Águas de Portugal group contributes towards green growth

The Águas de Portugal group joined the 82 entities that this Wednesday, April 22, signing the Commitment to Green Growth in a ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho.

The Commitment to Green Growth is an initiative launched by the Ministry of the Environment, Land Planning and Energy that seeks to establish “the bases for a commitment towards policies, objectives and targets that drive a model of development able to conciliate the indispensable economic growth not only with lower levels of natural resource consumption but also with social justice and the quality of life of populations”.

The underlying strategy to this Commitments involves fostering green economic growth in Portugal with both a national impact and international visibility, stimulating green economic activities, fostering efficiency in the usage of resources and contributing to sustainability. Hence, the objectives extend to fostering initiatives able to contribute towards the sustainable development of Portugal with a framework of creating value based upon the economy-environment binomial that in turn fosters the competitiveness of the country and its international affirmation as a benchmark reference in global green growth.

Investing in business activities with a strong green dimension, with a national and/or international impact, contributing towards boosting GDP and creating employment, the optimised management of resources with the objective of raising productivity and maximising their respective utilisation (for example, material efficiency, energy efficiency, hydric efficiency, ecodesign, urban rehabilitation) as well as fostering activities that enable the protection of the environment especially through the reduction of CO2 emissions, raising the level of renewable energy production, improving air and water quality standards and valuing biodiversity and the services rendered by ecosystems collectively constitute the strategic objectives of the Commitment to Green Growth.

“The participation of the Águas de Portugal group in the Commitment to Green Growth proved indisputable. From the outset, as the largest business group operating in the environmental sector in Portugal, we are already one of the major contributors to the Green Economy as well as promoting the quality of life of the populations. The AdP group’s corporate social responsibility program integrates many of the commitments and measures identified as priorities in this Commitment and which we shall now correspondingly strive to attribute greater consistency and implement those solutions generating greater efficiency in order to obtain these goals”, highlighted Afonso Lobato de Faria, President of Águas de Portugal.

As regards the management of water, the document highlights its importance both to the economy and to the quality of life of the local populations and stressing the evolution in the level of service coverage and the quality and availability of water for public consumption and as well as the improvements made to Portugal’s coastal waters. As regards service management, this emphasises the necessary change to the management model paradigm for water supply and the treatment of wastewaters and transiting from a two decade long period of infrastructural construction towards a new cycle focused on the efficient management of the assets resulting and driving reform able to contribute towards social and territorial cohesion, environmental quality and to operational economic and financial sustainability.

Within this context, the Commitment identifies the restructuring of the water sector as a priority with one of the pillars resulting in the territorial and corporate reorganisation of Águas de Portugal group within the specific framework of boosting the operational efficiency of water supply and wastewater sanitation systems whilst reducing the costs of such services.

The Commitment establishes 13 quantified goals for 2020 and for 2030, including among which boosting hydric efficiency, improving from 35% of water not being invoiced across the extent of the network in 2012 to a maximum of 20% in 2030 as well as improving the quality of bodies of water and raising the level of waters ranked as “good or superior” quality from 52% in 2010 to 100% in 2027.

As regards the waste sector, the Green Growth scenarios presume a constant evolution in the managing of the life cycle of products through progress in the processes of reducing and valuing waste that, complemented by innovation and re-industrialisation, prove able to bring about economic growth and generating new opportunities for employment and wealth creation. The management of waste as a resource enhancing the circular economy has represented a strategy guiding the activities of AdP group companies ranging from an awareness surrounding their production and with value placed on all the sub-products of activities, with a particular emphasis on recovering energy and always guaranteeing that such treatment is carried out according to the very best available technology in accordance with a hierarchy of wastes and furthermore ensuring that the quantity of waste going into landfills undergoes a continuous decline.

The Commitment to Green Growth follows in the wake of the 2014 founding of the Coalition for Green Growth, led by the environment ministry with the objective of pooling the efforts of almost a hundred business associations and organisations representing the corporate, scientific and financial sectors as well as state entities, foundations and non governmental organisations, which AdP also signed up to.

The document, first presented last September and subject to public consultation through to 15 January, includes 83 different initiatives broken down into 10 sectors: water, waste, urban rehabilitation, energy and hydric efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions, renewable energies, air quality and valuing biodiversity.

22 of April of 2015