Elia is committed to translate its strong ethical principles to the procurement process, and to have a positive impact on its wider environment via the purchases performed.
Transmission grids play a key role in the energy transition and the decarbonisation of society and industry. The integration of renewable energy sources into our grid will help combat climate change by reducing CO2 emissions.
However, the integration of these new sources will require the purchase of new assets, which will generate CO2. These emissions must be addressed in order to achieve a successful energy transition.
Our ambition is to move towards the establishment of a carbon-neutral value chain for the production, transport and operation of our new assets, as well as the related construction works and services we procure. Circular design and the efficient management of raw materials are a key part of this.
For many years already, Elia Group has emphasised the purchase of the most efficient electrical equipment available on the market, thereby reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions generated by our long-lasting assets over their lifetime. Recognising that our scope 3 emissions are growing, we have also decided to be proactive and support our suppliers in the reduction of their own emissions.
We are working to reduce emissions wherever possible and have committed ourselves to continuously improving our scope 3 emissions data. In order to tackle the complex task of fully understanding our scope 3 emissions - which primarily comprise the upstream emissions of our purchases - we collaborate closely with our suppliers.
We are exploring the use of an Internal Carbon Price in our tenders for new assets, which is aimed at reducing all types of emissions. This mechanism will ensure that the purchases we make take into account the potential for CO2 reduction, while minimising costs for society and adhering to European legislation for public tenders.
By requiring our suppliers to comply with the strictest environmental standards and by requesting the most CO2 efficient products and services from them, we are leveraging our position as an end consumer and demanding the necessary changes. By reviewing our own standards and incentivising the use of new solutions in our tenders, we are welcoming technological advancements to accelerate the reduction of global CO2 emissions. It is only by working together that this can be achieved.
As part of the European family of TSOs, we believe that a collective signal from us is necessary to encourage our suppliers to undertake the necessary efforts that are crucial for achieving our objectives. Investment in research and development and an increased focus on reducing emissions are the cornerstones of this work. To this end, Elia Group—along with six other TSOs—has issued an open letter to our suppliers: “The Greener Choice” (2020).
Code of conduct
Since 2019, Elia in Belgium has been requiring all suppliers who participate in public tenders to sign its Supplier Code of Conduct. An equivalent procedure is in place for purchases made on behalf of 50Hertz in Germany. By signing this code, Elia’s suppliers in Belgium pledge to adhere to the rules it has outlined with regard to ethical conduct, health and safety, as well as environmental and social considerations.
In line with our ambitions to harmonise the standards of our two subsidiaries, a common Elia Group Supplier Code of Conduct is due to be published in 2022.