29 May 2023

REN awarded gold medal by Portuguese firefighters’ league

Today, REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais was awarded the Gold Medal for Distinguished Service by the Portuguese Firefighters’ League for the support provided to voluntary firefighting organisations in various regions of the country. The Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to entities that, with their practices, have significantly and notably contributed to the enhancement and prestige of Protection and Rescue institutions.

As part of its policy of support for local communities, over the years, REN has implemented a series of actions that reinforce the company’s commitment to the prevention of wildfires, whether through the management of vegetation in easement corridors and reforestation programmes, or through close partnership with the Portuguese National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC – Autoridade Nacional de Emergência e Proteção Civil) and other forestry-related entities. It is worth noting that, since 2009, REN has donated 89 vehicles to various institutions, including fire brigades and municipal fire-prevention teams.

For António Nunes, President of the Portuguese Firefighters’ League, REN’s unwavering support of firefighting associations and brigades is a clear and important demonstration of social responsibility assumed by the company through the provision of vehicles that can greatly contribute to bolstering the operational capabilities of firefighters. This is an example of deliberate corporate behaviour that can and should serve as a model for others.

Rodrigo Costa, Chairman and CEO of REN, thanked the Firefighters’ League, stating, “this medal is a great honour for us. Every day, REN’s employees are out in the field cleaning and reforesting with native species, an effort that supports the work of the fire brigades and that is crucial in defending the Portuguese territory. Environmental protection is one of the cornerstones of our sustainability strategy. We strongly believe that environmental protection must be encouraged, as it is the only way to mitigate the effects of climate change, which are increasingly evident nowadays.”

  • REN in defence of the forest:
    REN has been consistently engaged in the prevention of rural wildfires in partnership with ANEPC, Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF – Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas), and the municipalities where power lines and gas pipelines assigned to the concession of the Portuguese National Electricity Transmission Grid and the Portuguese National Gas Transmission Network are located.
  • At the national level, REN has nearly 10,000 kilometres (approximately 35,000 hectares) of power line and gas pipeline easements, with over 66% of these easements (23,000 hectares) located in forest areas. In the last five years, REN has cleared more than 38,000 hectares (7,200 hectares in 2022).
  • This work is conducted on lands that are not owned by REN, thus creating the necessity to communicate with the landowners prior to any intervention. In 2022 alone, more than 21,000 landowners were contacted as part of the prevention work.
  • Since 2010, REN has reforested more than 3,900 hectares in the easement areas. In addition to enhancing biodiversity and resilience against wildfires, these actions also provide an opportunity for landowners (22,000 between 2010 and 2022) to generate income from their lands.
  • By the end of 2022, reforestation projects had been implemented in 39% of the forested area traversed by REN's electricity grid nationwide. The company aims to achieve a coverage of 50% by 2025 and 60% by 2030.
  • In 2022, and during the entire wildfire season, REN operated six prevention and surveillance teams, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These teams are equipped with first intervention equipment, enabling them to promptly respond and carry out initial actions to combat wildfire outbreaks.
  • Since 2009, REN has donated 89 vehicles for wildfire prevention efforts. Sixty vehicles were donated to voluntary fire brigades and 29 to civil protection fire prevention teams from the municipalities.