Any business activity has an impact on staff and the environment. Repower is committed to keeping this impact under control, improving it as far as possible on an ongoing basis, and creating sustainable offerings for its customers.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND WORKPLACE SAFETY
Repower sees its responsibility to its people and the environment as an integral component of the way the entire company is managed.
To maximise employee health and safety, the company has a corresponding management system in place that is certified in accordance with OHSAS 18001:2007 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series).
In recent years Repower’s efforts with regard to workplace health and safety have borne fruit. Not only have sickness-related absences declined, but there has been a substantial fall in occupational accidents. Back in 2009 occupational accidents resulted in 0.9 days of absence per full-time equivalent; Repower has managed to reduce the figure to just over 0.1. In other words, there are just over 90 per cent fewer absences as a result of accidents than six years ago. In its annual assessment, employee insurer SUVA concluded that Repower was one of the best companies in the industry in terms of the incidence of occupational accidents. Regular safety training for staff working on power plants and grid installations has undoubtedly helped. These courses are a permanent feature of measures at Repower designed to raise employees’ awareness of safety and make them more conscious of everyday risks. In 2016, 380 employees took part in training of this sort.
Last year Repower became one of the first companies in the Graubünden energy industry to sign SUVA’s safety charter. The charter is designed to improve safety at work and prevent occupational accidents. It was initiated by SUVA in collaboration with employers’ associations, planners and the trade unions.
Repower has a ISO 14001:2004-certified environmental management system for handling environmentally-relevant processes. In recent years this system has helped the company reduce emissions continuously. Transport also plays a key role here, which is why the company’s in-house environmental specialists are actively involved in the issue.
Repower pursued an exemplary environmental policy in connection with the project to renovate the Morteratsch power plant. Following the rebuilding, additional water piping has supplied the precious system of waterways and bodies of water with more water. Another improvement is that the lakes and streams affected are subject to less extreme fluctuations in water level.
When renovating high-voltage lines Repower lays cables underground wherever it is possible and makes sense to do so. This is preferable in terms of conserving the landscape and limiting the effects of electromagnetic fields, but often also involves extra expense.
Repower now also markets its health and safety know-how to other energy utilities. Besides advice and training it provides support with introducing and running health and safety and environmental management systems.
Repower employs a total of 583 people in Switzerland and Italy (as of 31 December 2016). In Switzerland, Repower offers young professionals 30 apprenticeships in seven trades spread over different areas of Canton Graubünden. The group aspires to be an attractive employer and to offer fair conditions of employment. To limit staff turnover Repower endeavours to develop and retain its staff. It also pursues an active employer branding policy to position itself externally as an employer and acquire new staff with the right skills. The company offers competitive compensation in line with each employee’s skills and experience. Repower places the emphasis on systematic management development and transparent internal communications. It also fosters an innovative corporate culture. Employees can help shape the future of the business by actively contributing to projects set up to develop new prototypes and products.
Every two years Repower conducts a groupwide staff survey to get a feel for the mood of its employees. The survey findings are compared with previous findings and measured against an external benchmark. The next survey will take place in 2017.
Repower complies with the provisions of the law and keeps close track of upcoming changes in the relevant legislation. Compliance is one of the units responsible for this. The Compliance unit is not just charged with performing regular controls to ensure compliance with the law, but also with identifying compliance risks, doing prevention, and providing advice. Compliance provides training to raise staff awareness of issues such as data and information protection, insider trading, fair market behaviour, correct accounting and dealing with conflicts of interest. It is also the first point of contact for staff wishing to report concerns or violations. The work of the Compliance function is documented in regular reports.
PRODUCTS AND generation
In 2016 Repower decided that in future it will supply customers in Switzerland exclusively with electricity generated from renewable resources. Since 1 January 2017 the retail product portfolio has consisted of the standard product Aquapower (100 per cent Swiss hydropower), Purepower (at least 5 per cent electricity from photovoltaic, biomass or wind installations; the remainder Swiss hydropower) and Solarpower (100 per cent solar power from Graubünden). Last year Repower also launched the certified Graubünden green power product Verdepower for large customers.
In Italy, in addition to supplying business customers with TÜV-certified green power, Repower focuses on offering solutions to enable them to boost their energy efficiency. These offerings include eFFettiva (reducing electricity consumption), VAMPA (thermal imaging), DIODA (LED lighting) and FOCUS (analysing energy consumption).
During the year under review Repower continued to develop offerings in connection with electric vehicles in both Switzerland and Italy. In Switzerland it started setting up Plug’n Roll, a charging network that already includes more than 60 charging points (PALINA and BITTA), most of them in Graubünden. The network also includes more than 1,000 registered electric vehicle drivers. In Italy, in addition to selling PALINA and BITTA charging stations, Repower has also started to set up a charging network. In future the plan is for Ricarica 101 to provide charging stations covering 101 defined zones in Italy to enable travel by electric vehicle throughout the entire country.
Hydropower is the mainstay of Repower’s own generation business. For this reason safeguarding the value of these hydropower assets and harnessing existing promotional schemes such as feed-in remuneration at cost (KEV) is an integral part of the company’s strategy. Repower is also looking into selling its rights to purchase electricity from nuclear holding companies and the Teverola combined-cycle gas turbine plant in Italy.