While the world is going through a great change and transformation, the pandemic that started in 2020 and affected the whole world; The climate crisis has caused us not to face many global issues such as urbanization, migrations, economic fluctuations and food management once again.
The point we have reached has opened a window of opportunity to produce innovative solutions while challenging the whole world globally. Especially sustainability and digitalization came to the fore in this process. It seems that these two megatrends will continue to shape our social and economic life in the next 10 years leading up to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
World understood once again that it is not possible to design a better future unless we make sustainability a way of life, especially with what happened during the pandemic process. In addition, we have experienced together the role of digitalization and technology in improving life and increasing the quality of life. This photo tells us; It gives important clues that we can move forward much faster if we can use digitalization and technology correctly to improve life with a focus on sustainability.
Sustainability today, with the insight we have gained; It is not something we should pay attention to while doing our job, on the contrary, it has to be the main determining factor that makes up the whole of our work. When designing any business from scratch, we have to make environmental, social and governance principles an integral part of that business. The work we do; it should create meaning and value for both the employees doing the job and the consumers; should be at peace with the ecological and economic ecosystem in the world.
It is crucial that this sustainability-oriented change and transformation is now being accepted by the business world and investors. In particular, the European Union's efforts to place sustainability in an institutional framework with the Green Deal shows that this issue is moving towards a system-based transformation. This means that every economic actor, from the business world to money and capital markets, redefines himself. The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), which manages an asset of 12 trillion Euros and consists of more than 100 investors, wrote a letter to the European Union proposing a post-pandemic green economy exit formula, and investors are now ESG. / One of the important indicators that it has started to take action focused on ESG (environmental, social and governance).
We are one of Turkey's leading companies in renewable energy
When the world is on the brink of such a great change and transformation, energy is at the very center of it. The faster we can carry the energy of the future without internal combustion engines, natural gas and coal power plants, the more successful we will be in stopping global warming and building a sustainable life.
As Zorlu Enerji, in line with this transformation in the world, we carry out all our activities with a sustainability focus in line with our Smart Life 2030 strategy, which is our common way of doing business at Zorlu Group. With the vision of being the energy company of the future, we make sustainability a way of doing business. We carry out all our activities in a way that is sensitive to the environment and meets the expectations and needs of our stakeholders.
In line with this vision, as Zorlu Enerji, we completed the transition to renewable energy at an early stage and made significant investments between 2010 and 2015. Today we mainly focus only on renewable energy. Apart from geothermal, solar and wind, we do not have any other resource-based investments that are operational. 87% of our installed power in Turkey is based on renewable energy sources. Thus, while bringing together the rich and undiscovered diversity of renewable energy sources with advanced technology and innovation, we also contribute to the transition of our country to a low-carbon new generation economy.
We aim to continue our geothermal and solar energy investments in the upcoming period. As Zorlu Enerji, we produce more than 20% of the geothermal energy in Turkey. We aim to continue our investments in this area. However, we aim to expand and diversify our investments in solar energy, which we believe in its potential. As Zorlu Enerji, abroad; The Dead Sea Solar Power Plant, with a total installed capacity of 1,998 MWp, in the Jericho region of Palestine, has been commissioned through the ZJ Strong venture company, of which we are a 75% partner. In addition, Adnit Real Estate Ltd. in Israel, which won the tender for a 13 MW solar power plant. By purchasing a 42.15% share of the company, we have added another link to our investments in this country. While we serve our customers with our solution ecosystem that we have established in Turkey with our Zorlu Solar company, we provide supply services to our customers in Turkey and the countries in the region with our cooperation in the field of solar energy modules and inverters. In addition, we are the distributor of First Solar, which is a leader in its field, in 26 countries including Eastern Europe, Eurasia and Eastern Mediterranean regions. Along with our investments abroad, we want to continue our investments in solar energy in our country as well. A very important regulation came out within the scope of hybrid; In this way, we foresee that solar projects will emerge very quickly. In this direction, we will take action to turn our Alaşehir Geothermal Power Plant in Manisa into a hybrid power plant with the support of the 3.58 MWp Solar Power Plant (GES) we will build, and present one of the leading examples of combined power plants in Turkey in terms of the technology used. Apart from this, we want to evaluate investment opportunities for solar, wind and waste-to-energy projects by following the MENA, CIS and South Asia regions in the upcoming period.
We carry the energy of the future to the present with smart systems
Today, it is clear that renewable energy alone will not be sufficient to reduce carbon emissions. No matter how much renewable energy you invest, many factors that cause carbon emissions, especially cars on the roads, are still a part of our lives. For this reason, the need for investments that will cut carbon emissions at the source is increasing day by day. While electrification, digitalization and automation, and the energy sector have taken an innovative role in this regard in recent years, it also continues to develop its decarbonization-focused ways of doing business day by day.
