Environmental protection & environmental management
THE "E" IN ESG
The cavern facility in Etzel is one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly storage facilities, as it emits virtually no pollutants or noise pollution.
STORAG ETZEL endeavors to minimize any adverse effects on local residents during necessary construction work by providing information, regulating traffic and, if necessary, providing noise protection.
Environmental protection is a daily practice at STORAG ETZEL. For us, this means: We naturally comply with all environmental and energy laws, other applicable regulations and technical standards. Environmental impacts are already taken into account during the planning and construction of plants, and emissions and waste quantities are continuously reduced during operation in order to conserve resources.
The energy consumption of our plants is monitored and further developed in terms of efficiency. Quality assurance in the areas of plant safety, energy and the environment plays a major role for us, which is why regular reviews and assessments are carried out to continuously improve our environmental and energy performance. We set ourselves annual energy targets to save precious energy through planned energy management. The effectiveness of the energy management is guaranteed by the certification of STORAG ETZEL with regard to DIN EN ISO 50001.
STORAG ETZEL is also actively committed to environmental protection. The environmental management of STORAG ETZEL rests on 3 pillars:
- Reduce any environmental impact on air, water, soil during the operating phase.
- To develop the Etzel cavern facility habitat (humans, flora and fauna)
- Counteracting the long-term effects of mining (subsidence)
Plant safety is also environmental protection:
As part of our day-to-day work, we focus on continuous improvement in order to avoid any environmental impacts as far as possible or to limit them to the minimum necessary. We pay particular attention to individual aspects.
Both the STORAG ETZEL operating areas and our compensation areas give us the opportunity to create new habitats for flora and fauna. In recent years, several measures have been implemented in the north field for this purpose, such as a game field and a pheasant feeder for winter feeding of free-living animals in consultation with the local hunting community. In 2021, we worked with a biology consultant and a local contractor to convert a total of seven areas totaling about 700 square meters to wildflower meadows and strips. All large compensation areas at the site are maintained in a targeted manner and ecologically developed further in coordination with the nature conservation authority and experts. On our corporate blog "Lebensraum Kavernenanlage Etzel" (Etzel cavern site habitat), we inform you about existing facets in the vicinity of the cavern site and report on current measures and developments in the cavern field.
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The long-term effects of mining are counteracted on a sustainable basis.
Subsidence as a result of mining and its possible effects are a central topic of our actions today and in the coming decades. Since cavern construction began at Etzel in 1971, a very shallow depression, invisible to the naked eye, has formed above the cavern field as a direct effect of mining activities, leveling off toward the edges to such an extent that no measurable effects are detected there.
In order to map the future development of subsidence during the operating period and subsequent cavern storage, STORAG ETZEL has had a subsidence forecast drawn up that shows the subsidence progression over 300 years. Based on this, an impact analysis shows that, as a result, the subsidence effects are manageable and that the feasibility of "keeping the subsidence area dry" can be achieved using proven dewatering measures.
You can view the focal points of our environmental management - described in detail - here.