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We understand and acknowledge that our business carbon footprint has a major impact on our environment and the sustainability of future generations. To address this we have made a commitment to measure and reduce our footprint, including SF6 gas and network losses.

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Business Carbon Footprint

Our Business Carbon Footprint (BCF) details the impact that our operational activities have on the environment in terms of associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

We measure and report our BCF using equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2e). The data compiled and the figures which we report follow a recognised methodology as described within international business carbon footprint standards, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reporting protocol and ISO14064-1.

All of our published BCF data has been verified and data assured for accuracy and compliance with the standards detailed above.

Our BCF takes account of our energy usage from offices, transport emissions (operational and business), fuel combustion and the release of fugitive emissions (SF6). The reported data for operational transport (road) and fuel combustion also takes account of a number of our larger contractor emissions as required under the Ofgem reporting requirements.

During 2020/21 WPD’s total BCF (excluding losses and including contractors) across all four licence areas has continued to reduce equating to a total reduction of 36% in comparison to the base year performance in 2014/15.

Since 2014/15 our annual BCF (including losses) has reduced by 50% or 1,011,713 tCO2e - the approximate equivalent carbon footprint of heating 365,480 average UK households.

Reducing emissions from vehicles

Our network is spread over an area of 55,500km2 so we need to operate a significant fleet of vehicles to serve this territory effectively. Emissions are reported as part of our Business Carbon Footprint and are calculated based on fuel usage data, in line with the published 2020 DEFRA conversion factors.

Procurement processes are used to ensure that when our vehicles reach the end of their useful lives, they are replaced with more efficient options.

An example of replacements for some of our most commonly used operational vehicles shows this process in practice (data comes from the vehicle registration certificate).

Additionally, during the remainder of RIIO-ED1 there will be a program of replacing smaller vans with an electric vehicle (EV) equivalent.

We are also in the process of reviewing our entire light commercial fleet (approximately 2800 vehicles, including larger vans and 4x4 vehicles) with the aim of replacing existing vehicles with EV to the fullest extent possible during our next price review period (RIIO-ED2).

We measure the contribution of vehicle emissions to our overall BCF performance in terms of fuel usage converted to equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2e).

We have performed well during 2020/21 with reductions in both the litres of fuel used per WPD vehicle and the total volume of fuel used for operational road vehicles across the business, better than our RIIO-ED1 target level.

By continuing with our vehicle replacement programme, raising awareness of the impact of driving style and the continued roll-out of our Driver Behavioural System (DBS) we will continue to make progress towards meeting our RIIO-ED1 5% reduction target for annual fuel use whilst having a positive impact on our vehicle emissions.

Building Energy Use

We operate from 60 offices that vary in age and construction. We know that when refurbishment of these buildings takes place, there are opportunities to improve their energy efficiency.

In West and East Midlands, many offices were new or refurbished to the BREEAM standard of “excellent” or “very good” when facilities were being developed for our local team based operational structure, and all new builds achieved the “excellent” rating.

In the South West and South Wales our properties are older, with more scope to implement energy savings measures. Whenever refurbishment work is planned we ensure, where appropriate, that it is carried out to the “very good” standard under BREEAM to reduce energy consumption.

The “very good” standard is the highest which can be achieved for a refurbished building.

Local improvements include:

  • Installation of motion sensors for lighting
  • Improvements to air conditioning units
  • Low energy lighting

Property redevelopments improve employee awareness and energy efficiency measures and lead to energy savings. This is evident in the electricity usage we recorded in our overall BCF reporting. We propose to save around 5% of carbon associated electricity used in offices and depots over the RIIO-ED1 period. As demonstrated we are more than meeting this target with a reduction in excess of 59% since 2014/15.