SP Energy Networks unveils sweeping updates to sustainability strategy

SP Energy Networks has connected 30% of all wind power generated in the UK. Image: SP Energy Networks

The strategy delineates a multifaceted approach, spanning climate action, nature conservation efforts, circular economy initiatives, supply chain sustainability and fostering a sustainable society, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The objectives include the eradication of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) chemicals from the network by 2025. These are man-made chemicals often used because of extreme resistance to temperature and pressure but are regarded as persistent organic pollutants and are being phased out globally.

Also included in the strategy are targets to end any net use of biodiversity by 2028 and to implement a new environmental standards code for suppliers. 80% of suppliers should sign up by 2026.

Furthermore, SP Energy Networks aims to attain a milestone of reusing or recycling 100% of waste by 2030, alongside the complete decarbonisation of its car and van fleets.SP Energy Networks’ chief executive officer Vicky Kelsall said: “It’s only by taking bold and decisive action – and encouraging the same right across our value chain – that we will be able to face the climate emergency head on.

“This is a pivotal moment and how we take action matters. That means putting sustainability front and centre of all we do and the decisions we make.”

Kelsall noted that the new Strategy builds on the recent publication of a just transition plan believed to be the first in the industry. This sets out measures to include staff, communities and customers in the net-zero transition, with a focus on safeguarding vulnerable groups and providing levelling up opportunities.

Net-Zero Advisory Council

SP Energy Networks is the electricity network operator across central and southern Scotland, Merseyside, North and Mid Wales, Cheshire and North Shropshire. Its distribution network serves approximately 3.5 million business and domestic customers.

To date, the company has connected 30% of all wind power generated in the UK.

SP Energy Networks has partnered with the Independent Net-Zero Advisory Council (INZAC). This collaborative partnership will facilitate the tracking of progress towards the company’s sustainability targets.

INZAC’s sustainability lead Kate Martin Bruintjes said: “SP Energy Networks has a vital role to play in helping the UK meet its net-zero targets; so this is an important new strategy, setting out the business’ sustainability ambitions and how they will be achieved.

“We all know there is no time to waste if global warming is to be limited to 1.5C, so a clear roadmap with milestones along the way is a crucial part of the picture to help ensure SP Energy Networks stays on course to lead the transition to a cleaner and greener future and help create a more sustainable society.”

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie