As a responsible company, SSE aims to be as transparent as possible. Below you can access reports which detail the contribution SSE is making to society, the environment and the economy.
For a better world of energy
Information on SSE’s most material economic, social and environmental impacts for 2019/20 can be found in its Sustainability Report 2020. Designed to be the sister document to the Annual Report 2020, it demonstrates the way SSE creates value for shareholders and society in a sustainable way.
SSE has also published its Half-year Sustainability Statement for the six months to 30 September 2020, which provides an overview of progress made against its four 2030 Goals which are aligned to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
SSE encourages and welcomes feedback on its sustainability strategy, priorities and performance. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments.
Below you can find SSE’s sustainability reports which disclose information and performance around its most material social, environmental and economic impacts.
The data sets below report on social, environmental and economic KPIs for some of SSE’s most material impacts. For transparency, three year’s worth of data is provided against each KPI where possible.
This report, published April 2021 by SSE Renewables, shows that our Strathy North, Achany, Gordonbush and Gordonbush Extension wind farms in Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland are expected to contribute £485 million to the UK economy, throughout their development, construction and operational life. £327 million of that money is expected to be contributed to the Scottish economy with the Scottish Highlands benefitting from £131 million during the lifetime of the four projects. This analysis for the report was provided by leading economic consultancy, BiGGAR Economics.
Read the April 2021 socio-economic report here.
Read the December 2020 BiGGAR Economics report, including the full methodology for the economic contribution calculation, here.
SSE Renewables commissioned BiGGAR Economics to undertake analysis of four assets in the Great Glen area of northern Scotland: Glendoe hydro station, Dunmaglass onshore wind farm, Bhlaraidh onshore wind farm and Stronelairg onshore wind farm.
The analysis showed that together these four projects are expected to generate over £1.2bn of value for the Scottish economy during their lifetime. Of this, £360m of value will be felt directly in the Great Glen, which will see 130 jobs supported by the projects annually during their operation. A further 250 jobs across Scotland are expected to be supported by the operation of these projects.
Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited is Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm and a joint venture partnership between SSE Renewables (40%), Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (35%) and Red Rock Power Limited (25%) with development, construction and now operation led by SSE Renewables on behalf of the partnership.
In July 2019, SSE Renewables published a report which describes the socio-economic benefits of Beatrice as a result of its development, onshore construction, offshore construction and operations and maintenance, with analysis undertaken by BiGGAR Economics, and is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the economic impact of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm. It found the development, construction and 25-year lifetime operation of Beatrice is expected to generate £2.4bn of value for the UK economy, of which £1bn is expected to be in Scotland. The report also includes additional detail in relation to each of the phases of project delivery, including a number of case studies and key learnings for the future. It updates socio-economic analysis previously published in 2017.
- Read the July 2019 socio-economic report here.
- Read the July 2019 BiGGAR Economics report, including the full methodology for the economic contribution calculation, here.
July 2017 socio-economic report
|Renewable energy has always been at the core of SSE’s strategy and for the past 15 years. SSE has been a leading player in the UK’s offshore wind industry. In that time, SSE has proven its ability to deliver industry leading offshore wind projects including the development, construction and operation of Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm and, come spring 2019, the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm.|
This report explores the contributions SSE’s made, and continues to make, in the UK and Ireland.
|In the ten years between March 2008 and March 2018 SSE’s onshore wind capacity increased three-fold. SSE’s expansion of its onshore wind portfolio in the UK and Ireland has delivered clean, low-carbon electricity, important investment in the UK, Scottish and Irish economies, and good quality jobs, many of which are located in areas where economic activity tends to be low.|
This report explores the contributions SSE’s decade of clean growth has made, and continues to make, in the UK and Ireland.
The methodology document can be viewed here.
In 2019, BiGGAR Economics was commissioned by SSE Renewables to undertake a socio-economic impact assessment of Strathy North Wind Farm. This study quantified the economic impact of Strathy North wind farm and reviewed the community benefit associated with the wind farm.
During the development and construction of Strathy North Wind Farm, it was estimated that companies and organisations in Scotland secured contracts worth £59.4 million. The area is expected to secure £100.6 million in OPEX contracts over the wind farm’s operational lifetime (£4.0 million annually). Overall the expenditure, including decommissioning, secured in Scotland is expected to be £165.0 million, or 73% of TOTEX.
Read the full BiGGAR Economics report here.
The Caithness-Moray transmission reinforcement is SSE’s largest ever capital investment at £1.1bn. SSE has assessed the most material economic and social impacts of the 100 mile High Voltage Direct Current link between Spittal in central Caithness and Blackhillock in Moray, which include: an estimated £643.5m to be spent with UK-based suppliers and contractors; 217 local people employed in the rural north of Scotland; and £3.55m spend on local accommodation in Caithness and Sutherland and Moray to date.
