A child holding a fuel lead into a car - Our progress

Our progress

Welcome to our non-financial performance highlights for the 2017/18 reporting year. Sharing our performance and how we are progressing with you is an important part of understanding the impact we have on society and identifying what improvements we can make in the future.

Foreword from our Chief Executive

Welcome to our 2017/18 non-financial performance report 

National Grid is proud of our role in society and keenly aware of the potential we have to be a force for good in the communities we serve. We strive to be a responsible business, which means we take our commitment to treat people fairly and ensure we minimise the impact of our work on the environment seriously.

In 2017/18, I was pleased with the progress we made in raising awareness within the business of our Purpose to 'Bring Energy to Life', our Values to 'find a better way' and 'do the right thing', and our Vision to 'exceed the expectations of the people we serve and make possible the energy systems of tomorrow'.

I believe our Purpose, Vision and Values are powerful tools with which to build trust, by demonstrating that our commitment to the societies we serve is genuine; not only through provision of our traditional services, but also by championing the kind of change that facilitates progress and meaningfully improves lives. 

Being a responsible business

This year we have undertaken many projects and made significant investments into initiatives that will provide tangible benefits for a wide range of people.

Environmental sustainability

Our environmental sustainability performance was strong in 2017/18. Highlights included: being significantly ahead of our target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent compared to 1990, a year ahead of schedule (we have achieved a 65 percent reduction to date); and, being named on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s 'A' list of companies, which puts us in the top five percent of global participants in terms of carbon disclosure and performance.

In 2017/18, we were also delighted to win Business in the Community’s Award for Environmental Leadership. In the US, our Massachusetts business was named one of the most energy efficient utilities in America by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

A good example of our work to minimise our impact on the environment would be the £40 million innovation partnership we entered into with Siemens, to research and develop the use of gas insulated lines on our electricity transmission network.

It is hoped this partnership will develop an SF6-free insulating gas mixture; dramatically reducing the harmful impact on the environment caused by SF6 use in insulation.

Supporting communities 

Over the course of the last year, we have made considerable efforts to positively affect the communities around us. For example, at our new Highbury substation in London we are building retail units and residential apartments – half of which are affordable homes – to help support urban regeneration in the area.

We’ve also supported communities through our employee volunteering programme, partnering with charities and civil society, and providing community groups with financial support. In the US, for example, 650 National Grid employees participated in 17 coordinated Earth Day projects in the communities we serve; undertaking cleaning up of public space projects, tree planting and operating a door-to-door LED light bulb exchange.

We also set up a £150 million Warm Homes Fund in the UK to help address fuel poverty. To date, we have given out £63 million to ensure people who otherwise would not be able to afford it have access to central heating during the winter months.


National Grid is committed to doing everything we can to ensure all members of staff work in an environment where they feel secure and are able to thrive. In 2017/18, in light of widespread news coverage of sexual harassment in a range of industries, we undertook a fundamental review of our policies on sexual harassment and bullying to ensure they were fit for purpose.

We also worked hard throughout the year to promote careers that STEM subjects can unlock. As one of the world’s leading engineering companies, we are fortunate to be able to help young people from a diverse range of backgrounds kick-start rewarding careers, through apprenticeships or other forms of professional training. In 2017/18, for example, I was delighted we were able to enrol 369 people into professional training schemes in the US and the UK.

These are just a few of the highlights from 2017/18 that demonstrate National Grid’s determination to leverage our leadership position within our industry to create benefits, both for wider society and for the environment, that we will pass on to future generations.

I invite you to explore our online report further to find out more about our non-financial performance.

John Pettigrew
Chief Executive