Sustainability at TransnetBW

What are we doing about it? Read more about this in our Sustainability Update.

Our Aims

Our understanding of sustainability goes beyond responsibility for secure transmission system operation, our region and the people and businesses associated with us. We see ourselves as part of the solution in assuring the success of the energy transition. That’s why we design, build and operate our grids innovatively and use resources sparingly. It’s one way of contributing to a climate-neutral future for Europe from our base in Baden-Württemberg.

As you can see, sustainability is an established element in the way we view ourselves, and something we rigorously implement in line with our corporate strategy.

Our goals for sustainability

Our essential action areas lie at the heart of our strategic sustainability goals. We will rigorously pursue these goals, as we strive to achieve added value for the environment, society and the economy in equal measure. That means we’re actively contributing to sustainable development in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – right where we can achieve the most as part of our business activities.

Goal 1

Reduce climate impact

We are aware of our impact on the climate, and we’re working to reduce it. We’re therefore recording our greenhouse gas emissions and drawing up a reduction plan as we work towards 2025: We are pursuing ambitious goals with regard to the emissions we can influence directly (Scope 1 and 2) and are identifying relevant potentials for reduction in the case of indirect emissions  (Scope 3).

Goal 2

Use natural resources sparingly

We are focusing rigorously on efficient use, responsible handling and reduced consumption of natural resources, and wherever we can, we are applying the principle of the circular economy.

More on this in our sustainability report

Goal 3

Sustainably transform the energy system

We are continuing to expand our leading role in the operation of innovative infrastructure within the European transmission grid and using our expertise to actively shape the sustainable transformation of the energy system. We are focusing on strong relationships in order to work together to develop new solutions and fields of business.

Goal 4

Focus on people

We actively encourage an organisation and a corporate culture that value diversity, in which inclusiveness and equal opportunities are applied in practice. It puts people and their physical and mental well-being first.

Goal 5

Strengthen future-oriented competences

To us, doing business sustainably, being able to adapt and innovate, and practising networked thinking are key future-oriented skills. We therefore systematically align our employee upskilling and knowledge transfers relating to methods and professional knowledge with this understanding.

Making the energy transition happen

Our sustainability report

Our first sustainability report is an in-depth examination of the diverse aspects of our company’s ecological, social, and economic responsibilities. This report provides a meaningful insight into the importance of sustainable activities and management at TransnetBW.

Our aim is to make our actions transparent, comprehensive, and comparable – according to the guidelines set out in the German Sustainability Code (DNK).

Our sustainability success stories

There are many sides to sustainable activity at TransnetBW. The following is an overview of our projects that are already contributing to our sustainability strategy.

Dynamic line rating – the grid that adapts to suit the weather

The energy transition comes with a substantial increase in the feed-in of renewables. All available power line system capacity is urgently needed to be able to transport the high power flows. And transmission capability differs depending on the weather and season. Using dynamic line rating, we can significantly increase the load capacity of our electricity grid.

ULTRANET – dc bridges mainly on existing lines

Work to expand the electricity infrastructure is urgently needed in order to maintain security of supply for the public and industries in the south, and to transport renewable electricity from north to south. The existing electricity infrastructure is forseeably insufficient for the requirements of the energy transition. New HVDC transmission lines are therefore needed to trnsport electricity reliably and with minimal losses to where it is needed. One of these electricity superhighways is ULTRANET.

Stromnetz 2050 – demands the energy transition places on our electricity infrastructure

The „ Stromnetz 2050“ ("Power Network 2050") study by TransnetBW illustrates one of the goals of the energy system in Germany. it analyses the demands a largely climate-neutral society would place on systems and grids. In this study published in April 2020, TransnetBW lays the foundation for future grid development in south-western Germany and strengthens the future viability of Baden-Württemberg as a location for business.

BANULA – one access for all charging points

In the autumn of 2021, TransnetBW launched the BANULA R&D project (a German acronym based on "barrier-free and user-friendly charging opportunities") as part of consortium with various companies, research institutes and grid operators. Working on close collaboration, we want to develop a data and information hub for a nationwide virtual balancing area in Germany. The benefit: in future, customers should be able to charge their EVs at any charging point in the grid – for example, at their workplace, in the parking building of while shopping – with just a single charging card.

