Ituango Awarded Hydropower Sustainability Standard’s Silver Certification

Credit: EPM

Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM)’s 2.4GW Ituango hydroelectric project obtained the Silver certification from the Hydropower Sustainability Alliance (HSA), rating it as sustainable in environmental, social, and governance components. This remarkable achievement positions Ituango as the first silver certification in Latin America and EPM as the second IHA member to receive certification for a project in the region.  

The certificate is valid until November 2026, during which the project will be recognised for its adherence to the highest sustainability standards. To achieve this distinction, the project received support from the Global Program for Strengthening Capacities in Sustainable Hydropower, financed by the Swiss Economic Cooperation (SECO) and implemented by the HSA. This programme aims to promote the application of international best practices in the management of hydroelectric projects. Colombia, Indonesia, Morocco, Tajikistan, and Albania are beneficiary countries so far.

Eddie Rich, CEO, IHA congratulated Ituango on the achievement:

“Going forward, the only acceptable hydropower is sustainable hydropower. The Ituango project provides reliable and renewable electricity that not only meet energy needs but does so in a way that promotes long-term sustainability and energy security. By collectively adopting and demonstrating sustainable practices, IHA members can solidify hydropower’s essential role in developing net zero.”

John Maya Salazar, EPM’s General Manager, said:

"This recognition was the result of business management framed by the care and respect for natural resources and communities. The Ituango hydroelectric project is a promoter of good and better practices, and he mentioned that this certification reaffirmed that “we are aligned with international performance standards on environmental and social sustainability and leverage initiatives that contribute to the development in the Project’s area of influence. This certificate supports the work that EPM has undertaken to ensure human and financial resources for environmental and social management; the resilience and recovery achieved after the contingency; the capacity to manage environmental requirements that have arisen throughout the construction phase; and the contribution to forest conservation and the development and strengthening of communities.”

Recognition by the HSA

HSA is the Hydropower Sustainability Alliance, a multilateral non-profit organisation governed by governments, companies, civil society and financial institutions. The HSA enhances transparency in the sector through its rigorous sustainability assessment and certification system and a robust capacity-building programme, all supported by the Hydropower Sustainability Standard, the global certification scheme aligned with the performance standards of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

João Costa, Executive Director of the Hydropower Sustainability Alliance commented:  

"We are excited to celebrate Ituango’s achievement as the second largest project to be certified under the Hydropower Sustainability Standard. The Ituango project,  is anticipated to meet 17% of Colombia’s electricity demand. This certification underscores EPM’s impressive efforts to improve the sustainability of the project, ensuring it aligns with global best practices and environmental standards."

The certification encompasses three major components of hydropower project management: environmental, social, and governance, contributing to the development of sustainable hydropower and demonstrating that its actions are consistent, respectful, and harmonious with the environment and its components.

IHA encourages all its members to follow EPM's example and certify their projects against the hydropower sustainability standard. This aligns with the safeguards of key lenders and can be used to attract climate-aligned finance through green bonds certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative and International Renewables Certificates certified by RE100.”

Privacy Policy