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I want you to care for the environment and communities

In this section, we look at the work we’re doing to care for local communities and the environment. We also describe how we'll tackle key issues such as air quality and reducing our carbon footprint.

I want you to care for the environment and communities

We care about the environment and the communities we serve. As a responsible business, we're committed to delivering environmental and community benefits, prioritising the issues that matter most to you.

We believe this is vital if we are to operate as a socially responsible business and play our part in helping Britain to meet the challenges of decarbonisation.

These challenges have been laid out through people across the UK and beyond, voicing their concerns about climate change, culminating in the government setting out legally binding targets to achieve “Net-Zero” carbon emissions by 2050.  

We'll step up to meet this challenge by embedding sustainability in our business strategy and using it to guide the way we work.  We're driving more efficient performance and future-proofing our organisation as the environmental and social landscapes change and we want to protect the environment by providing options to reach Net Zero carbon by 2050 at lowest impact on society.

Our approach in RIIO-2 remains consistent with the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, 25-year environment plan and commitments on climate change.  This approach links to the Ofgem priority ‘Deliver a sustainable network’.

What have you told us?

You’ve said that we have an important role to play in protecting the environment and moving towards decarbonisation, particularly around emissions and air quality.

Your responses to our playback consultation confirmed that you would like us to demonstrate the value and cost of going beyond the legal requirements, and to consider the value of those actions to current and future generations.

What will we deliver?

We'll shift our focus from environmental protection to environmental enhancement and:

  • improve air quality and reduce emissions by replacing two compressors with more efficient ones in RIIO-2. We'll start work on delivering five more units in RIIO-3
  • increase our focus on reducing all methane emissions because methane is a major contributor to climate change. We’ll monitor leaks on the network and work on ways to reduce them
  • reduce the carbon footprint of our business by moving to 30% low carbon-fuelled vehicles in our commercial fleet by the end of RIIO-2, installing solar panels on our sites, ensuring the energy we use in our office buildings is from sustainable sources and reducing carbon in construction projects
  • focus on 77 redundant sites, assets and asset groups, enhancing the natural environment around these and make sure new construction projects include initiatives to protect and promote biodiversity
  • continue our support for the communities we work in and commit 0.3% of the value of major projects spend to support community initiatives
  • develop our work on delivering benefits to wider society, through supporting communities, education initiatives, promoting small and medium-sized enterprises, supporting local employment through the supply chain and implementing human rights strategies.


What will it cost?

The total RIIO-2 spend for this priority is £361m, with an annual spend of £72m (compared to £48m per year in RIIO-1).

This is around 12% of the value of our full business plan. Nearly three quarters of this relates to our compressor emissions compliance programme.

Your feedback matters

Your feedback on our draft business plan is important to us. We want to make sure we take account of a broad range of views as we develop our plan.

Email us your feedback

You can download our full draft business plan, or just this chapter here.

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