Approach and governance

Scope of reporting

Our online non-financial report 2017/18 is for the year ended 31 March 2018 and covers our wholly-owned global operations. We report in the areas of environmental sustainability, people and communities. 

We will publish our 2018/19 non-financial performance report in July 2019.

Key financial information is predominantly located in the Annual Report and Accounts. Background information about National Grid is set out in other areas of the corporate website.

Assuring our reports

We carry out external and internal assurance to:  

  • ensure the content of our reporting on material non-financial issues and performance is balanced and accurate, and fairly reports our material risks, impacts and performance
  • test our awareness of and response to stakeholder issues
  • obtain an independent view of developments in our non-financial strategy, management and implementation to determine our ability to deliver corporate-level objectives
  • provide feedback to our Board and Executive Committee on the robustness of the governance, strategies, management and actions associated with our material non-financial issues
  • ensure we report the issues that our stakeholders are interested in.
Internal verification

We have a formalised approach, which describes the basis for reporting National Grid's non-financial performance data. It focuses on the key principles and practices, describing: 

  • the scope of the Company's non-financial performance data
  • our non-financial performance reporting boundaries and year
  • how acquisitions and disposals are treated
  • how we decide what non-financial performance data to report
  • how our non-financial performance data is verified before publication
  • what records should be kept.

Our individual business data owners are responsible for internally verifying the various non-financial reporting data and providing the supporting narrative needed to explain trends or material changes in the data.

Our Corporate Affairs department is responsible for ensuring data and, where applicable, supporting narrative has been internally verified before disclosure and for checking the robustness and completeness of the verification evidence.

External verification of climate change data

Reflecting the significance of climate change to our business, in 2012 for the first time we engaged an independent auditor, WSP Environmental & Energy, to verify our scope 1 and 2 emissions.

WSP completed its sixth annual verification of our GHG data in June 2018. Please refer to the 2017/18 greenhouse gas emissions assurance statement for the key findings.

Approach to tax

For 2017/18 our total tax contribution to the UK Exchequer was £0.9bn (2016/17: £1.5bn). 

Taxes borne in 2017/18 were £336m, an 47.83% decrease on taxes borne in 2016/17 of £644m and primarily due to lower corporation tax payments in the current year. The main reason for this is the impact of of the sale of our UK Gas Distribution business in the previous year. 

Our taxes collected were £603m, a reduction of 30.02% on 2016/17 of £887m again this was in relation to the sale of our UK Gas Distribution business.

Our 2016/17 total tax contribution of £1.5bn resulted in National Grid being the 15th highest contributor of UK taxes based on the results of the 100 Group’s 2017 Total Tax Contribution Survey (being the most recent available); a position in line with the size of our business and capitalisation relative to other contributors to the survey. In 2016/17 we ranked 9th position in respect of taxes borne. 

National Grid’s contribution to the UK economy is again broader than just the taxes it pays over to and collects on behalf of HMRC. The 100 Group’s 2017 Total Tax Contribution Survey ranks National Grid in 3rd place for UK capital expenditure on fixed assets, retaining 3rd place from 2016. National Grid's economic contribution also supports a significant number of UK jobs in our supply chain.

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Defining our priorities

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Our performance

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