As the UK’s largest energy supplier, we recognise the responsibility we have to keep peoples’ homes and businesses warm and well lit. But we also understand that it’s imperative we do this in a way that ensures we limit our environmental impact. I’m therefore proud to work for a business that takes its environmental responsibilities seriously – for example, our strategic investments in gas (the cleanest of all fossil fuels), nuclear (low carbon) and wind energy (renewable), means that we have one of the lowest carbon intensity fuel mixes in the UK. Moreover, British Gas’ market-leading position in delivering energy efficiency goods and services to help customers reduce their energy-related carbon emissions and bills, is making a significant difference, with annual emission savings we have enabled being equivalent to that of a 1.8GW wind farm (note 1).
Our efforts to embed sustainability in how we do business are also being recognised by our stakeholders.
Last week we were awarded 11th place in the 2014 Global 500 Newsweek Green Rankings (note 2). This secures our position as the global top-performing utility, as well as the second highest placed UK company in the world. So what are the rankings based on? The rankings are the outcome of a comprehensive analysis of eight main factors, including carbon, energy, water, waste and the extent to which internal governance is geared towards ensuring businesses effectively manage their environmental footprint. Ultimately, the rankings reward companies who generate the most revenue with the least amount of environmental impact.
This follows recent strong performances in other leading sustainability indexes which analyse environmental, social and governance KPI’s. In Corporate Knights’ 2014 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (note 2), we were again the second highest-ranked UK company and improved our overall ranking to 26 th (up from 32 nd in 2012). We also gained a place in the Top Ten Most Sustainable Utilities in the World (note 2). Overall then, our sustainability performance relative to participating peers has improved, with better energy and water use productivity alongside reduced levels of greenhouse gas emissions and waste production comparative to revenue.
But while it is always great to receive recognition of our continued progress to embed sustainability across our business, there is always more we can do. We remain steadfast in our commitment to safeguarding the environment and are focussing on solutions where the customer, environment and the business benefit. Ultimately this will help us to become a more sustainable company. We will therefore continue to direct our efforts to achieving the optimal balance between affordability, reducing carbon emissions and securing energy supplies. We will also endeavour to help our customers cut their carbon emissions and save money by providing innovative products and cost-effective energy efficiency measures. This will in turn enable us, and the countries in which we operate, to stay on course to meet important carbon reduction targets to stem climate change.
If you want to learn more about our environmental performance, explore our 2013 CR Performance Review.
1 Alternately, the products British Gas has installed since 2010 will save around 9.8m tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions, which is comparable to taking around 660,000 cars off the road.
2 Assessment was conducted at a time when many companies had not yet released 2013 performance, so the analysis was based on 2012 data.