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We take care of the planet

At Celsia, we are committed to renewable energy, the conservation of ecosystems and eco-efficiency in processes; our operations are based on the sustainable use of natural resources as a source of clean, safe and reliable energy.

Integrated Report 2020 / We take care of the planet

This chapter covers the topics:

Environmental management

Energy resource management




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At Celsia, we drive the transformation of the Organization; we have a combination of processes that allow us to reduce environmental impacts and increase efficiency to achieve both environmental, as well as economic and operational improvements. These actions are implemented with excellence and leadership in favor of the environmental conditions of the environment where we develop our projects, in the operation of assets and in due diligence throughout the value chain, taking into account the expectations of our Stakeholders and the timely management of risks.

We focus on looking for opportunities that allow us to be more environmentally responsible and more profitable over time. For this reason, we have the best practices for the efficient use of water and energy, the integral management of waste, the management of discharges and the control of atmospheric emissions, thus allowing business continuity.

During 2020, we managed to certify power generation under the ISO 14001:2015 Standard,  the verification coverage percentage of which is 96%.

We also have different third-party verification schemes, which include internal-audit actions carried out by an external consulting firm.

The National Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA, in Spanish) granted us a license for the construction of the El Tesorito Thermal Power Plant, with a capacity of 400 MW, in the municipality of Sahagún, the Department of Córdoba, Colombia.

All the information of the Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) of the plants in operation and of the company’s projects is public and is filed in the offices of the competent environmental authorities, where we are present.


On the other hand, energy-resource management plays an important role for business continuity, given that we have thermal-generation assets to support our operations.

For this reason, we promote projects to optimize generation to conserve and preserve water in the territories where we are present, in order to ensure the availability of this resource and generate energy with alternative sources, such as the sun and wind, the use of which reduces the pressure on non-renewable natural resources, always aligned with the policies and strategies established by the Organization.

At Celsia, we project an increasingly clean and balanced energy matrix, with a high share of non-conventional renewable energies, considering the development of innovative, low-carbon products and services, supporting the reduction of the impacts associated with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and optimizing the availability of natural resources, which are a priority for our Organization.

We define the management of atmospheric emissions with the help of the measurement of the carbon footprint; in addition, we implement action plans in order to focus on opportunities for improvement in our processes through our controls. And, thus, we guarantee environmental legal compliance, framed in the emission of significant fixed sources identified in the Organization.  Some of the aspects of 2020 in terms of climate change that we highlight are these:


With respect to the integral management of solid waste within the Organization, for 2020 we highlight:


On the other hand, many of the ecosystems in which we have assets and projects in Colombia and Central America are highly biodiverse and sensitive to interventions. For this reason, at Celsia we are committed to protecting biodiversity from the early stages of management in our projects and assets under construction and operation.

Our goal is that by the year 2025 all new projects and all facilities currently in operation will have an early assessment of risks on biodiversity or a biotic management plan, so that we avoid the net loss of biodiversity and – where possible – let us have a net profit from it.

During 2020, with the ReverdeC program we contributed to the ecological restoration of more than nine basins in Colombia.

We planted

1.4 million

new trees

We achieved a consolidated

figure of more than

5.7 million

new trees
in the country

How did we respond to COVID-19?

During 2020, we encountered several challenges: one of them was the change in the mode of operations, which forced most of the employees to work remotely and to possible changes in the execution of scheduled maintenance, which caused a decrease in waste indicators, other emissions, energy consumption, etc.

Consequently, we had a 91% decrease in the waste generated during the 2020 operation, a 61% decrease in energy consumption from non-renewable sources and an 86% decrease in water consumption.

