By: Maria Gotti | Sustainability Projects and Practice Sharing Analyst at Enel | July 28th, 2016

As of 2013, Enel has been integrating the CSV sustainability model into the business processes and along the whole value chain. CSV in Business Development means an in depth analysis of the context which includes the evaluation of risks and opportunities on the basis of business objectives and local stakeholder needs. In the Engineering & Construction phase, working with various functions enables sustainability to be fully entailed in the construction plan and requirements, hence enacting the ‘Sustainable Construction Site’ which expresses its full integration. Maintaining a long term perspective means that some projects and activities selected in the other phases have to be carried out throughout the entire life of the plant, reaching the Operations & Maintenance phase.

Adopting the 'Sustainable Construction Site' model means reducing greenhouse gas emissions by using environmentally friendly, biodegradable, low-carbon and recyclable materials as well as engaging local workers, contractors and entrepreneurs in the sustainable planning and construction of the plant. All activities undergone during the construction phase are transparently communicated through a Construction Site Panel, sharing all kinds of impacts the construction activities are having on the environment, the community and the business.

Enel Green Power’s hydroelectric complex of Apiacás in the state of Mato Grosso - Brazil, is an example of the application of the CSV model as well as a very good example of Sustainable Construction Site.

The Apiacás project consists of three plants in cascade, called Salto Apiacás”, “Cabeza de Boi” e “Fazenda”, for a total installed capacity of 102 MW, with 7 turbines of approximately 14.5 MW each. Once in operation, the hydroelectric complex will be able to generate up to about 490 GWh per year, thus meeting the great demand for new electricity in the country, that is estimated to grow at an average annual rate of 4% until 2020.

In the past the area of Mato Grosso has been severely affected and distressed by industrial colonialism of the mining industry which caused the deforestation and re-population of specific areas. This generated a burden that still affects the population of Alta Floresta, hence Enel Green Power decided to engage the community and let the local people suggest activities and initiatives based on their actual needs and concerns that have been summarized in a 261-page report.

The Sustainable Construction Site is, in fact, an initiative that entails these needs, concerns and is aimed at reducing domestic and construction site consumption by applying diverse projects such as:

  • Installing a photovoltaic thin "stand-alone" film (not connected to the network), which provides an additional installed capacity of 1.2 MW, reducing the CO2 emissions (a goal for the municipality, that is trying to get a Green Label), the cost of the monthly bills, and replacing diesel generators (in rural and urban areas) with photovoltaic micro/mini plants.
  • A training initiative for people working on site, focused on improving safety skills.
  • Transform part of the construction installations of the Apiacás Complex into a Research & Development Center, to be used by local universities and technical institutes, dedicated to engineering and biodiversity studies.

Among other projects designed according to the history of the area and thanks to the involvement of communities, there is a reforestation initiative in collaboration with a local NGO by improving the existing greenhouses in the municipality with the goal of producing autochthonous plant seeds for the reforestation.

The communities of Mato Grosso are also required to contribute to the design and construction works of the plant. Thanks to this project IFC (International Finance Corporation of the World Bank) is assessing the CSV tools used by Enel Green Power in order to formalize them and use them as an example of what is meant by ‘sustainability assessment’.


Construction of the plant without delays, try an innovative design and site management, IFC certification on development methodology.


Job opportunity for local labor in the construction and maintenance of the plant. Technical and vocational training, increase disposable income of local people.


Project Fact Sheet - Apiacas.pdf

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