I am delighted to present National Grid's 2011/12 corporate responsibility (CR) report, our eleventh global annual online report
We remain at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society; connecting new sustainable energy solutions for the future, and the development of modern energy networks fit for the 21st century.
The trust and confidence of our stakeholders remains critical as we continue to increase our investment in our networks. We can only retain our right to operate by working to the highest standards, by trusting our employees to do the right thing and by running our company sustainably.
Before previewing some of areas covered in this online CR report, I want to take a moment to reflect first on safety at National Grid.
While our employee lost time injury frequency rate was 0.18, the same as 2010/11, this year we have seen accidents leading to the deaths of two members of the public in the US and one contractor in the UK. Any fatality in any way associated with our business, whether an employee, contractor or member of the public, is deeply regrettable.
Safety is a top priority and it will remain at the forefront of our objectives. The Board’s governance arrangements for the oversight of safety are being strengthened and I am personally leading a new drive to improve further our safety performance. We will always be exposed to high-risk working environments on a daily basis and embedding safety procedures and principles in our people is a key part of improving our performance. We are determined to foster the belief across our businesses that all accidents can be avoided.
Investing in our people
National Grid remains committed to developing all of our people to the best of their abilities.
National Grid employs over 25,000 people in the UK and US, many with vocational qualifications, to design, build, operate and maintain the nation’s gas & electricity infrastructure, connecting people to the energy they use.
Over the next nine years in the UK alone, we are looking to recruit in the region of 2500 engineers, a mixture of experienced engineers and development programme trainees. We endeavour to improve continually the quality of our new talent development. Our graduate scheme is well regarded and we have continued to be an employer of choice. In 2012, we were ranked 84 in the Times Top 100 graduate employers, an improvement on 2011 when we entered the Top 100 for the first time. Our graduate retention levels are good, standing at 86%.
In the US, we have completed major renovations at our Millbury learning centre in Massachusetts. The facility has become a centralised cutting-edge learning centre for all New England technical training. In the UK, we completed work on our new electricity transmission switchgear training centre and accommodation facilities at Eakring and work on a similar gas transmission training centre will soon start. In total, this will represent an investment of over £12 million.
I am also please to continue with our wider work in investing in People. In November 2011, the Young Offender Programme celebrated the 2000th graduate through the Programme. The Programme has expanded to over 80 companies in diverse industries and from 4 prisons to 22 prisons and now covers all of the UK.
Connecting new sustainable energy solutions for the future and modern energy networks fit for the 21st century are scientific and engineering challenges. Society needs people with the awareness, enthusiasm, skills and ability to meet these challenges. At National Grid, we are also actively working with schools to bring alive for young people the opportunities which exist for them via the different routes into industry.
We have continued with our climate change and energy efficiency programmes in order to achieve our targets of a 45% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Our emissions for 2011/12 were 8.7 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent. This represents a 55% reduction on our 1990 base line.
In the US, we are investing in oil to gas conversions in customer premises and installing gas infrastructure and services to support new construction. Over the last three years, we have connected over 120,000 new gas heating customers. And we recently installed 32 new electric vehicle charging stations in Massachusetts under the Coulomb Technologies’ ChargePoint America programme. Through programmes such as these, we offer our customers more sustainable energy options that help to protect the environment.
Working with communities
We believe that helping local businesses is one of the best ways to help the communities we serve.
In the US, since 2003, our economic development grants have totalled $53 million and have helped create or retain more than 19,000 jobs. In December 2011, we provided $1 million to Albany, New York for use in their State Street revitalisation. The grant will help build new footpaths, underground conduits, decorative lighting and other amenities. This revitalisation programme is expected to help the city’s economic growth by attracting more businesses, residents and visitors to the area.
In the UK, we remain at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society; connecting new sustainable energy solutions for the future - and the development of modern energy networks fit for the 21st century. As a result, we will be investing £31bn in our UK regulated networks.
This year has marked a major landmark for us with the opening of our first energy education centre in Willesden, London, which has been developed in parallel with our London power tunnels project. The education centre is designed to help local schools and other visitors understand the future energy challenge; how can we balance affordability with sustainability and the role we will play in making sure we have energy security in the future. New interactive tools, specially designed games and on site experts are hopefully able to inspire today’s school children to choose science and engineering courses, helping to ensure we have the specialist skills needed to operate our energy system in the future.
These are just a few of the highlights from 2011/12. I invite you to explore this online report to find out more.
I would welcome your feedback on our commitment, actions and performance – do please write to me or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .