The electricity distribution network operator has pledged to become a net zero business by 2028, 22 years ahead of the UN target, proposing to invest around £6 billion in its network between 2023-2028.
WPD’s 2028 net zero pledge is just one of 45 commitments to appear in the latest draft of their Business Plan for the RIIO-ED2 price control period.
Over the next seven years, WPD will be working to decarbonise its operations, from depots to vehicles.
They are currently working on a vehicle decarbonisation plan that will look to replace their fleet of vehicles with decarbonised modes of transport.
The plan, which was developed in collaboration with more than 19,000 regional stakeholders, also outlines how it will invest a record £6 billion in network improvement, environmental sustainability, and new community energy projects across its licence area.
WPD will also provide further support to the green recovery by ensuring capacity is available to achieve net zero across its regions. This will be in line with the ambitions of local authorities and other stakeholders, some of which hope to achieve net zero as early as 2030.
WPD has also committed up to £59 million for the next two years to support unlocking green jobs and green growth across its region.
Commenting on the commitment to the Race to Zero, WPD Chief Executive, Phil Swift, said: “WPD has always been an innovator in the industry, and I am pleased to confirm that we have pledged the strongest net zero commitment announced by any network operator so far.
“Our innovation programme is working on the latest energy network technologies and techniques to help achieve the Government’s net zero ambitions. I am looking forward to continuing our work to ensure a greener future not only for WPD, but for the communities we serve.”
Welcoming WPD’s commitment, the UK Government’s Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith MP, said: “I am delighted to see that Western Power Distribution has signed up to the Race to Zero, a crucial step in this year of climate action. Western Power Distribution joins the ranks of many of the UK’s leading companies in committing to this respected kitemark, strengthening the UK’s position as a global leader in the run up to COP26.”