UKPN works with Carbon Trust to set science-based targets

UK Power Networks has become the first UK distribution network operator to have its carbon reduction plan and targets endorsed by the Science-Based Target Initiative.

The company is on course to achieve Net Zero for all its directly-controllable carbon emissions by 2028. The key commitments to deliver before 2028, in its Environmental Action Plan, are:

  • Replace all its suitable vans and cars with Electric Vehicles (around two thirds of the fleet), making sure areas with poor air quality get EVs first
  • Use only renewable electricity from renewable sources in its buildings
  • Increase use of sustainable materials like low carbon concrete, and use less
  • Recycle 80% of its waste, and send nothing that can be recycled to landfill 
  • Introduce lower carbon fuels and hybrids into its mobile generator fleet
  • Create new wildlife habitats on 100 substation sites, building new hedgerows, ponds and introducing wildflower meadows
  • Make its offices more energy efficient by installing LED lights, solar panels, and low carbon heating
  • Work in partnership with suppliers to help reduce their carbon emissions.

Working with The Carbon Trust, UK Power Networks mapped the carbon footprint of all its emissions, including its supply chain, and modelled the actions it will take to reduce emissions and set challenging targets across all its activities. 

Verified science-based targets are aligned with the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, while aiming for 1.5 degrees. 

The company has already reduced its carbon emissions by 26% since 2014/15, and is investing £120 million over the next seven years to achieve its ambitious aims.

Mark Adolphus, UK Power Networks’ Director of Health, Safety, Sustainability and Connections, said: “We have an important role to play in enabling the UK’s transition to a Net Zero energy system, and also make sure that as a company we operate in the most sustainable way. Our customers, stakeholders and our regulator have been clear – the environment is a priority for them and we listen to that.

“Our ambition is to go further and faster so we have set challenging, but achievable, targets. We have combined our insights with those of expert stakeholders, considering international best practice and responding to the views of our customers, to make this promise today.”

Aleyn Smith-Gillespie, Associate Director at The Carbon Trust Advisory, said: “We were delighted to work with UK Power Networks and help them align their reduction targets to science. As an organisation key to delivering the energy transition it is great to see them also committed to reduce the emissions associated with their operations and their supply chain and to have a credible plan to achieve these ambitious targets.”

The Plan will also help UK Power Networks achieve the following targets:

  • Well-below two degrees for its entire carbon footprint, requiring a 25% decrease by 2028
  • A reduction of 42% for directly-controllable emissions by 2028, in line with a 1.5 degree Science-Based Target
  • Offset any remaining directly-controllable emissions to become Net Zero from 2028 onwards.

Image: courtesy UK Power Networks

Sign up for our essential
newsletter service.

Enter your details here.