The negative impacts caused by the ventures on local communities are established during the implementation of the ventures and generally include soil degradation, vegetation suppression, real estate relocation, machinery movement, sound and particulate emissions, increased traffic of cars and people in the area, among others.
The degree to which communities are affected is evaluated through the Environmental Communication and Education Programs, promoted by Chesf in response to environmental licensing. Our actions are guided by Eletrobras’ Corporate Social Responsibility Policy and Chesf’s Guidance Manual on Social Projects.
Our commitments are voluntary and are guided by the 2030 Agenda, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN), the Guiding Principles for Companies and Human Rights, and the National Human Rights Program (PNDH 3), acting in an integrated manner with Eletrobras. Of Chesf’s operations, 15 (2.4%) have implemented actions to engage with the community.
Media Program and other channels
An initiative with which we seek to assure society of appropriate information about the ventures and their impacts on the environment. The channel is used to establish a harmonious relationship between the development and the various groups impacted by the operation: residents of the surrounding communities, public institutions and workers directly involved in the implementation works.
Chesf also provides the channels “Fale Conosco Ambiental”, “Disque Queimadas/Meio Ambiente” (0800-979-3090) and the Ombudsman’s Office for the entire society, in order to guarantee access to the Company for all, as well as to use them as an instrument for monitoring local impacts.
Chesf Corporate Volunteer Program
Our employees participate in volunteer activities in a program coordinated by the Department of Public Relations, Social Responsibility and Sponsorship, with the participation of the Corporate Volunteering Center. In 2019, the following actions were promoted:
- collection and distribution of basic food baskets for needy communities and for the NGO Lar Rejane Marques, which shelters children with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and abandonment in Recife;
- participation in the Banho do Bem Campaign, with collection of personal hygiene items for the NGO Projeto Missão Solidária (Prosol), which provides baths for homeless people in the city of Recife (PE);
- collection of personal hygiene products for the elderly of Abrigo Cristo Redentor;
- participation in the Eletrobras Companies Volunteer Subcommittee for the elaboration of the Voluntary Work Guide for Eletrobras companies;
- support to social initiatives in partnership with the NGOs ADOBEM, Hospitalhaços, Casa Vovó Bibia and Movimento Pró-Criança with the Clarear Project;
- partnership with the Solidary Project for Energy Education of the NGO Comitê da Cidadania dos Chesfianos de Recife; and
- Children’s Day and Solidary Christmas for children in the surroundings of Chesf headquarters in Recife.
230 kV Socorro/Penedo Transmission Line Environmental Education Program: environmental education actions to raise awareness and mobilize the population’s participation in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of socio-environmental projects, acting to transform the space where they live. The communities that are at a distance of 1 km from the project were involved, and they are considered to be the most vulnerable in socioenvironmental terms. We have been working with the community of Patioba and Terra Dura since the beginning of the program in 2017. The initiative has already resulted in the expansion of the communication channel between Chesf and the community.
Socio-environmental Action Plan (PAS): a project conducted in the Paulo Afonso I, II, III, IV and Apolônio Sales HPPs – Paulo Afonso Complex and Xingó HPP. The area of operation is delimited by the level of influence of the projects – the actions of Paulo Afonso cover five municipalities in three states (Bahia, Pernambuco and Alagoas), and those of Xingó cover six municipalities in three states (Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia). The PAS follows a participatory methodology, through which the social actors identified their needs and defined their priorities to preserve their environmental heritage and elected their representatives by direct and universal vote, who were assigned the role of contributing to the sustainability of the project.
São Francisco Lakes Project: executed by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa Semiárido) in the municipalities of Pariconha, Olho D’Água dos Casados, Delmiro Gouveia and Piranhas (AL), Paulo Afonso, Rodelas e Glória (BA), Petrolândia and Jatobá (PE), and Canindé do São Francisco, Poço Redondo and Nossa Senhora da Glória (SE). The project’s objective is to promote research, development and technology transfer actions and the training of technicians, students, producers and fishermen, in order to strengthen the infrastructure of farming activities, ensuring a level of productivity that allows the improvement of producers’ income and the reproducibility of the productive units of the communities of the municipalities located around the dams of the Paulo Afonso Complex and the hydroelectric power plants of Itaparica (Luiz Gonzaga) and Xingó.
