Renewable energy company Ørsted has published a biodiversity policy, outlining principles which will help protect the natural environment in areas where the firm is developing, constructing and operating offshore wind farms.
The policy breaks down Ørsted’s across a number of areas and includes a range of ambitions and principles such as:
Choosing the wind farm location
- Ensuring the farms are appropriately and responsibly sited: Undertaking EIAs in the development phases of all projects. Through detailed planning and collaboration, a location will be selected for which turbines and cables avoid unacceptable or significant impacts on the marine and coastal environment, including considering rare species or habitats
- Ensuring within predetermined sites that we reduce any significant impact on sensitive species and ecosystems.
Minimising impacts during construction
- Mitigating potential impacts due to underwater noise from piling foundations which can disrupt marine mammals
- Reducing impacts on seabed and coastal ecosystems to a minimum.
Monitoring of impacts during operation
- Monitoring during operation until projected impacts prove as anticipated
- Initiating appropriate responses in the case of unforeseen impacts.
The company also aims to continuing its work with authorities, environmental groups and universities to expand the available biodiversity knowledge base.
Hans Lyhne Borg, head of environment, consents & property at Ørsted commented: "Renewable energy plays a major role in mitigating climate change and the threat it poses to biodiversity. At the same time, it is important to protect biodiversity at our wind farm projects and sites . . .Our biodiversity policy formalizes and makes it transparent that Ørsted takes responsibility for the natural environment."