As a large energy company, the scale and breadth of SSE’s activities mean that it naturally interacts with the environment in many ways, presenting challenges that need to be managed. SSE’s most material environmental impact is the carbon emitted when generating electricity. To address this we are taking steps to significantly reduce the carbon intensity of the electricity we produce and our business model is focused around supporting the transition to low-carbon electricity systems in the UK and Ireland. See below for more information about our contribution to the low-carbon transition, as well as detail about our wider environmental impacts.
You can read more about SSE’s 2030 Goals here.
Supporting the Low-Carbon Transition
Our 2030 Goals are focused around addressing the challenge of climate change and supporting the low-carbon transition in the UK and Ireland.
SSE has the largest renewable energy capacity across the UK and Ireland and continues to contribute significantly to building low-carbon electricity systems fit for the future. We are doing this in two key ways: through significant investment in its own renewable energy portfolio; and enabling more renewable generation to connect to its electricity network.
SSE’s Biodiversity Report 2019 outlines the Group Environment Strategy which is being implemented across all of SSE’s businesses, demonstrated by the supporting case studies in the report. SSE’s Group Environment Strategy is a core element of how it manages its impacts on biodiversity.
The strategy outlines Group-wide goals which are aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across three priority areas that represent the most material areas of environmental impact for SSE’s activities:
- Climate Action - linked to SDG 13
- Responsible Consumption and Production - linked to SDG 12
- Natural Environment - linked to SDGs 14 and 15
Given its purpose, this report predominantly focuses on the Natural Environment priority of the SSE Group Environment Strategy, further information on the other priorities can be found in SSE’s Sustainability Report.
One of SSE’s 2030 Goals is to reduce the carbon intensity of the electricity it generates by 50%, from 2018 levels. Meeting this ambition will mean that SSE’s electricity generation carbon emissions are forecast to be around 150gCO2e/kWh by 2030, which represents a 75% cut based on its original 2006 baseline. This target is consistent with ambitions set out in the Paris Agreement.
SSE’s stakeholders are keen to understand the resilience of its business to the impacts of climate change. To provide enhanced disclosure, SSE has assessed the resilience of SSE’s gas businesses to different climate-related scenarios in its ‘Transition to net zero’ report.
This builds on the earlier work SSE did in its ‘Post Paris Report’, published in July 2017, which modelled the company's resilience to the decarbonisation of the electricity industry in Great Britain, against three different warming scenarios.
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