What we said we’d do
Our vision is to be at the heart of a clean, fair and affordable energy future. National Grid stands for more than profit. The company is committed to making a positive contribution to society, whether that’s helping the young people of today to become the energy problem-solvers of tomorrow, supporting customers to use energy more efficiently, or tackling climate change.
Our outputs for this priority will benefit current and future consumers by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing the natural environment and supporting communities.
- We are identifying and pursuing the best way to reduce our scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by at least one third, in-line with a path to net-zero. This will involve:
- brave leadership on the SF6 insulation gas,
- increasing the number of electric vehicles in our fleet, and
- sourcing 100 per cent of our metered electricity from renewables.
- We will achieve net-zero construction emissions and 75% of our top 250 suppliers will have carbon reduction targets.
- We will increase the natural capital of our non-operational land by 10 per cent and improve our use of natural resources.
- We will use a stakeholder-led approach to reducing the visual impact of our existing assets in designated landscapes and to improving our assets in disadvantaged urban areas.
- We will support communities and wider society by providing educational and employment opportunities and by championing wage fairness through our supply chain.
- Together with our gas transmission business, we commit to up-skilling 6,000 people for the transition to the net-zero energy system, focusing on the lower-income communities we serve
What we’ve done and what we’re going to do
During RIIO-T2 we will publish an annual Environmental Report, the first of which you can read here. We also published our RIIO-T2 Environmental Action Plan which can be read here. Finally, we are engaging with you through a series of webinars, the slide pack from the latest of which can be accessed here.
Alice Delahanty, NGET President, highlighted in the executive summary of the annual performance report that ‘We are really proud to have continued our support and partnering of COP26 this year, demonstrating our commitment to finding ways to deliver cleaner, greener energy through the decarbonisation of the energy system and supporting the goal of reaching Net Zero by 2050. More locally, through targeted repair and replacement, we have seen an almost 20% reduction in the amount of SF6 gas leaked from our assets against a target of a 33% reduction by 2026. This is ahead of the challenging target that has been set and delivered an incentive reward of £1.7m.
SF6 gas is a great insulator of electricity, but it is a damaging greenhouse gas. One of our commitments is to remove all SF6 from our network by 2050 and we’re already working with our supply chain to find SF6 free alternatives.
For the wider environmental scorecard, we outperformed targets in six of the seven measures. Another measure is Business Carbon Footprint (BCF). In year one, we outperformed target by 10%, through a mix of lower SF6 top-ups and lower business mileage
We have started to install electric vehicle charging points across our operational sites to align to our strategy of replacing our fleet with electric vehicles.
Each of our large construction projects has stakeholder engagement at its heart. For example, on the Hinkley-Seabank project we have carried out significant education engagement, supported 200 local cyclists through a community grant, planted over 1000 trees (of a target of 4700), and even won a social mobility award.
Our Visual Impact Provision (VIP) projects in Dorset and the Peak District are in delivery and are removing pylons in 2022/23, whilst future schemes Snowdonia and North Wessex projects continue their development. These will ultimately underground a total of 11.5 miles (18.2 kilometres) of overhead line from these National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. All VIP schemes are on target to deliver their agreed outputs in RIIO-T2.
A further way that we are showing care for the environment is in our forward looking plan to develop the electricity network. We are building the energy system of the future, adding over 4GW of boundary capacity in FY22 with a further 7GW expected in FY23. In addition to re-wiring south London, we have installed 53 T-pylons as part of the route connecting Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to the network. However, the complexity and scale of the infrastructure investments associated with our East Coast programme requires us to make a step change in how we work with developers, suppliers, environmental groups and local communities to find the best local and environmental solutions possible.