Working with partners, SSE has quantified some of the social, environmental and economic impacts of installing a retrofit district heating system at the Wyndford Estate in Maryhill, Glasgow. Highlights include: a 62% reduction in carbon emissions; residents feeling warmer and more satisfied with their heating; and £10m added into the UK economy, £6.5m of which went to Scotland.
View the technical appendices document here.
SSE calculated the economic, environmental and social impacts in the UK from its £100m investment in the construction of Keadby wind farm.
Highlights from the report include: £43m contribution to UK GDP; a net positive CO2 impact from Keadby over the wind farm’s lifetime; and an 8.5m community investment fund available to support to local community projects over 25 years
Galway Wind Park (a joint venture between SSE and Coillte) will be Ireland’s largest onshore wind development. SSE and Coillte worked together to quantify the most material economic, social and environmental impacts of the project. Main findings include: €88.7m added to Irish GDP and 1,657 years of Irish employment supported; €20m spent with local suppliers; enough renewable energy generated to power 89,000 homes and save 190,000 tCO2 from being released into the atmosphere; over €150,000 granted to community groups during construction and a multi-million euro community fund available during operation.
SSE was the first UK company to measure the economic value of the skills and capabilities of its employees – calculated to be £3.4bn. Establishing this value allows us to understand how we can best develop and grow these attributes. We have also measured the return on investment from two of our key training schemes which shows how the individual, the employer and wider society all benefit from investment in sustainable employment.
In the last financial year, SSE’s community investment funds delivered over £5.1m in grants to community projects, helping over 460 not-for-profit organisations realise their ambitions. In the 2017/18 Community Investment Annual Review, you’ll find details of how and where these funds have been spent and read about some of the innovative projects making a real difference in their local area.
|Be the Difference Annual Review 2016/17 – SSE Ireland|
SSE Ireland’s latest annual review of its employee volunteering programme, Be the Difference. The review looks back on the volunteering and fundraising activities of SSE’s employees across the island of Ireland during financial year 2016/17. It was another impressive year of employee volunteering at SSE Ireland, with 455 days – equivalent to €130,000 in working hours - donated to 49 different charities and community groups.
|Be the Difference Annual Review 2015/16 – SSE Ireland|
The review looks back on the volunteering and fundraising activities of SSE’s employees across the island of Ireland during financial year 2015/16. It was another impressive year of employee volunteering at SSE Ireland, with 490 days – equivalent to a 55% staff participation rate – donated to 51 different charities and community groups.
SSE has worked with inclusion and diversity (I&D) specialists Equal Approach to calculate the financial value from investing in gender diversity initiatives over the three years to 31 March 2017, as well as the expected value of continued investment in wider I&D initiatives up to 2020.
The results showed that for every £1 invested by SSE in 2017, there was a £4.52 ‘Return on Inclusion’ (ROI). The analysis also showed there is the potential to greatly increase SSE’s ROI if it focuses on becoming a truly inclusive workplace – aspiring to a £15 ROI with more strategic approach to investment in I&D.
Read the report here.
SSE’s Great Place to Work 2017 survey was undertaken shortly after the annual reporting period and, rather than wait until the year end, SSE committed to disclose this information outside of the usual reporting period. This short report discloses additional detail about the engagement of SSE’s workforce and – more importantly – details the actions being taken as a result of the findings.
Read the full report here.
SSE'S UK GENDER PAY GAP
Following on from the publication of its 2016 UK Gender Pay Gap in June 2016, SSE has now also published its 2017 UK Gender Pay Gap following the UK Government regulatory requirements.
The gender pay gap differs from equal pay as it is not exclusively about men and women doing the same job but being paid differently. When calculating the difference in average earnings, the gender pay gap takes into account all jobs, at all levels and all salaries within an organisation. This means the gender pay gap can result from many different factors. SSE’s median gender pay gap in 2019 was calculated to be 21%.
Read about SSE's 2019 Gender Pay Gap here.
Read about SSE's 2018 Gender Pay Gap here.
Read about SSE's 2017 Gender Pay Gap here.
Read about SSE's 2016 Gender Pay Gap here.
SSE is working with the Social Mobility Pledge on how to tackle the opportunity gap. As a large UK employer, SSE is supporting a green recovery by boosting jobs and opportunities, and supporting a diverse range of people to join the industry and have meaningful careers.
