Biodiversity and water protection

Galp is committed to preserving biodiversity and water protection for resources in all geographies.

Protecting biodiversity

In the context of expanding our activities, the protection of biodiversity is particularly important, as it is an essential condition for sustainable development.

We ensure the integration of this component in all the phases of our projects’ life cycle.

We analyse the environmental and social contexts of our operations, monitoring and assessing their impacts at the natural and social capital level. Refer to our approach to the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of our operations.

In order to consolidate and harmonise our approaches and strengthen the internal know-how related to biodiversity, we have created Biodiversity Management Good Practices Guides. These documents guide us in the integration of biodiversity into our activities, reflecting the main concerns with regard to management, assessment, mitigation and monitoring of impacts on biodiversity. This objective is accomplished through the Safety and Environment Operational Management System.

Our internal guides focus particularly on Exploration & Production activities. We have put together the best practices and guidelines for the selection of upstream project sites, as well as for the proper assessment of their environmental and social impacts.

Risk Screening for Biodiversity

We periodically update the mapping of biodiversity protection and conservation areas in our operations by applying the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT).

In 2017, a full study was made that covered the 71 sites, using the IBAT tool, in order to cover and analyze 100% of our operations and activity.

We have considered the most important areas in terms of biodiversity conservation, including areas protected by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and UNESCO World Heritage.

Location of Operations and Protected Areas

Our existing operations are not located in areas classified by the IUCN as level I to IV protected.

According to the IBAT tool, the results obtained for our all our infrastructures show that none of our operational sites is located in an area of significant relevance for biodiversity.

For this reason, no restoration or compensation measures have been required to date.

Classification of Protected Area In situ Radius of 10km Radius of 50km
IUCN Protected Area Ia 0 1 6
IUCN Protected Area Ib 0 3 9
IUCN Protected Area II 0 1 4
IUCN Protected Area III 0 2 8
IUCN Protected Area IV 0 7 31
IUCN Protected Area V 0 5 27
IUCN Protected Area VI 1 5 26
Key-Area of biodiversity 3 23 80
Natura 2000 Network 2 20 85
Ramsar 0 7 20
AZE 0 0 2
UNESCO World Heritage 0 1 1

Biodiversity management throughout the oil and gas operations

We participate in O&G (oil & gas) sector initiatives and working groups that contribute to the development of knowledge about good practices in the management of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

We aim to improve and deepen our knowledge on how to recognise and manage the impacts of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

We have adopted as a benchmark the fundamental principles for the management of biodiversity issues and ecosystem services developed and published by IOGP and IPIECA.

Water protection

Water is an essential resource for life. Besides being a fundamental element in the food chain, it is an important support for various industrial processes and economic activities. Its quality is critical to the health and well-being of populations.

The risks associated with water quality and availability are numerous and proportionate to the trends in population growth and industrialisation. The security of water resources is essential, especially considering climate change and its impacts.

Eco-efficiency Indicators – Refining 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Var.2013-2017
Raw water consumption per treated feedstock (m³/ton) 0.64 0.61 0.53 0.54 0.55 -14%


Galp set targets for this indicator in 2017 for both refineries. In the Sines refinery, the objective was not to exceed a normalized water consumption of 0.6, this target was reached with a performance of 0.54, 10% below the set target. At the Matosinhos refinery, the objective of having a normalized water consumption below 0.51 was not reached, given the performance of 0.57, slightly above the set target.


All wastewater produced by Galp are subject to the necessary primary, secondary and/or tertiary treatment before being discharged.

Water protection in refineries

We promote the reduction of water consumption and an increase of reused water, by adopting water reuse and recirculation systems.

Our refineries consume 88% of the water used in our operations. So far, we have achieved a 14% reduction in raw water consumption per processed feedstock in our refining units.

Our goals

We have set performance targets to reduce water consumption and increase reuse.

These goals are an integral part of our Environmental Management Systems, and the commitment is reflected in management contracts and performance evaluations of our people.


Total water consumption standardised per treated or processed feedstock Targets 2018
Matosinhos Refinery 0.60 m³/t
Sines Refinery 0.53 m³/t

Water-related impacts cost business

As well as areas evaluating the impacts on natural capital, we monitor the water-related financial impacts at our most important industrial sites.

We consider three factors in this analysis:

  • dependence on the availability and quality of water resources;
  • sensitivity analysis to variation in water prices;
  • savings resulting from the adoption of water reduction and reuse measures.

Screening of risks associated with water use

We periodically update the mapping of risks associated with the use of water in 100% of:

  • our operations;
  • the biodiversity protection and conservation areas;
  • the surrounding areas of our operations.

This mapping is performed using the Global Water Tool for Oil &Gas - developed by the Global Oil and Gas Industry Association for Environmental and Social Issues (IPIECA) in collaboration with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Areas of water scarcity

Only 4% of our operations are located in areas with water scarcity.

According to mapping using the GWT for Oil & Gas, only 4% of our operations are located in resource-poor areas. These areas only represent 0.07% of Galp's total water consumption.

In 2017, we updated this study ensuring the coverage and analysis of 100% of our operations and activity. Considering the most relevant sites, none are in areas with water risks, currently or potentially in the future.

Find out more detailed information about our Analysis of Risks Associated with Water Use.