With our Smart Systems department, which we established in 2017 in line with the vision of being the energy company of the future; We continue our work in digitalization, R&D and innovation, especially in electric vehicles. In addition to our digitalization efforts on the establishment of smart systems and cities, we also focus on transforming our business model by digitizing and creating new opportunities within this framework. We continue to be a pioneer in Turkey with our investments to implement a series of smart systems, from electric vehicle charging stations to electric vehicle rentals, from smart home systems to smart energy management systems.
In this context, although the Turkish electric vehicle market is still very small, we have become a pioneer by establishing a new generation technology company called ZES (Zorlu Enerji Solutions) for the development of the electric vehicle ecosystem. With ZES, we are expanding our electric car charging station network to 81 provinces today, providing an uninterrupted electric vehicle experience from one end of Turkey to the other. While we continue to increase our market share in Turkey day by day, we aim to grow abroad in this field with the ZES Netherlands company, which we established together with Vestel, one of the Zorlu Group companies. Within the framework of the same strategy, by signing a first in Turkey; We continue to lead the way in Turkey with the electric car sharing platform “electrip” brand, which offers hourly car rental services only with electric cars.
While working with Osmangazi EDAŞ to bring smart energy management systems to the field in electricity distribution and sales, we also continue our R&D studies on electricity charging stations and energy storage projects supported by EMRA. We are trying to be a part of the collective solution by participating in international R&D projects to reduce carbon emissions. In this context, as one of the partners of the GECO project, which aims to reduce emissions to zero by eliminating carbon dioxide and similar gases in order to ensure sustainability in the geothermal fields carried out within the scope of the European Union's Horizon 2020 program, we have received grant support from the EU within the scope of the project.
We are among the signatories of the 2°C Declaration
As Zorlu Enerji, we see our environmental responsibilities as an integral part of our business in line with the Smart Life 2030 strategy. In addition to adopting decarbonization-oriented business practices as a step towards combating the climate crisis, we are also working towards the goal of zeroing the carbon footprint resulting from our activities. As a company that has adopted the principles of the United Nations Global Compact since its establishment, we are also among the signatories of the 2°C Declaration. We are the first energy company from Turkey to voluntarily participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project and at the same time receive the ISO 14064-1 Greenhouse Gas Verification Certificate in Turkey. We are the company that realized Turkey's first carbon emission project by obtaining the Gold Standard Certificate with the Gökçedağ Wind Farm Project and integrating with the Voluntary Carbon Market. We aim to reset our carbon footprint by planting 1.2 million saplings with the "Zero Carbon Footprint Forests Project", which we realized in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
We attach importance to stakeholder participation and focus on providing equal opportunity.
As Zorlu Enerji, we attach importance to stakeholder engagement and adopt an inclusive strategy in line with ESG principles. It sees diversity, equal opportunity and participation as the basis of innovation and development; With this in mind, we focus on creating an inclusive business environment for all our stakeholders, especially our employees. In this context, we take care to include our stakeholders in all processes. We inform the local people, civil society and all relevant stakeholders within our sphere of influence regarding the investments made, and enable them to participate in the studies. In addition to prioritizing local employment, we also contribute to local development by supporting regional needs. We measure and evaluate the environmental and social impacts of our investments on natural and cultural heritage and take measures to reduce our impacts. We attach importance to acting in accordance with our sustainability criteria in our supply chain, and we take care to spread awareness on this issue throughout our value chain. In line with the Smart Life 2030 strategy, we declare equality of opportunity in terms of gender equality and develop and implement many new applications in this regard. Within the scope of our Equal Bi' Life program, we focus on increasing women's participation in the workforce, making equal opportunities a corporate policy, and increasing women's representation in senior management. In line with the strategic framework of the Gender Equality Program, at Zorlu Enerji; We act by considering equality of opportunity within the scope of discourse, business environment and collaborations.
We are breaking new ground in the world in ESG-oriented financing methods
As Zorlu Enerji, we redefine our financing methods accordingly while making sustainability a way of doing business, and we effectively use the new generation "Green Finance" methods focused on ESG. In this context, the first green loan agreement in Turkey and the fifth in the world has been signed, with the interest of the loan amounting to USD 10 million provided to Zorlu Enerji by Garanti BBVA in 2018, indexed to our company's sustainability performance. In 2021, Turkey's first sustainable sukuk (lease certificate) issuance on behalf of Zorlu Enerji was carried out by the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB). With this issuance, which includes our sustainable infrastructure and clean transportation projects, we have broken a new ground in the world in terms of sustainable sukuk framework.
In parallel with the increasing sustainability and ESG-oriented approach in the world; We believe that all these steps we have taken, from the way of doing business to new generation businesses, from social impact-oriented projects to new generation financing, will create lasting value for Zorlu Enerji in the long run and contribute to the construction of a sustainable life for the world.
With this belief, as Zorlu Enerji, we will continue to work with all our strength in line with our goal of being the energy company of the future. We would like to thank our employees, our shareholders, our business partners, our customers and all other stakeholders, who add value to us on this long-term journey, for the value they add to Zorlu Enerji.
CEO, Zorlu Enerji