HomeResponsibilityOur Focus AreasEnvironment

Safeguarding the environment

Fossil fuels contribute to climate change so we are helping customers reduce their carbon while driving down emissions across our business. We are also committed to improving our environmental footprint by monitoring and managing our water usage, waste production and ecological impact.

Environmental Performance 2015

Explore our infographic below to understand where carbon emissions are produced along our value chain.

Carbon Emissions Infographic

Download Infographic


How we are reducing carbon emissions to combat climate change

Enabling customers to reduce carbon

With over 90% of our carbon emissions coming from customers, empowering them to reduce emissions is vital. In order to do this we focus on three main areas:

  • Providing innovative products and services – we are delivering new smart controls and technologies for customer homes and businesses through our Connected Home and Distributed Energy & Power (DE&P) businesses. These products and services can help our customers lower their emissions through greater insights and control over how they use and generate energy.
  • Improving energy efficiency  – we deliver a range of cost-effective energy efficiency measures such as insulation as part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), a mandatory UK Government scheme which requires energy suppliers to improve the energy efficiency of homes, particularly low-income households.
  • Investing in alternative energy sources and balancing grid demand – in North America we are helping Direct Energy customers reduce reliance on fossil fuels by installing solar panels in homes and businesses. Direct Energy has also launched propositions that save customers money off their bill by lowering energy usage during peak events.
Managing carbon from energy production and generation

We now emit nearly 70% less carbon for every pound of revenue raised than in 2010, having gradually shifted away from being a large scale energy producer.

We also monitor the carbon intensity of the power we generate. This includes the carbon emissions from all our own generation facilities and from other facilities where we have site-specific power purchase agreements. See our data centre for information on the carbon intensity of the power we generate.

Reducing our own internal carbon footprint

We continue to cut our internal carbon footprint by making our offices more energy efficient through implementing the latest technologies and investing in lower carbon vehicles, raising awareness among employees and promoting positive behaviour change, and providing alternatives to business travel such as video-conferencing.

We have committed to reducing our core internal carbon footprint by 20% by the end of 2025.


How we manage our wider environmental impacts

We monitor and manage our water usage, waste production and ecological impact, seeking to reduce our impacts where possible.


Although our impact on biodiversity is not a material issue for us as a company, we still recognise our responsibility to manage the impacts of our operations, particularly in our energy sourcing and generating activities, where the potential effect on biodiversity is greatest.

We are committed to conducting environmental impact assessments and developing action plans that involve our employees and local communities, where possible, to manage these impacts in line with our Group Environment Policy.

Download Group Environment Policy

Air quality

We aim to reduce the amount of air pollutants in all of our operations. The combustion of natural gas in power generation releases less pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter than from coal power stations. These compounds all impact on air quality.

We report data on emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and ozone-depleting substances in accordance with best practice.

Water usage

We recognise that water availability is becoming increasingly significant to our global stakeholders. To improve the visibility of our water footprint, we participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project's Water Disclosure Project.

Download Response to CDP on Water 2016 (reporting year 2015)

For a company of our size, we consume a relatively small amount of water, although our use – especially for cooling – is significantly greater.

Our environmental impact assessments of power station and gas assets include water management plans for limiting the volume and rate of water withdrawal and discharge according to local ecological and environmental conditions.

See our data centre for more information on our water use.

Waste production

We have effective processes and controls in place across our business to effectively manage and mitigate the waste that we produce.

We also have a 20% stake in the nuclear power generator EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Group Limited. While we do not operate the facilities, we choose to report data on nuclear waste relating to our stake. 

All of EDF's power stations are granted authorisations to dispose of radioactive waste by either the Environment Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Nuclear waste is treated in a number of ways to reduce volumes before being disposed of at a facility near Drigg in Cumbria, incinerated at Hythe, or in the case of some metals, sent for recycling at Lillyhall in Cumbria.

For more information on our waste and nuclear waste please visit our data centre or EDF Energy website for more information.

Our Policies
Group Environment Policy
Data Centre
Response to CDP on Climate Change