Wind and Solar Power – Even on Still, Cloudy Days?
Find out more
Blue and Green: Reliable and Climate-Friendly Hydropower
Find out more
2016 – our first year in business as a new company – was an exciting and momentous time for Uniper. It began in January with the successful spinoff of our operations from the E.ON Group. In June E.ON shareholders approved the separation of the two companies. In September we debuted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as an independent, publicly listed company. And, since mid-December, we’ve been listed in the MDAX. These accomplishments entailed a great deal of work and tremendous dedication. At the same time, what we achieved together in our first year in business definitely brought us closer together as a team.
In today’s rapidly changing energy world, Uniper plays a pivotal role. We make sure that the lights stay on, even when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. We’re always there: with power we can produce on demand and with natural gas we source worldwide and deliver wherever it’s needed. We also actively contribute to Europe’s transition to a low-carbon future.
Our customers rely on us for a secure and uninterrupted supply of energy: 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our employees, our investors, the media, policymakers, business partners, and the general public also place their trust in us. For instance, they expect us to generate energy without anyone getting hurt and with the least possible impact on the environment and the earth’s climate, regardless of where we operate.
As Uniper’s Chief Sustainability Officer I oversee how we meet these expectations and integrate them into our strategy, our governance, and especially our operations. In short: into our corporate culture. Two values – honesty and transparency – are essential to this process.
This, the first Uniper Sustainability Report, is one of the ways we live up to these values. Prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s guidelines, this report focuses on what matters most to us and our stakeholders. It describes the challenges we face every day in delivering an efficient and reliable service to our customers worldwide. It explains what we do to promote sustainability in key areas, from managing our supply chain with integrity to ensuring that we provide our people with a safe and healthy work environment. And it underscores our commitment to continuous improvement.
But the report also discloses negative incidents: regretfully, a contractor employee suffered a fatal accident at one of our power plants in Russia, and there was a severe fire at our Berezovskaya 3 power plant. Both incidents remind us that we need to stay alert and that the work to keep our company safe – everywhere we operate – is never done.
We’re a young company with our own culture and a modern approach to working together. At the same time, we can already look back on over a century in business. 2016 marked the beginning of our journey into a new, exciting energy future. We’re confident that this journey will make us a more sustainable company with every year that passes. This report documents our very first steps. Many more will follow.
We invite you to come along with us on our journey, and we hope you find this report both informative and useful.
Uniper Global Presence (2016)
Our Value Chain
Energy sources and generation
About 9 GW of our European generation fleet’s total installed capacity of 28 GW is fairly carbon-intensive (hard coal and lignite). In total, our power plants in Europe and Russia emitted 72.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2016 (Scope 1).
Our generation fleet in France encompasses also wind and solar energy. With an aggregated installed capacity of 95 MW they account only for a small proportion of our portfolio. Apart from this, we work on solutions to transform and store surplus renewable electricity.
We operate 108 hydro plants in Germany and 69 hydro plants in Sweden (fully consolidated assets). With 98.5% average plant availability our hydroelectric power stations contribute to a secure and reliable supply. Our hydro assets in Germany prevent the emission of 2.8 million metric tons of carbon (based on the country’s current energy mix).
Uniper is the majority owner of the nuclear power plant (NPP) Oskarshamn and a minority owner of the Ringhals and Forsmark NPPs. The plants contribute to secure supply and climate protection. High priorities of our nuclear power business are responsibility and safety.
Gas-fired power plants account for more than one-third of our installed capacity (excluding Russia). With an average fuel efficiency of just under 50% and comparatively low carbon emissions per kWh, our European gas-fired fleet helps reduce our carbon intensity.
We’re running two pilot projects to transform surplus renewable power from wind and solar energy. The technology is called power-to-gas (P2G) or wind gas. During the trial in Falkenhagen, several million kWh of wind gas was already fed into the natural gas pipeline system.
Battery storage represents a flexible energy storage solution. Together with RTWH Aachen University and other partners, we developed a prototype whose hybrid design incorporates five different battery technologies and 25,000 battery cells. In September 2016 we began with test operations.
