Environment and Sustainability

Our ambitions include reducing carbon emissions, waste, water usage, and pollution while increasing the biodiversity at many of our sites.
Ecological friendly and sustainable environment, light bulb in soil

Introduction to our Green Action Plan 

As part of our ambition to be the most environmentally and socially responsible Distribution Network Operator (DNO) and in response to feedback from our stakeholders, We have taken a lead in carbon reduction within our industry. We are the first UK DNO to have its carbon reduction plan and targets externally verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). In line with the Paris Agreement we have set targets to reduce our emissions to limit the global temperature increase to well-below 2 degrees Celsius and have included our scope 3 supply chain emission in this target. We have also set tougher reduction targets on our own directly controllable emissions by establishing our pathway to achieving Net Zero by 2028.
Pond with lilies surrounded by green grass
Footprint on grass environment

More about our Green Action Plan

The Carbon Trust’s Standard for Carbon is the world’s leading independent certification of an organisation’s achievements in managing and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and recognising organisations that achieve year-on-year reductions. We were certified for having an absolute reduction of 6.6% in carbon emissions since 2016/17.

Emphasis on enhancing the natural environment is driven by our GAP biodiversity target. We have successfully surveyed 100 of our sites to enable us to establish baselines and create site specific management action plans to achieve our target of increasing the biodiversity potential by 20-30%.
  
Through research, consultation, site surveys and training, we are continually looking for better ways to fulfil our stakeholder’s expectations and exceed our obligations to protect the environment. Our ISO 14001 Environmental management system has been recertified by external auditors DNV.

Our Green Action Plan Highlights

Energy

Energy

Our Target: 

Reduce building energy use by 10% at our top 6 buildings by December 2021.

How we monitor this: 

We monitor our monthly gas and electricity consumption for each of our top 6 buildings to track performance against our target.

Waste

Waste

Our Target:

Divert 90% of waste from landfill.

How we monitor this:

Our principle waste contractor provides reportable office and depot waste data that is monitored monthly.

Water

Water

Our Target:

Reduce water use by 10-15% at our top 6 buildings by 2021.

How we monitor this: 

We monitor our monthly water consumption for each of our top 6 offices to track our performance against target.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity

Our Target:

Identify and survey 100 substation sites and create management plans to increase biodiversity potential by 20-30%.

How we monitor this:

Surveys are conducted by ecologists and the recommendations are actioned to improve the biodiversity potential.

Pollution

Pollution

Our Target:

Decrease the NOx emissions from our fleet and generators by 33% by the end of RIIO-ED2.

How we monitor this:

Tracking methodology in development.

Noise

Noise

Our Target:

Work with local authority planning departments and Environmental Health Officers and provide information to assist their assessments of new developments.

How we monitor this:

Progress is tracked against the project plan.

Carbon

Carbon

Our Target:

We are changing our Business Carbon Footprint target to 20% reduction by 2021, from 16% by 2023.

How we monitor this:

Total Business Carbon Footprint reporting is run on a monthly basis to track progress.

ISO 14001:2005 Certificated

This certificate provides a level of assurance that UKPN works in alignment to international best practice standards and criteria associated to an Environmental Management System. It assists us in managing environmental risks and impact by continually improving our processes and performance.
Download a PDF copy of our ISO 14001:2015 certificate

Our Green Tariff

Since January 2018 all of our purchased electricity used in buildings and substations has been on a 100% renewable tariff.