Biodiversity is a wide-ranging concept that refers not only to ecosystems and their living components, but also to the ecological processes that sustain them and the services that these processes provide.
Our non-operation commitment in sensitive biodiversity areas
"Repsol is committed to not undertake any industrial activity within the boundaries of sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List* as listed on January 1st, 2023.
Repsol will develop Biodiversity Action Plans for operated production assets situated in the most biodiversity sensitive protected areas, corresponding to IUCN I to IV and Ramsar protected areas, or located in the buffer zone or adjacent to a World Heritage Site.
If we operate (explore, develop, and produce) in areas of high biodiversity value, we are committed to the conservation of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services by implementing our management model in compliance with the Repsol Environmental Policy. When we work in joint ventures that we do not operate, we are committed to promote with our partners the development and adoption of best management practices in line with our Environmental Policy.”
(*) Including Cultural, Natural, and Mixed Sites
Applying best management practices
As part of our mission to be an energy company committed to a sustainable world, at Repsol we are concerned about mitigating impacts on biodiversity and the resources it provides us with during the planning and development of our projects and operations, regardless of where they are located.
We are aware of the important and positive role that companies can play in finding solutions the global challenges of biodiversity and ecosystem services loss. For this reason, at Repsol we focus our management practices on:
In the construction of the Sagari Project, we have implemented management measures that enabled us to identify biologically sensitive areas and to mitigate biodiversity impacts. These measures include the installation of canopy bridges and the translocation of plants.
In addition, we have carried out the revegetation of the pipeline as part of the Asset Abandonment Plan.
Impact mitigation hierarchy
Applying the hierarchy of mitigation of potential impacts on biodiversity is fundamental. Repsol was the first company in the energy sector to apply the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) Management Ladder methodology, developed by the Global Oil and Gas Industry Association for environmental and social issues (IPIECA). This framework, which was also defined with the participation of experts from our company, enables us to analyze the current situation of an asset and to identify the next steps to be taken. It focuses on six interrelated management practices:
In order to apply this methodology, we have internal environmental management regulations, which include Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessments (ESHIA) for all new operations or facilities. These studies ensure that all potential impacts are identified as early as possible in the project life cycle and are taken into account in the project design to prevent and mitigate their effects.
The regulations include, among other aspects, the obligation to determine the sensitivity of the area of influence of the operations and to assess, project by project, the continuity or not in the case of sensitive areas.
We adapt management actions to the specific needs of the areas where we are present.
Partaking in the reintroduction of endangered birds
In July 2022, we released five Bonelli's eagles in Huesca under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, and Environment of Aragon, and the technical support of the association GREFA (Grupo de Rehabilitación de la Fauna Autóctona y su Hábitat).
This operation has succeeded in returning several specimens of this bird to their natural habitat, catalogued as "endangered" and whose population had fallen by 35% in the last 15 years, currently amounting to 20 pairs. This project also includes close collaboration with local authorities, talks to raise public awareness, and the release of up to twenty more birds.
Reef restoration project in Mexico
In 2022, we restored three hectares of coral reefs in the Veracruz Reef System National Park, considered one of the jewels of the Gulf of Mexico in terms of biodiversity. This program is carried out together with the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) and the company Oceanus A.C.
In addition to promoting the ecotourism sector in the area, one of its goals is to increase the number of healthy and genetically diverse coral colonies by 15,000 by installing nurseries, stabilizing fragments, and transplanting colonies. This will allow the rehabilitation of their structure and ecological functions, including the introduction of other species and organisms. All of this will be complemented with education and outreach activities.
Managing biodiversity in our projects
Our operations in the Caipipendi area (Bolivia) incorporate biodiversity criteria in all phases of the asset's life.
We have conducted an environmental impact study, sensitivity mapping, and historical monitoring of the area with satellite imagery to identify our impacts and mitigate them.
Applying the mitigation hierarchy in impact management
We built artificial canopy bridges in the area of influence of Block 16 (Ecuador) that link the canopies of the giant trees in the area, creating biotic corridors that facilitate the mobility of species in the forest of the Yasuní National Park. We identify, evaluate, and recover deforested areas to minimize this risk and structure restoration.
In addition, we have been monitoring the environmental characteristics of the area of influence of our operations for more than 25 years.
We value the impacts on natural capital
We have conducted a natural capital analysis in Block 57 (Peru) to understand and assess both the impacts and the biodiversity management measures implemented. We have used our GEMI (Global Environmental Management Index) methodology to carry out this analysis.
Developing KPIs to measure performance and optimize management
We carry out annual campaigns to monitor the ecological status/potential of reservoirs and rivers downstream of hydropower plants. The aim is to monitor to avoid impacts on these ecosystems directly related to our hydropower production activity.
LIFE DIVAQUA Project
We participate in the LIFE DIVAQUA project. Its main objective is the restoration of the aquatic ecosystems of the Natura 2000 Network in the Picos de Europa National Park (northern Spain) and its surroundings to improve the conservation status of aquatic habitats and species of Community interest.
Taking measures to reduce habitat deterioration
We carry out biodiversity management actions on the properties we own around the Gaia reservoir, which supplies water to our Tarragona Industrial Complex. These measures include building stone piles to preserve the Bonelli's eagle and eagle owl populations, the installation of nesting boxes to maintain and increase the populations of insectivorous birds, rollers, and bats, and the recovery of carob tree fields.
Ecological beaconing project
For years, we have been implementing an ecological beaconing project with biotopes on the Tarragona coast in order to attract marine flora and fauna and form small reefs.
Since the start of the project in 2012, 135 biotopes have been distributed on the beaches of 6 coastal towns.
In 2020, this initiative was chosen as an example of best practice according to SDG 14: "Conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas, and marine resources” during the Spanish Global Compact Network's Oceans Week.
Promoting biodiversity in cities
We have integrated our Campus in Madrid into the LIFE Boosting Urban Green Infrastructure through Biodiversity-Oriented Design of Business Premises project, which promotes the design and management of business and industrial premises while taking biodiversity and nature into account.
Analyzing underwater noise with our own methodologies
We have developed a predictive model of underwater acoustic propagation based on actual values from Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) measurement equipment. The model makes it possible to predict noise values on offshore production platforms regardless of the salinity of the water and the depth of the environment, which facilitates risk management for marine life in order to minimize the impact of our operations. With this advance, Repsol strengthens its commitment to biodiversity management in the marine environment for offshore hydrocarbon production activities, complementing it with compliance with the guidelines of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) in all its offshore geophysical seismic operations.
Alternatives to conventional biological monitoring
By assessing the ecosystems' genetic footprint, biodiversity data was collected from water, soil, and sediment samples at our Block 57 asset located in a rainforest area of Peru in a non-invasive way for the current living organisms. Also, the simplicity of the sampling method bolsters our commitment to the local communities and significantly reduces our carbon footprint due to less specialized field staff required, less waste generation, and lower use of natural resources, among others.