Colbún, climate change and CO2 emissions

Colbún, climate change and CO2 emissions

1 Routes CO2 neutral: 101 establishments neutralized with carbon credits of Colbún

Colbún has offset the emissions of 101 lodging, restaurants, shops and museums of Lastarria-Bellas Artes, Easter Island, Puerto Varas and Valdivia.

With the aim of developing actions that allow a concrete contribution to the reduction of the carbon footprint, Colbún – together with local actors and trade associations – has offset greenhouse gas emissions from various tourism-related establishments under the concept of CO2 neutral routes.

This initiative, which also seeks to create awareness around this issue, was executed jointly with Greenticket, a consultant that focused on measuring emissions produced by burning of fuels, use of electricity and waste management. This measurement determined the amount of emissions to neutralize by establishment, creating the current “neutral CO2 Routes”.
The first Route to be created was Puerto Varas, where under the figure of a Clean Production Agreement (APL) and in partnership with Informatur (Association that brings together micro-entrepreneurs of the city) at the end of 2015 the emissions of 24 cultural and tourist establishments in that city were neutralized.

The next Route was Lastarria-Bellas Arte. In a joint effort with the Santiago Development Corporation (Cordesan), at the beginning of 2016 the emissions of 23 establishments were compensated (among them: restaurants, lodging, coffee and cultural spaces). In addition, most of the gastronomic establishments neutralized included in their menus an adhesive that highlights which is the lowest dish in CO2.
To know the 23 participating establishments, enter here.

In August 2016, in partnership with the Easter Island Chamber of Tourism -and also under the development of a Clean Production Agreement (APL)-, the emissions of 37 lodging enclosures on the island were neutralized. The program also included “carbon footprint workshops”, seeking to provide information on climate change to students, hotel entrepreneurs and the community in general.

The fourth route was “Valdivia CO2 neutral”. Launched in April 2017, this initiative was executed in alliance with Visión Valdivia and neutralized the emissions of 17 associated establishments, thus creating the first route of this type in the Region of the Rivers. In addition, training lectures on climate change were given to some of the workers in the establishments.

The more than 4,500 tons of CO2 (estimated: 850 from Lastarria-Bellas Artes, 946 from Puerto Varas, about 2,000 from Easter Island and 731 from ValdiviA) were offset by carbon credits from Hornitos, Colbún hydroelectric plant Certified to the United Nations for these purposes.

For Colbún, this initiative – in addition to reducing the carbon footprint of important sectors of the economy, such as tourism – contributes to creating sustainable awareness, since when people choose one of the “carbon neutral” establishments; they are collaborating in a concrete and immediate way with the care of the environment and an economy with a lower carbon footprint.
To understand more about climate change and the carbon footprint, visit here

2 Colbún CO2 Emissions Factors and the Central Interconnected System (SIC).

The following graph shows the CO2 emission factors of Colbún and of all Central Interconnected System (SIC) plants for the last 12 months.As it can be appreciated in the graph, the Colbun factor is on average 15 to 20% lower than the SIC, which is a result of having a balanced energy matrix between run-of-river hydroelectric plants, reservoir hydroelectric plants and thermoelectric plants (natural gas, diesel and coal). This balance allows generating energy in a safe, competitive and sustainable way.


a. The CO2 emission factor refers to the tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the atmosphere for each gigawatt hour (GWh) of energy generated by both Colbún and the complete system;
b. The emission factors are comparable since the emissions are divided by the energy generated by Colbún and by the energy generated by all the SIC actors;

3 Colbún has five plants accredited to issue carbon credits

The Kyoto Protocol introduced the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to the United Nations, in order to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), responsible for climate change.
To date Colbun has four run-of-river hydroelectric plants registered under the CDM: Chacabuquito, Hornitos, Quilleco and San Clemente. The operation of these plants displaces / avoids energy generation using fossil fuels, and therefore reduces CO2 emissions. These reductions are accredited to the United Nations and other verification entities, and thus certified as carbon credits.

In addition, our La Mina plant is accredited to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) mechanism for issuing carbon credits. This is how Colbún consolidates itself as the main emitter of carbon credits from hydroelectricity in Chile. Its five plants avoid the emission of 670,000 tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to withdrawing 167,500 cars for a year.

4 Tonnes of CO2 reduced by Colbún, and some equivalences up to December 31, 2018


This will mean going from an emission factor of 0.286-tonCO2e/MWh in 2018, to 0.151 tonCO2 e/MWh in 2030, assuming complete execution of the plan to build 4,000 MW of renewable energy

Documents of Interest

Nuestro aporte a reducir la
Huella de Carbono