What does responsible business mean for SPP?
Responsible business conduct should be a natural part of business in a modern country, and one of the keys to success. We pay close attention to the increasing emphasis on responsible business conduct among our customers, as well as communities and society.
SPP is active mainly in the energy sector, which faces not so easy challenges associated with the inevitable transformation. We are fully aware of global trends in the energy sector, and the goals of the UN, the EU and the Slovak Republic in the field of climate and environmental protection must be increasingly reflected in our business. We have adopted the SPP 2030 Vision and Strategy, which describes the key areas for the development of our business in the future, such as increased energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources (RES).
You mentioned that responsible business conduct is something that customers are also interested in…
Yes, there is considerably bigger interest about how we do business and how we see the future of the energy sector. We want to provide customers and the public with more information about our business and therefore we have recently also focused on increasing our transparency.
That’s why we have, as one of the first Slovak companies, recently published the SPP Sustainability Report for 2021, drawn up in accordance with international standards for reporting non-financial information. The report provides clear and detailed information about what we did in 2021 not only in the field of energy and states our goals in increasing the sustainability of SPP for the future.
So how did 2021 turn out from SPP’s point of view in the energy sector?
2021 was a big challenge for all of us. Probably no one expected that the recovery of economy after the pandemic would cause such an increase in energy prices. At the end of 2021, we were able to ensure the supply of energy for more than 120,000 households whose suppliers ceased their activities. It was approximately one-tenth of SPP’s existing customers. My thanks go to all my colleagues who managed this end-of-year rush faultlessly.
In 2021, together with our partner, ČEZ ESCO, we founded ESCO Slovensko, which aims to become a market leader in complex energy services for the corporate and public sector focusing also on increasing the sustainability on the part of our customers. We also continued to provide reliable services to clients as a buyer of electricity from RES.
However, considering the development in 2022, even more fundamental challenges await us in the future.
Exactly. Bringing sustainable solutions to our customers. That’s where our responsibility lies because the need for energy will not go away in the future. Calculation of SPP’s carbon footprint for 2021 also confirms this - SPP’s internal consumption makes up less than 0.2% of our total emissions.
In the SPP Sustainability Report, we clearly state the commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. At the same time, we provide detailed information on our plans for investments in the development of energy production from RES. By 2030, we have plans to invest, alone or with partners, up to 460 million euros in the development of electricity and gas production from RES.
Another big challenge is the question of the origin of energy in the context of the war in Ukraine.
The invasion of Ukraine emphasized the necessity to take measures to strengthen the energy independence and security of the entire EU. This also proves the need to accelerate development and investments in increasing energy efficiency and further development of RES. From a short-term point of view, however, the most important thing was to take quick steps in diversifying energy sources, especially gas. We take our role in this field very responsibly.
Ensuring continuous energy supplies for all our customers, from large industrial customers to households, is a priority for us. Once again, it turned out that our biggest asset is people. In addition to the historically first deliveries of LNG to Slovakia, our trade team was able to quickly find business opportunities in the form of gas deliveries from non-Russian sources. We fundamentally diversified the possibilities of SPP and thus significantly strengthened the energy independence of Slovakia too.
Apart from energy, what else is part of the Sustainability Report?
The Sustainability Report also describes our relations with employees and suppliers, and the area of corporate governance. In 2021, we adopted a new SPP Code of Conduct, updated several internal regulations on whistleblowing, money laundering and increased our own transparency. We are still working on improving internal processes or increasing inclusion and diversity. Our goal is to increase the representation of women in management.
The report also describes our relationship with society and the country in which we operate. We donated almost 2.5 million euros to public benefit projects in 2021 and we will continue to support projects aimed at protecting the cultural heritage of Slovakia, protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity, supporting art and culture, and Slovak sports.
Henrich Krejčí, Member of the Board of Directors, SPP