District heating

DEFINITION: A system that distributes heat or hot water from a centralised location to a group of residential or commercial buildings. Heat networks can be supplied by a diverse range of sources including energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities, combined heat and power (CHP) plants and heat pumps. The advantages include cost savings, higher efficiencies and carbon emission reductions.

See also: Decentralised energy

Related items

edie Explains: Net-zero carbon heating

What is net-zero carbon heating? Why is net-zero carbon heating important? What are the different forms of net-zero carbon heating? What are the business benefits of net-zero carbon heating? This explains guide answers all of these questions and more

Charlotte led Vivobarefoot through the B Corp certification process

Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Charlotte Pumford, Vivobarefoot

This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Up next: Charlotte Pumford, Vivobarefoot's sustainability manager.

 The report combines an array of real-life case studies with expert viewpoints, key facts and stats

Can businesses achieve SDG 13 - Climate Action? Find out in edie's new report

edie has launched its latest SDG Spotlight report, looking at how businesses can transform to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) post-lockdown, with the latest focusing on Goal 13: Climate Action.

The Council has already approved the project twice, but Jenrick has called for a public inquiry to take place

Government orders public inquiry into Cumbria coal mine

The Government is set to intervene in the controversial plan to open a new coal mine in Cumbria, with a fresh inquiry as to whether it can be opened while keeping to national climate commitments mooted to take place.

All projects will need to demonstrate how they meet both the Government’s net-zero target and the Ten Point Plan

UK Power Networks funnels £80m into net-zero projects

The network operator that provides energy to more than 18 million people across London and the South East has launched an £80m fund to support projects that will contribute to the UK's net-zero emissions target for 2050.

WATCH: Dame Polly Courtice's inspiring Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech

Dame Polly Courtice delivered a galvanising call to action for future business leaders as part of her Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech at edie's Sustainability Leaders Awards 2021 Wednesday afternoon (3 February), claiming "this is the generation that still has time to change everything for the better".

The CCC claims that the mine is projected to increase UK emissions by 0.4 million megatonnes of CO2e annually

Climate Change Committee calls for rethink on Cumbrian coal mine approval

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) is the latest organisation urging the UK Government to reconsider the planning approval for a new coal mine in Cumbria, warning that it will increase emissions and create a "negative impression" of UK green policy in the build-up to COP26.

Image: Safe Water Network

What makes a sustainability leader? Meet social sustainability champions Honeywell Hometown Solutions

With less than a week until the 2021 Sustainability Leaders Awards, this feature series showcases the achievements of the 2020 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: the winners of the Social Sustainability & Community Development Award, Honeywell Hometown Solutions.

The 2050 target will cover emissions across the company’s default pension fund ranges. Aegon will also place its corporate operations under the net-zero ambition

Financial firm Aegon commits to net-zero emissions by 2050

Financial services firm Aegon has become the latest corporate to commit to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, targeting the decarbonisation of its pension fund ranges and main operations.

Mission Possible: Achieving a green recovery for the built environment

edie's Mission Possible campaign has evolved to focus on the green recovery, with a new series of reports outlining the challenges that businesses in key sectors face in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, and the opportunities that the green recovery will bring. Up next, the built environment.

Sustainability Leaders Awards 2021: Meet the Finalists

After a record-breaking year of entries, the judges have convened, decisions have been made and edie is proud to unveil the well- deserved finalists for the 2021 Sustainability Leaders Awards. This report outlines the who's who of sustainability excellence.

The airport has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with flights dropping by 80% since March 2020

Gatwick Airport under fire over 'callous' runway expansion plan

Green groups have criticised the decision from Gatwick Airport to transform its emergency runway into a fully functioning second runway, claiming that the organisation is "ignoring" noise and emissions issues.

edie has highlighted 21 aspirational new goals that professionals can work towards to help drive business prosperity while alleviating some key environmental and planetary concerns

21 New Year's resolutions for sustainability professionals in 2021 and beyond

At last, 2020 has drawn to a close and while the first parts of a new year might not create a respite from a global pandemic and an economic crash, it does create the ideal opportunity to look at the climate crisis with a reinvigorated approach.

The news comes just weeks after it was revealed that English and Scottish local authorities representing one-third of the population have committed to reaching net-zero community emissions by 2045

Councils not confident of reaching net-zero commitments

More than a third of councils in the UK are not confident that they'll be able to meet public commitments to reaching net-zero emissions, with a "black hole" of data hindering efforts on energy efficiency plans.

Skanska's EV policy and the UK's largest community solar park: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

The report features insight from an array of sustainability leaders

Sustainability leaders craft 10-point plan to revamp corporate purpose

Businesses in the vanguard of sustainability, including Unilever, Interface, Ikea and DSM, have come together to craft a new set of recommendations as to how the wider corporate community can embed a purpose aimed at tackling the climate crisis and social inequalities across the business.

Julie studied Business Administration but soon discovered that her passions lie in delivering positive outcomes for people and planet, too

Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Julie Dang, Canary Wharf Group

This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Up next: Canary Wharf Group's CSR programme coodinator Julie Dang.

