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Environmental Protection

Environmental protection is extensively governed by statutory regulations. Compliance with the statutory regulations is our top priority for this issue. The grant and retention of operating licences and our reputation in the public domain depend on compliance with these statutory regulations. We also take comprehensive, voluntary measures to improve environmental protection.

Key elements in our value chain – production of lignite, oil and gas, generation of electricity and distribution of electricity and gas – are partly associated with significant impacts on the environment. RWE has developed its experience with the organisation of operational environmental protection over many decades. This is a fixed component of our operating business. It includes the launch of new developments at an early stage which are directed towards the public domain and which are addressed in particular by our stakeholders. Over the past business year, we have adopted an in-depth approach to issues of biodiversity and water use which exceed the scope of statutory regulations.



We are committedKPITarget
… to operating our plants safely and in compliance with licensing regulations at all times.Compliance with licensing requirements in % 100 % compliance 
… to the 100 % implementation of our environmental management system to ensure that our plants and grids are operated in compliance with legal requirements at all times.Group-wide environmental management coverage in %100 % coverage

Target Attainment

During the reporting year, one environmentally relevant event occurred in the RWE Group which exerted a significant impact on the environment. A benzene escape into the soil and groundwater was discovered during the course of onshore oil production at the Völkersen gas field (Germany) at the end of 2011. We have made significant progress in a clean-up operation with comprehensive public participation during the course of the year under review (Plant operations: oil and gas production).

We developed our environmental management system further with particular emphasis on internal audits and thereby made a contribution to a conduct compliant with statutory regulations and a continuous improvement process within our company.

Overview of the most important facts:


incident with major environmental impact

76 %

of all run-of-river plants equipped with by-pass streams or fish ladders


hectares of recultivated area

99.6 %

coverage with an environmental mamagement system

Consumption of


million m³ of water for cooling of power stations