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Costs for the environment


All the procedures to prevent, reduce or compensate for any harm to the environment originating from the company's operations

Terna’s commitment in favor of the environment is reflected by the costs incurred for environmental reasons, both as an investment and as operating costs. The separate accounting of environmental costs, produced for the first time with reference to 2009, is based on an ad hoc method developed with definitions supplied principally by:

Environmental costs are those incurred by companies, directly or through third parties, to prevent, reduce or repair damage to the environment arising from their operating activities. These costs therefore include:

  • Waste disposal and measures taken to prevent its formation
  • Protection of the soil, surface waters and ground waters
  • Protection of air and climate from pollution
  • Reduction of noise pollution
  • Biodiversity and landscape protection

The above mentioned definitions were cross-evaluated in comparison with significant environmental aspects (like, for example, noise produced by the stations and electromagnetic fields) within Terna’s Environmental Management System, certified by the UNI EN ISO 14001 standard.

Terna excludes the following costs from their environmental reporting:

  • Integrated costs: relating to activities that are not carried out exclusively for environmental purposes, such as the use of innovative pylons for environmental integration
  • Additional costs: those deriving from route changes resulting from the acceptance of or demands for environmental protection in the planning and designing of new lines (deviations, buried lines)

The result is an environmental cost reporting system that is:

  • Significant in terms of data
  • Consistent with annual accounting, showing a clear distinction between operating and investment costs
  • Directly identifiable based on the existing corporate costs system

The table published below best illustrates the costs incurred by Terna for the environment. With the exception for the entry “Environmental activities – Existing plants”, expenses relative to internal resources are excluded from costs: only expenses for external purchases are therefore considered.


2018 2017 2016
Capital expenditure
Environmental offsets(1) 7.1 7.9 14.7
Environmental-impact studies(2) 3.5 4.2 2.4
Environmental activities – new plants(3) 3.9 4.8 4.3
Environmental activities – existing plants(4) 2.9 3.6 7.5
Demolitions(5) 2.2 0.8 0.9
Total capital expenditure 19.6 21.2 29.8
Costs for environmental activities(6) 23.8 24.1 19.1
Total operating costs 23.8 24.1 19.1


(1) Environmental offsets: These are amounts allocated to offset the works provided for in the Grid Development Plan, as identified by specific agreements signed with local authorities.
(2) Environmental impact studies: These relate to plants provided for in the Grid Development Plan that are under construction or awaiting the necessary consents from the competent authorities.
(3) Environmental activities - new plant: The amount shown is an estimated figure. Based on an analysis of certain large investment projects, it has been found that at least 1% of total project costs correspond to environmental items, usually deriving from regulatory requirements (for example, tree screens, noise barriers, the installation of bird deterrents, environmental monitoring, the testing of excavated soil and rocks). Therefore, a value of 1% of the capital expenditure cost for projects with similar characteristics has been taken into account.
(4) Demolitions: This is the cost of the final decommissioning of power lines as part of rationalisation programmes.
(5) Cost of environmental activities: This regards vegetation management, grass cutting, waste management and demolition/decommissioning activities, which represent small amounts and are not included under investment. These cost items, which are directly identifiable within the management accounts, do not cover all environmental operating costs, but do comprise the majority of such costs.

The overall picture of all Terna's environmental data is available for download here.