed to reducing methane emissions by 30% by 2030 in line with the Global Methane Pledge initiative.
EPIF also recognizes the social aspect of the energy transition, understanding that the fight against climate change cannot succeed without public acceptance. Ensuring access to essential energy commodities is crucial for the well-being of all households, and sudden price surges can disproportionately affect low-income families. Therefore, EPIF’s primary focus is to maintain the affordability of these commodities to the best of its ability. Václav Paleček, the Finance Director of the Group, added that: “As a significant operator of district heating networks in the Czech Republic, EPIF belongs to the most competitively priced heat suppliers with heat prices significantly below the country average. EPIF also actively assists residential and institutional customers in identifying the potential to achieve savings in their consumption of heat and electricity, recognizing that the most cost-effective energy is the energy that is not consumed.”
EPIF’s efforts in the ESG area were reflected in a strong ESG risk rating of 18.2 received in December 2022 from Morningstar Sustainalytics. This result represents an improvement in the score (the lower score, the better) from 20.0 received previously and confirms EPIF’s position in the low-risk category. EPIF secured 5th position out of over 80 companies from the multi-utilities sector. In November 2022, EPIF also obtained an updated ESG evaluation from S&P Global Ratings with a score of 63/100, representing a slight deterioration compared to 66/100 received previously (the higher score, the better).
Gary Mazzotti, EPIF’s Chief Executive Officer, concluded: “I am very delighted with yet another major step forward in our ESG commitments. I would like to express my thanks to all who have been part of this journey. We will continue to transparently communicate our transition story and further strengthen our disclosure practice for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.”
At the same time, EPIF is publishing its 5th sustainability report which provides further details on EPIF’s transition strategy, ESG targets, and presents an overview of the Group´s performance in 2022, emphasizing the environmental, social and governance aspects of its activities.