This report has been produced by the Social Mobility Pledge. It details how SSE is working to reduce the opportunity gap in the UK and Ireland through its existing social mobility initiatives and is committed to further action in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. SSE is a signatory to the Social Mobility Pledge and the C-19 Business Pledge.
SSE has published its Just Transition strategy which aims to help to protect workers and communities as the UK transitions out of a high-carbon world and towards net zero.
The strategy consists of SSE’s 20 principles for a Just Transition, which outline SSE’s approach to address the social implications of delivering net zero; from jobs and training, to working with communities and ensuring no one is left behind.
SSE has estimated the economic return on its investment in the Barnardo’s Works youth employability programme.
Since 2008, SSE has invested over £1m and helped over 230 individuals join the programme.
It found that for every £1 invested, there is a £7.67 return on investment: £2.22 for individuals, £2.07 for wider society and £3.38 for companies, of which SSE receives approximately £1.10.
The Hampton-Alexander Review on gender balance in FTSE leadership, set out in Reports in 2016 and 2017, builds on the success of the voluntary business-led approach of the Davies Review for Women on Boards. It has set a target for 33% of Executive Committees and their Direct Reports in FTSE 350 companies to be women by 2020.
The energy sector must overcome a legacy of industry and societal factors to improve the gender imbalance in leadership positions. SSE is therefore not in a position, immediately, to sign up to the Hampton-Alexander recommendations. We have, however, outlined a comprehensive response to the Review and have set ourselves a series of important ambitions for women at senior leadership level at SSE. Those ambitions, while not reaching the levels Hampton-Alexander propose, represent a significant development for the company. Please click here to read SSE’s full response to Hampton-Alexander which sets out our approach and actions to meet our targets.
In January 2019, SSE submitted its response to the UK Government’s consultation on ethnicity pay reporting. Read the full response here.
Since 2015, SSE has held two events designed to encourage discussion around the nature of the good corporation and its role in modern society. At the events, SSE has discussed its response to the challenge of being a good corporation, including paying people a fair wage and contributing a fair share of tax. Guest speakers from a variety of organisations have been invited to join in the debate to give their opinions on how businesses should adapt and change in the future.
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:
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.
You can access previous reports at the links below:
CDP CLIMATE CHANGE SUBMISSION 2019/20
CDP’s Climate Change programme requests information on the management of climate-related risks and low-carbon opportunities from the world's largest companies, on behalf of more than 800 institutional investor signatories.
SSE’s Environment Strategy outlines Group-wide goals across three priority areas which represent the most material areas of environmental impact for SSE’s activities. Like SSE’s business strategy, the Environment Strategy is aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which focus SSE’s efforts for environmental improvement on the areas that have been identified as key for sustainable development. These areas are:
In September 2017, SSE launched its €600m Green Bond – the largest issued by a UK company. A commitment was given to update investors each year on the allocation of proceeds and environmental impact from the Bond.
SSE’s Green Bond report 2018 is its first annual Green Bond update to investors. More information about SSE’s Green Bond, including SSE’s Green Bond Framework and PwC’s limited assurance Report on SSE’s Green Bond, can be found here.
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.
CDP WATER SUBMISSION 2019/20
CDP’s Water programme requests information from companies about their water management on behalf of more than 500 institutional investor signatories.
For its environmental performance during 2019/20, SSE was awarded a score of B through the CDP Water programme.
SSE'S ECONOMIC IMPACT REPORTS
Produced by PwC on behalf of SSE, the FY20 report estimates that SSE’s activities contributed £7.7bn to UK GDP in 2019/20, bringing its total contribution over the past nine years to £84.8bn (in FY20 prices). This activity supported 83,040 UK jobs. Within the Republic of Ireland, €650m was contributed by SSE to GDP and 3,740 jobs were supported in FY20.
Clyde Extension is a planned 54 turbine extension to the existing 152 turbine Clyde wind farm in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. SSE, in conjunction with wind turbine supplier Siemens, commissioned a study to investigate the impact of Clyde Extension on both the Scottish and UK economies. The analysis, undertaken by professional services firm PwC, is ground breaking in terms of its detail. Key findings include: the construction phase of the extension will contribute £108.2m and 1,830 years of supported employment to the UK economy; the manufacture, installation and servicing of the turbines will contribute £53m and over 1,000 years of supported employment to the UK economy.
Research undertaken for SSE by KPMG outlines the economic impact of SSE’s policy of ensuring contracted employees working on its sites receive at least the Living Wage.
By 2020, when all of SSE’s contracts are expected to contain the Living Wage Clause, approximately 800 full-time workers will have received a salary increase – around fives times more than SSE’s direct employees who benefitted from the pay rise in April 2015.