Making our green spaces more valuable
It's important that we manage the land we own in ways that create the most value for us and our stakeholders, and for the wider environment in which we operate.
Through our Natural Grid programme in the UK, we're working with local communities and stakeholders to make the best of our green spaces and efficiently manage them in a way that benefits local communities and habitats.
We're also making sure that we minimise the impact of our construction projects, as we work to maintain and expand our energy networks.
Natural assets – such as trees, water sources and green spaces – are important for society and our business, so we want to safeguard them for the long term. To guide us, we've developed a tool that puts a 'natural capital' value on the benefits and services our natural assets provide, both for us and others. This informs our proactive approach to land management and helps us build a business case for challenging conventional ways of working.
We're working closely with local and national stakeholders to manage our natural assets, enhance ecosystems and improve the quality of nature across our UK landholdings.
As a significant landholder, a collaborative land management approach enables us to share benefits with our partners and make a bigger contribution; improving the natural environment in both the UK and US regions in which we operate.
We have strategic partnerships with specialist environmental organisations that help us to shape new ways of managing our natural assets on a local scale. This collaborative approach is already creating significant benefits, including reduced management costs, reduced risks, improved biodiversity and positive relationships with our communities.
In the UK, we also support four environmental education centres at Bishops Wood, Skelton Grange, West Boldon and Iver. These long-term partnerships provide educational activities to more than 23,000 visitors each year. They've been developed in collaboration with environmental charities, showing how nature and communities can thrive alongside critical national infrastructure. Read more about our partners.
As we develop and maintain our energy networks, we're building new connections and expanding our infrastructure; delivered through construction projects. We want to make sure that our environmental impacts are minimised. And that permanent habitat loss and associated value is understood, compensated and mitigated in better ways that provide a net positive contribution. This is why we've set ourselves a target to achieve net gain in environmental value (including biodiversity) on our major construction projects by 2020.