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For the tomorrow we all want let’s start today

Category : Policy and regulation

While it’s a uniquely challenging time for everyone, and it’s difficult for many businesses to think beyond the immediate days and weeks ahead, at some point we’ll all have to look up at the horizon.

Sadly, the climate emergency has not gone away. While this might feel like another difficult problem to deal with right now, it’s vital to have it in our minds and plans – because it will affect us all. How it affects us is still in our hands, and, we believe, we all have a role to play now.

Big or small, we can all help

Whether you’re a policy maker, business or individual; we all want to rebuild our economy. And, while we’re doing it, we should seize the challenge and opportunity to ensure it is a clean economy we’re creating. This means making changes to help reduce carbon, improve sustainability, and help achieve the Government’s target of a zero carbon UK by 2050. This will mean that after offsetting, the UK, including business and residential properties, will not contribute any carbon to the atmosphere.

Environmental sustainability and business growth aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, they go hand in hand.

Working with pace

At SSE we’re fortunate to be in a position where we can help make change happen. Driving towards a better world of energy is at the heart of what we do. We’re taking a leading role in helping the UK progress – and we’re pleased to have already taken significant steps forward. But we are not resting. In fact, we want to move faster.

We have big ambitions for a ‘net zero power system’ by 2040, based on a robust carbon price. That means a position where SSE, after carbon offsetting, does not release any carbon into the atmosphere in the production of electricity for the UK.

We are already the UK’s largest producer of renewable energy, but to achieve our huge goals we have set three further targets for 2030. Each of these places a low-carbon future at the core of our business:

  • Cut carbon intensity by 60%
  • Treble renewable energy output
  • Help accommodate 10m electric vehicles

Our goals are supported by Science Based Targets where we’ll strive to cut emissions further and faster. This ensures we are using a credible external framework and holding ourselves to account on our progress.

We cannot achieve it at speed when we’re acting alone though. For real change we need everyone and, in particular government policy, to change.

Our five-point action plan to government

As we urgently strive to rebuild our economy, we need to expand our society’s green capabilities equally urgently. For this we need Government plans to be targeted and to support this growth. So we’ve published our own greenprint: it’s a five-point action plan focused on stimulating growth and investment in order to create a cleaner, more resilient UK economy. The plan covers areas such as carbon pricing, interfaces with Europe, investment, EV infrastructure, and home development schemes that will create sustainable jobs and also support in reaching our collective goal of a net zero future.

Practical ways everyone can play their part – and benefit

It’s not just down to policy makers and the energy industry to make change happen. Every organisation in Britain, whether large or small, can play an active part in achieving a sustainable future ahead of the target of 2050.

For small businesses, that might involve choosing green energy, and using smart metering and effective energy management tools. While for bigger businesses, it could include more sophisticated building energy management systems, and local energy generation. And, for cities it might mean committing to electric vehicles and larger distributed energy schemes.

Whatever your journey to sustainability looks like, making a change and a commitment to be a low-carbon organisation, is a win-win. It can help your business grow, by attracting new customers and new employees, and help you meet procurement and sustainability reporting criteria; while contributing to the wider economic growth we all need so much.

We’re getting there together

The good news is that it’s all getting slightly easier. Advances we see today in renewable energy, smart technology and electric vehicles already offer a window into the low-carbon world of tomorrow.

It is our intention to continue to look at how we can best use our own assets to help. This means continuing to invest in technology and developments in our services: whatever it takes to ensure all our customers are enabled to, and can afford to, take a stake in this world.

It’s our aim and deep hope each and every one of you can, and will, join us on this road to economic and environmental recovery.

If you’d like to speak to someone about how we can help you take your next steps, then get in touch today.

Read our ‘Greenprint for building a cleaner, more resilient economy’ which sets out a series of actions that could be taken to help progress the journey to net zero.

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Aled Humphreys

Director of Business Energy

Aled oversees the provision of electricity, gas and energy management services to our business and public sector customers across the UK. Prior to heading up SSE Business Energy, he worked at SSE Enterprise, including four years as Commercial Director for Energy Solutions and several roles within Lighting. Aled started out in the utilities industry in 2001 at Severn Trent, before moving on to Biffa waste management.
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