Our own gas storage facilities play a key role in ensuring that consumers have a reliable supply of natural gas in Europe. We operate facilities in Germany, Austria, and the United Kingdom. With 6.8bn cubic meters in Germany we have more capacity than any other operator (storable technical working gas) .
LNG arrives in Europe on large tanker ships. After being transformed back into natural gas at special terminals, it’s fed into the pipeline system and used to produce power and heat.
The amount of electricity generated by our own power plants stood at 138.7 billion kWh. We purchased 544.6 billion kWh electricity.
Our direct carbon emissions from our fossil-fueled power and heat generation accounted for around 4 percent of all stationary fuel-combustion emissions in Europe (under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme). For 2016 we purchased 43.1m metric tons EU emission allowances.
We source coal from several countries such as Russia, South Africa, and Colombia. In 2016, we procured a total amount of 25 million metric tons for our own plants and for third parties. We endorse Bettercoal and embrace the Principles listed in the Bettercoal Code.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is becoming an increasingly important ingredient in Europe’s energy mix. We procure, transport, and market it worldwide.
We buy and sell gas on a spot basis at Europe’s highly liquid trading venues. We sold a total of 1,725.7 TWh of gas in 2016, with 84% going to wholesale and business customers.
We support operators of conventional power plants to increase their assets’ flexibility, availability, and efficiency. We also market this knowledge to transport system operators and other companies along the energy value chain interested in optimizing their asset management.
About This Report
This is Uniper’s first Sustainability Report. It presents information about our most material sustainability topics, how we manage them, and what we achieved in the reporting period. The reporting period is the 2016 calendar year. For major developments relevant to this report, we also include key information up to the end of the first quarter of 2017.
In this report we include Uniper Group subsidiaries, unless otherwise stated, as at the balance-sheet date of December 31, 2016. The scope of consolidation is the same as our 2016 Financial Report. We also disclose our reporting principles as well as all significant changes in Uniper’s size, scope, ownership structure, and supply chain.
Our sustainability reporting is based on recognized standards such as the widely established Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. This report was prepared in accordance with the GRI’s G4 core option. Selected contents were independently audited and are identified in this report by the “audited” check symbol .
As a newly listed operational energy company, we are required to meet the high expectations of numerous and varied stakeholder groups in an increasingly complex energy world. In view of our companywide restructuring and stock-market listing, in compiling this Sustainability Report we focused on our employees and shareholders among other key stakeholders, since these groups are particularly interested in our company’s developments in the reporting period. At the same time, this report addresses all other key stakeholders such as our customers, enterprise partners, suppliers, policymakers, and the media.
All of them expect Uniper to remain a secure and reliable energy supplier in the future. Moreover, one that is innovative and flexible enough to successfully transition to a new, climate-friendly energy world. We fully intend to live up to this expectation: we want to promote transparent dialog and to be up front about our shortcomings. We believe that an open and fair discussion with our stakeholders is essential for our continuous improvement.
Prior to launching our reporting process in 2016 we began by assessing which topics and concerns matter most to our key stakeholders. As a first step we selected the different stakeholder groups we wanted to include in the process. We identified a group of our employees by function, years of service, region, and their stakeholder relationship. We invited them to participate in a survey on our collaborative internal online platform, to give us their opinions, and to tell us what they think are Uniper’s most material sustainability topics. Beyond this, we wanted to gauge the opinion of our entire workforce and to find out the extent to which they embrace our company philosophy – the Uniper Way. To do this we conducted a global employee opinion survey in 2016 and analyzed the results in depth. Finally, due to our stock-market listing we identified around 180 key investors and analysts and asked them to complete an online questionnaire to tell us which issues the capital market considers most relevant to today’s energy companies.
We collated these various perspectives. Eight material issues resulted, which form the basis of this report.
- Secure and Reliable Energy Supply
- Climate Change
- Health and Safety
- Energy and Process Efficiency
- Resource Efficiency
- Innovation and Resilience
- Business Integrity
- Local Acceptance
For each topic we report on our management approach as well as on important developments based on KPIs, project planning and current project progress. This will also provide the foundation for transparent reporting on Uniper’s challenges and achievements in the years to come.