Three-quarters of British firms believe they have a role to play in furthering national and international progress against the SDGs

New report details how businesses can help achieve SDG 7: Clean and Affordable Energy

edie's latest SDG Spotlight report, produced in association with Bryt Energy, looks at how businesses and national policies can transform operations, services, supply chains and strategies to help deliver Goal 7: Clean and Affordable Energy.

Many carbon offsetting schemes involve afforestation or reforestation - but what real-world benefits do they really bring?

Carbon offsetting: How are businesses avoiding greenwashing on the road to net-zero?

With the net-zero movement gathering pace, ever more businesses are turning to carbon offsetting to tackle hard-to-abate emissions. But is this a credible choice, or simply a clever greenwashing tactic?

Hannah has dedicated her career to date to making the UK's higher education sector more sustainable

Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Hannah Biggs, UCL

This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Up next: Hannah Biggs, sustainability projects lead at UCL.

Mike Townsend, founder and chief executive of Earthshine Group, summarises the net-zero journey

Towards net-zero: Are we really the smartest of monkeys?

Setting the scene for edie's upcoming Net-Zero November month of themed content and events, sustainable business expert and commentator Mike Townsend takes a thought-provoking look at the various drivers, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for businesses on our pathway towards a net-zero carbon, circular economy.

The businesses are accountable for 13.5 gigatons of emissions across scope 1 and 2 – equivalent to 25% of all global emissions

From Tesla to Rio Tinto: Investors call on thousands of businesses to set science-based targets

Tesla, Nest, TIU, Roche Holding AG and Rio Tinto are amongst the 1,800 companies that have been urged to set science-based targets by a group of investors and financial institutions representing more than $20trn in assets under management.

The three companies are inviting other food brands to become sponsors of the initiative. Image: Ella's Kitchen

Danone, Ella's Kitchen and TerraCycle launch UK-wide recycling scheme for food pouches

Baby food brand Ella's Kitchen will partner with Danone Yoghurt and TerraCycle to launch a UK recycling programme for flexible food pouch packaging, in a bid to reduce the volume of material being sent to landfill.

Differentiating from sustainable to transitional finance could impact society across the globe

Inclusive recovery: Can a post-pandemic economy shift society and sectors to greener pastures?

The world is still reeling from the continued impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, but the financial decisions that are made now will determine whether all sectors and parts of society are brought along the green recovery.

The handbook is free to download

edie launches new handbook on ESG excellence and best practice

edie has published a new handbook outlining the key considerations and best practice advice to collecting and compiling Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data that investors are increasingly looking for, in order to spur the green recovery.

The webinar is available to watch on-demand

Available to watch on-demand: edie's sustainable investment webinar featuring ING and BlackRock

Sustainable finance experts from BlackRock Investment Stewardship, ING and Tideway appeared in edie's webinar focused on sustainable investment and climate disclosure, which took place Wednesday 29 July. The recording is now available to watch on-demand.

Just 3% of environmental professionals identified as non-white minorities

How will the CSR community respond to the Black Lives Matter movement?

The Black Lives Matter protests arrived in the UK this weekend, raising uncomfortable and sobering considerations for all communities and races. As the CSR profession continues to drive the world towards a green and just transition, how individuals and businesses respond to racism is critical.

Community-owned energy projects generated 168MW of electricity in 2018, of which 21 organisations operate within Northern Powergrid’s region

Northern Powergrid unveils community engagement decarbonisation plans

The distribution network operator (DNO) for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire has unveiled a new community energy engagement strategy outlining steps to use community-based consumption and power to respond to the climate emergency.

The project will now focus on bringing more parties into the LEM

Local energy trading market launched on Orkney islands

A trial focused on delivering real-time trading between renewable generation and local grid flexibility on the Orkney islands has been successful, with project lead Electron noting that more than 1,300 trades have been completed as part of a demonstration projected.

The coronavirus has exposed a lack of focus on supply chain sustainability

Coronavirus and globalisation: What next for supply chain sustainability?

Covid-19 has brought global economies to a standstill and knocked the confidence in global and connected trade. Would businesses benefit from pivoting to more localised value chains, or do global supply chains enable a global shift towards a climate-resilient future?

BT's reporting & insight director Richard Marsh and Landsec's corporate affairs and sustainability director Caroline Hill join edie's content director Luke Nicholls for episode five of #SustyTalk

#SustyTalk: BT & Landsec directors on achieving a sustainable recovery from Covid-19

This special edition of edie's #SustyTalk interviews with sustainability leaders connects BT's reporting & insight director Richard Marsh with Landsec's corporate affairs and sustainability director Caroline Hill - to discuss where sustainability and CSR sits in the UK's coronavirus recovery discussions.

Claudia is working on delivering Science-Based Targets to reduce Colas Rail UK's carbon emissions

#SustyTalk: Colas Rail's Claudia Dommett-Nöhren on how coronavirus is driving social sustainability

Next up in our series of at-home video interviews with sustainability leaders: Claudia Dommett-Nöhren, head of sustainability and innovation at railway infrastructure firm Colas Rail UK. In this 13-minute chat, Claudia discusses how the coronavirus pandemic is increasing the need to focus on the 'social' elements of sustainable business.