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Executive summary

WPD's Environment and Innovation Report aims to provide all of our stakeholders with a transparent and public account of our environmental and innovation performance over the last twelve months.

We will use this report to provide an all-inclusive overview that includes clear justification for our actions and the benefits to our customers.

Reducing our impact on the environment and embracing the increase in low carbon technologies is one of our key RIIO-ED1 outputs. To this end throughout 2018-19 we have achieved the following improvements:

Environmental highlights

  • Significant reduction in waste being disposed of to
  • Continued reduction in our Business Carbon
  • Significant reduction in network losses across all four WPD licence areas
  • Successful inaugural WPD Environment Conference held in WPD West Midlands
  • Appointment of a new ISO14001:2015 management system auditor, NQA

Innovation highlights

  • Over 14,000 previously hidden Low Carbon Technologies (LCTs) identified as part of our LCT Detection Project
  • As part of the Entire Project 47MWh of flexibility was utilised and led to our Flexible Power work
  • On average an electric vehicle user charges their vehicle every two days
  • 21 Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) projects have been delivered in 2018/19
  • We received 54 submissions to NIA third party call
  • We are assessing the carbon impact of Flexibility Services we procure. Find out more here.


  • Maintaining and improving progress in RIIO-ED1 business environmental outputs – specifically our output for fluid filled cable leaks and SF6 emissions.
  • Investment in solutions to help identify and remove PCB contaminated equipment across the UK distribution network
  • Maintaining and improving our environmental performance and compliance record with the environmental regulators
  • Investment in the development of alternatives to SF6

Protected landscapes

We operate 90,000km of overhead lines predominantly in rural locations.

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Oil leakage

Older styles of electricity cables contain oil to improve their insulation properties and to enhance cooling.

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Carbon impact and climate change

We are committed to the protection of the environment and ensuring that all of our operational activities have minimal impact upon it.

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During our RIIO-ED1 business plan, we have committed to achieve multiple environmental improvements (outputs) throughout our business.

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Waste Initiatives

We are managing our waste better in terms of the waste hierarchy and the percentage of this waste which has been disposed to landfill has significantly reduced.

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Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6)

A gas which is used throughout our industry as an insulating medium in switchgear, SF6 provides many tangible benefits however it is a potent greenhouse gas.

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Environmental Management

Since 2015 we have been certified to ISO14001, the international standard for environmental management systems (EMS), across all four of our licence areas.

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Environment and Innovation

We are committed to ensuring that we meet all of our compliance obligations while minimising the overall impact that our activities have on the environment in which we work and operate. 

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