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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 2019-20 we have achieved the following improvements:

Environmental highlights

  • Zero waste to landfill achieved in East Midlands and South Wales WPD licence areas
  • Continued reduction in our Business Carbon Footprint
  • Reduction in fluid filled cable losses and SF6 leaks across the business
  • Successful certification to ISO14001:2015 environmental management system standard.

Innovation highlights

  • 26 projects delivered
  • 61 submissions to our Network Innovation Allowance calls
  • 28,048 hits on our Innovation website
  • 46 PQ monitors installed as part of the Primary Networks Power Quality Analysis project 
  • 242 items of feedback on barriers to domestic flexibility as part of the Future Flex project
  • 1,347 events analysed as part of the ALARM project, of which 165 look like pecking faults.


  • Continue to improve progress in RIIO-ED1 business environmental outputs – specifically
    our output for fluid filled cable leaks and SF6 emissions
  • Continue to identify and remove PCB contaminated equipment across the UK distribution network
  • Maintain and improve 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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