Sustainability and corporate social responsibility
Osloer Strasse 15-17
70173 Stuttgart, Germany
As an internationally active transmission grid operator, TransnetBW ensures an energy supply far beyond the German borders. As far as our corporate and social responsibilities are concerned, we draw our inspiration from the strengths of our home region in south-west Germany – in particular in terms of security and reliability. We insist on reliable processes in the company, fair dealings with employees and customers as well as compliance with legal requirements and our own internal regulations. When making our business decisions we consider our long- and short-term business interests and take equal account of economic, social and environmental aspects. We are committed to the responsible use of natural resources. Everyone has the task of assuming responsibility for the environment and working proactively to improve our environmental performance. For us, these values are fundamental and constitute the basis of our commitment to sustainability.
Transnet BW environmentally aware: How we protect habitats
Protection of the bird life in Baden-Württemberg is important to us. Our close contacts with nature conservation authorities and bird conservation associations give us valuable information and ideas. This allows us to protect the bird life in the area covered by our grid, for example by only conducting maintenance work on the TransnetBW facilities outside of the breeding season. With the cooperation of the nature conservation association (NABU ), we have been installing nesting aids for protected bird species such as the little owl and peregrine falcon on suitable electricity pylons for many years now.
Working together with NABU for several years, we have been endeavouring to reduce the number of collisions of birds with power lines. We have installed bird protection markings on specific sections of power lines over the past few years. These help migratory birds see the power lines in time and thus prevent collisions. The basis for this measure is a study that we commissioned jointly with Netze BW. As part of the study, ornithologists and biologists investigated how the ground cables leading off the tips of electricity pylons might be a collision hazard for birds. The scientists then developed a method of identifying those sections of power lines that pose the risk of collision.
As a partner of the Renewables Grid Initiative (Renewables Grid Initiative ), we collaborate with NABU to collect data throughout Germany for the improvement of bird protection within the distribution grid. Thanks to the hotline "Vogelfund und Stromleitung" (Birds and power lines), it is now possible for anyone to report the discovery of a bird that has suffered collision or electrocution. The information is systematically recorded and evaluated by one of the ornithologists at NABU, helping to make our power lines as safe as possible.
Peregrine falcon regains its habitat
The natural habitat of the peregrine falcon is endangered. Currently it is estimated that there are as few as 300 pairs of these birds in Baden-Württemberg. The peregrine falcon, renowned as the world's fastest bird, lacks suitable nesting places. NABU came up with the idea of utilising electricity pylons for nesting. This turned out to be a success: the peregrine falcon has gladly accepted the offer. Each May, our technicians climb up to the top of the pylons in the towns of Kleinvillars and Ubstadt and carry the offspring down for NABU staff to band with a leg-ring. Ringing the birds allows NABU to monitor exact developments in the population and determine whether peregrine falcons later return to nest in this type of nesting box. Since 2015, the association has been using specially developed ID rings that can be detected up to 120 metres away with a spotting scope - which enables ornithologists to record demographic parameters without having to catch the birds.
Soil and groundwater protection
- For protection against corrosion on the steel pylons for overhead lines, we only use environmentally compatible paints that do not impact soil and groundwater functions..
- Facilities that use oil, such as transformers, are equipped with oil-proof containment systems and protective devices, and are inspected regularly.
- Older electricity pylons whose coatings may still contain toxic substances are "encased" during cleaning to prevent these substances from polluting the environment.
Prevention of emissions
- Working together with scientists, we have identified the causes of the typical noise emissions at extra-high voltage lines (crackling, rustling, buzzing) and have successfully reduced them in our new power lines using a process that is specific to TransnetBW.
- We perform regular inspections to ensure we comply with the statutory limit values for electrical and magnetic fields at our overhead lines, underground lines and transformer facilities.
Creation of new habitats
- Brush and grassed areas grow up in the cuttings that TransnetBW clears in the high forests for its power lines, thus creating new habitats for insects, reptiles and small mammals. In cooperation with environmental and forestry authorities, we maintain these power lines in accordance with ecological principles.
- We compensate for the impact of any new construction projects by creating biotopes and planting trees and hedges.
Outstanding: Our environmental protection
When it comes to the question of environmental protection, we are indebted to our regional roots. Our aim is to reduce the impact of TransnetBW's facilities and activities on natural habitats to an absolute minimum. To do this, we have introduced an environmental management system that complies with the European Norm EMAS III (Norm EMAS III) and applies to all our locations, employees and contractors. Everyone in our company is required to show their commitment to the environment. We always welcome ideas.
We have developed and implemented a wealth of carefully targeted measures for the construction, planning and operation of our facilities. These include projects for
We voluntarily submit to an annual audit to ensure that we continuously improve the TransnetBW environmental management system. With success: Since 2008, every area of our activity has been validated to ISO 14001 and since 2016 to EMAS III - proof of our effective, credible and transparent environmental protection.
For business success
We have introduced an integrated risk management system to enable us to take advantage of economic opportunities and ensure our company’s long-term success. In line with regulatory requirements, we continuously monitor for potential risks such as market and commercial risks, as well as credit, process, environment and project-related risks. In particular, our Internal Control System (ICS) verifies key accounting processes and our independent internal auditors have a clear view, in particular, of the orderly functioning of our processes and the effectiveness of our established controls. Risk analyses, ICS and audit reports are communicated to the Executive and Supervisory Boards and disclosed to the statutory auditors.
The corporate culture in action:
TransnetBW’s compliance management system ensures conformity with statutory requirements and internal regulations at all times. The TransnetBW Code of Conduct describes the fundamental orientations guiding the enterprise and what it is that TransnetBW stands for. In it, TransnetBW states its commitment to responsible corporate governance, sets out its expectations as an employer and sets its standards for ethical business behaviour. A preventive compliance strategy embracing a wide range of measures supports everyone involved, enabling them to act irreproachably and represent the company appropriately in their activities within the company and, in particular, in their dealings with business partners.
TransnetBW has appointed lawyer Dr. Harald W. Potinecke from the law firm CMS Hasche Sigle as its ombudsman. He is the person that all employees, business partners and external third parties may turn to if they wish to report any irregularities in connection with our company, and in particular in the event of any suspicions relating to fraudulent activities. Serious observations help us to counter violations at an early stage and limit any possible damage.