Sobradinho Lake Project: carried out by Embrapa Semiárido in the municipalities of Sobradinho, Casa Nova, Sento Sé, Remanso and Pilão Arcado, located in the surroundings of the Sobradinho Power Plant, has brought about a significant improvement in the quality of life of the communities benefited from the implementation of technological learning and training fields. This project promotes the transfer of knowledge and technology for living with drought to agricultural producers and fishermen who live around the Sobradinho Dam (BA).
In 2019, we invested R$ 1 million in sponsorship projects aimed at the promotion of culture and technical-scientific production and dissemination, which contributed to the preservation of the intangible heritage of the Brazilian Northeast and the exchange of experiences in the area of electric energy.
We have participated in the Sponsorship Program of Eletrobras companies to the 2019 Electric Sector Events, contributing to the selection of projects of great relevance in the national and international scenario and providing financial resources in projects aligned with our objectives, such as the XXV National Seminar of Electric Power Production and Transmission (Belo Horizonte/MG).
Among the main cultural actions carried out in 2019 are the projects Vozes em Movimento, Musical Formation for Children and Adolescents, Criança Cidadã Orchestra and the Restoration and Requalification Project of Museu de Arte Sacra de Pernambuco.
Environmental and socio-economic compliance management
There is the regulatory management related to environmental and socioeconomic compliance of our enterprises and facilities. In this sense, our main objective is to avoid negative impacts, but when this is not possible, mitigating measures are established, which occurs during the licensing process.
We conduct diagnostic studies and evaluation of the potential impacts at the time of implementation of the undertakings, which are followed up until the energization phase, considering all relevant aspects, in order to minimize the risks of delays and penalties imposed by environmental agencies or those involved in the licensing process. The assessments are consolidated monthly in the form of reports and action plans, and the results are presented to the Engineering Department at monitoring meetings. For units in operation, the environmental area monitors the environmental and socioeconomic regularity of the generation and transmission units and issues periodic reports on the licensing status.
We rely on the Environmental Licensing System (Sislic), a computerized tool that allows you to register and share information and documents related to legal compliance. Our performance in this sense is guided by the Environmental Policy and the Social Responsibility Policy of Eletrobras companies.
It is worth noting that Chesf’s investment in structuring social projects has as its main objective to enhance the positive impacts on the communities in which the projects are implemented, also with the purpose of maintaining legal compliance. Regarding the awareness initiatives, the main ones were the May 18 Campaign – Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents (Lecture by Giovani Santoro – Pedophilia on the Internet); and the 16 days Campaign of Activism for ending violence against women. Complaints are received and dealt with by the Ombudsman channel or the Citizen Information Service (SIC).
Additionally, we have an environmental channel for exclusive demands. We highlight that in 2019, we participated in Working Groups with Eletrobras companies to analyze changes in current legislation. The Environmental Policy was also updated, including the review of its objectives, principles, and guidelines, and was ratified by our Board of Executive Officers. Also, this year, we began reviewing and improving Sislic.
In compliance with Law 12,334/2010, relating to the National Dam Safety Policy, Chesf prepared the Emergency Action Plan (PAE) for all of its dams, which brings together measures to protect the populations, properties and the environment located downstream from the dams. The document also brings the procedures to be adopted by the Company in emergency situations, characterized when there is a risk of rupture of the dam’s structures or even in case of a hypothetical rupture. In addition to Chesf’s internal actions, the PAE defines the external agents to be notified and provides relevant information to the civil protection and defense authorities to assist them in the preparation of the respective municipal contingency plans and management of the external emergency.
After the events in Mariana and Brumadinho (MG), 2019 was a time of uncertainty regarding the rupture of dams. Although the facilities built for hydroelectric power generation are completely different from those of mining, Chesf was also urged by its stakeholders to take a position on the matter. Therefore, in 2019, we developed the regulations for the management of emergency action plans.
In addition, as required by the National Dam Safety Policy, the Emergency Action Plan for Dam Safety was concluded and sent to the regulatory agency (Aneel), which is still in the approval phase. In 2020, safety inspections (audits), adjustments to warning systems and the establishment of escape routes in each municipality where we have hydroelectric generation projects will begin.
We also plan to offer a special course on the subject for all employees.