TransnetBW commits to bird protection

Birdlife in Baden-Württemberg is close to our hearts. That's why we have been installing nesting aids in our electricity poles for protected bird species such as little owls and peregrine falcons for a number of years. We help our partners from Germany's Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) to ring the young peregrine falcons – not an easy task 75 meters above ground level.

Technology centre in North Baden – new buildings with an environmentally friendly design

The new Technology Centre in North Baden was built using the post-beam construction method. As natural and sustainable raw material, wood is not only environmentally valuable, but also has good insulation properties, providing our employees with a comfortable indoor climate. The modular structure using uniform construction elements also meant it was possible to save materials. In addition to the construction material, the energy plan was chosen quite deliberately: Natural light was combined with efficient artificial light using LED technology. Geothermal energy with a heat pump and four wells is sused for heating and cooling.

To ensure an environmentally friendly design in outdoor areas, we kept surface sealing to the absolute minimum. Where possible, areas were developed to accommodate a drainage system, and rainwater is used for watering. Parking spaces with charging points will be available for our visitors.

eva – network for women

Women make up almost one-third of the workforce at TransnetBW. To ensure interaction between our female employees, we set up the women's network "eva" in February 2018. eva forms the infrastructure for communications culture that enables female employees to network easily and beneficially within the company. All women at TransnetBW can interact, learn from each other and contribute to the development of the company. in addition to regular network meetings, the eva team organises events and provides support with the recruiting process. After all, in our quest for the best brains, it helps if candidates can talk with their potential future co-workers.

Health management – counselling for employees, managers, and also family members

Mental health is important to TransnetBW. For many years, all employees and managers have hat access to free, confidential psychological counselling. This offer was expanded at the start of 2021. Now family members of TransnetBW employees can also make use of this counselling service. We understand that stress experienced by those closest to us can turn into stress for ourselves. We firmly believe this offer will help to minimise the negative impacts of mental illnesses, and thus improve the mental health of all employees and their families.

TransNEXT – Innovations from within

The complexity and rate of change in the energy system in the context of energy transition create new challenges for us as transmission system operators: With TransNEXT, our in-house innovation process, we can draw on the potential and the many different ideas from more than 1,000 employees. TransNEXT was initiated in 2019 and concluded with three innovation projects that were implemented in stages. With the theme of "Collectively thinking the energy transition through to the end", TransNEXT began its second round in 2021. This time it will have a clear focus on a central question and the connection between internal and external drivers.

The people behind the energy transition

A lot of technology is needed for the energy transition to succeed, but it's principally down to our co-workers who are contributing their knowledge and energy for this long-term project. We recognise this resource – and appreciate that they need space to be able to apply their ideas and skills effectively and refinethem. Human and professional trust are the best atart-up capital for the purpose.

We therefore give our employees personal supervision until they have reached a suitable point, and actively support theis progress. All our co-workers have access to an extensive range of external and in-house opportunities for professional development, wich can be designed to suit their individual needs and documented using a personal, digital development document. As responsible employers, we also offer support with finding a stress-free balance between work and family, and maintaining that balance with flexible working hours and working models.

Commitment to nature  
and wildlife conservation

Environmental points for compensation

Our grid expansion projects also come with legal obligation to preserve nature and the landscape, and to avoid or compensate for any impacts in these areas. Here, too, our commitment exceeds the level required by law. Specifically in cases where the impact to be compensated is small, it makes sense to buy green points: Instead of carrying out a lagre number of small activities, we support a large-scale project with high nature conservancy value through our purchase.


Sustainability in procurement

Sustainability is designated as one of our most important strategic issues in procurement.

For the sustainable development of all procurement processes and activities across social, ecological, and economic dimensions, we pay particular attention to our suppliers and their products and services, as well as the entire supply chain.

By working on specific focus areas, we support the realisation of our sustainability goals at company level.


Sustainability team

Luisa Schümann
Luisa SchümannSustainability Managerl.schümann@transnetbw.de
Franziska Fahrion
Franziska FahrionSustainability Managers.fahrion@transnetbw.de
Sabine Zank
Sabine ZankProjects & Departmental Developments.zank@transnetbw.de
Stefan ZeltnerHead of Policy, Regulatory Affairs & Sustainabilitys.zeltner@transnetbw.de