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  • Atmospheric Emissions
    The pollutants released directly into the atmosphere. Some originate as a consequence of chemical reactions and others correspond to the continuous or discontinuous discharge of matter, substances or forms of energy coming directly or indirectly from any source that may cause air pollution.
  • Biodiversity
    According to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, it is “the term by which reference is made to the wide variety of living things on Earth and the natural patterns it forms, the result of billions of years of evolution according to natural processes and also from the growing influence of human activities.” And it adds that biodiversity also includes “the variety of ecosystems and the genetic differences within each species (genetic diversity) that allow the combination of multiple forms of life, and whose mutual interactions with the rest of the environment base the sustenance of life on the world.”
  • Carbon Bonds
    An international decontamination mechanism to reduce polluting emissions to the environment. It serves to reduce emissions that cause global warming and the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) effect.
  • Carbon Footprint
    An environmental indicator that aims to reflect the totality of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by the direct or indirect effect of an individual, organization, event or product. Said environmental impact is measured by carrying out an inventory of GHG emissions or a life-cycle analysis, according to the type of footprint, based on recognized international regulations, such as ISO 14064, ISO 14069, ISO 14067, PAS 2050 or the GHG Protocol, among others. The carbon footprint is a mass-equivalent measurement of CO2. Once the size and footprint are known, it is possible to implement an emission-reduction or compensation strategy, through public or private programs.
  • Direct Emissions (Scope 1)
    These are direct greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions that occur from sources that are owned or controlled by the Organization in the following types of activities: electricity generation; heat or steam; physical or chemical processes; transportation of materials, products, waste and employees; fugitive emissions.
  • Diversification of the Generation Matrix
    A combination of renewable and non-renewable energy sources used in a geographic area.
  • Environmental Impact Studies (EIA, in Spanish)
    The basic instrument for decision-making on projects, works or activities that require an environmental license; they will be required in all cases that require it, in accordance with the law.
  • Hydrobiological resources
    The organisms that spend their entire life, or part of it, in an aquatic environment and are used by man directly or indirectly.
  • Indirect Emissions (Scope 2)
    They cover emissions from the generation of electricity acquired and consumed by the Company, which is purchased or brought within the selected spatial limit.
  • International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
    A union of members made up of sovereign States, government agencies and civil society organizations. IUCN is the world authority regarding the state of nature and natural resources, as well as the necessary measures to protect.
  • ISO standard 14064-1: 2018
    The Technical Standard for Greenhouse Gases - Part 1. Specification with guidance, at the organization level, for quantifying and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals.
  • Mitigation hierarchy
    A tool that helps to limit, as much as possible, the negative impacts on biodiversity produced by development projects. It is based on implementing best practices to avoid and minimize negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services, managing residual impacts through restoration and compensation actions.
  • Mitigation strategies
    The implementation of policies aimed at reducing GHG emissions and improving sumps through the analysis of the causes or sources of emissions and the subsequent proposal of solutions.
  • Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)
    Nationally determined contributions are projected reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • Net loss of biodiversity
    This occurs when – due to processes of transformation and degradation of the landscape – the size, the landscape context and the richness of the elements of biodiversity are disturbed/ diminished and processes of loss and local or regional extinction begin.
  • Non-Hazardous Waste
    The waste that does not cause damage to the environment or the health of living beings, since it does not undergo significant physical, chemical or biological transformations.
  • ReverdeC
    Celsia's voluntary program that seeks to contribute to the restoration of the hydrological basins in the Departments of Valle del Cauca, Antioquia and Tolima, Colombia, through the planting of 1,000,000 native trees annually for 10 years.
  • Science-based targets (SBTs)
    Emission-reduction goals aligned with climate science. SBTs are long-term emission-reduction goals that are aligned with the level of decarbonization necessary to meet each goal.
  • Thermal district
    An urban-distribution network that produces steam, hot water and ice water; from a central plant it is transported by underground pipes to the buildings that comprise it, in order to heat spaces, domestic water or produce air conditioning.
  • VERRA Standard
    The organization committed to helping reduce emissions, improve livelihoods and protect natural resources in the public and private sectors. It supports climate action and sustainable development with standards, tools, and programs that credibly, transparently, and solidly assess environmental and social impacts, and enable funding to maintain and expand these benefits.
  • Water stress
    When the demand for water is higher than the quantity available during a certain period or when its use is restricted by its low quality. Water stress causes a deterioration of fresh-water resources in terms of quantity and quality.
  • Water-stress zone
    Those regions where the availability of water does not satisfy the requirement of all users.

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