Our approach

Terna recognises the importance of finding the right balance between energy requirements and safeguarding the environment and local communities. In carrying out its business, it therefore seeks appropriate solutions to ensure Italy the electricity it needs in the most reliable, economical, and environmentally sustainable way.

From an environmental point of view, the most significant impact of Terna's activities is not so much the use of natural resources or emission of pollutants, but rather the physical presence of the lines and electricity stations, and their interaction with the surrounding natural and human environment.

Growing environmental awareness and widespread local opposition to the construction of new infrastructure – a characteristic feature of many industrialized countries and certainly of the Italian situation – have led Terna to develop and consolidate an approach which pays great attention to the environment and to the needs of local communities. For construction of new lines the path chosen is that of voluntary prior consultation with territorial Institutions (Regions, Provinces, Municipalities, Park Authorities, etc.), in order to consider environmental needs right from the initial planning stages and take them into account in an increasingly detailed manner up to the construction stage.

As regards existing lines and their management, Terna's attention to the environmental impact of its activities is expressed in its ISO 14001-certified Environmental Management System. Certification regards all of Terna's activities and covers 100% of the transmission grid (stations, lines) and bases (offices).

The following significant environmental issues should be noted in particular:

  • the visual impact of stations and lines;
  • the impact of lines on biodiversity, with particular regard to birdlife;
  • special waste and its disposal;
  • the emission of electric and magnetic fields;
  • greenhouse gas emissions.

Terna does not produce electricity, so the emission of greenhouse gases is not a feature of its activities. Our concern for emissions – which takes the form mainly of controlling leakage of SF6, a gas present in station equipment, as well as controlling emissions of the corporate vehicle fleet – is thus the result of general sensitivity to the problem of global warming. It should also be noted that the investments included in the Grid Development Plan can have indirect positive effects on emission reduction by the National Electricity System.

Terna has established an Environmental Policy, which expresses its commitment to practices which limit and reduce its environmental impact even beyond the limits imposed by law, whenever this does not compromise the other general interests that Terna is obliged to protect.

Among Terna’s main commitments to the environment, the following should be noted:

  • in planning grid development investments, attention is paid to the needs expressed by stakeholders (in particular local institutions and environmentalist associations) and agreement is sought for solutions;
  • in construction, management, and maintenance of the grid, procedures are adopted in accordance with the provisions of the law and, whenever possible, environmental impact is reduced;
  • in relations with suppliers, they are required to gradually adapt to the standardsof respect for the environment adopted by Terna;
  • with regard to magnetic fields, regulations are strictly complied with and attention is paid to the development of scientific studies, while contributing to the correct presentation and understanding of the phenomenon;
  • with regard to biodiversity, there is a commitment to limit the impact of the grid, particularly on birdlife, and to carry out mitigation actions, including programs agreed upon with environmentalist associations;
  • with regard to climate change, the importance of the problem is recognised and there is a commitment to actions that foster the reduction of greenhouse gases.

In organizational terms, environmental matters are overseen by several Departments, responsible for specific aspects, which are coordinated by the Sustainability and Environment Steering Committee.

Monitoring of environmental indicators is entrusted to a permanent group of experts working with the framework of the Environmental Management system.