Our Environmental Footprint
It’s not easy being green – it takes a lot of work!
We’ve been calculating our Environmental Footprint every year since 2010. It’s not about how green our electricity is - that’s taken care of in our Fuel Mix statistics. It’s about the greenness of everything else we do – what goes on behind the scenes, from selecting a site for a new wind farm to the running of our offices.
We look at the impact that everything we do has on the environment – and we make it as green as can be.
It’s a bit like food miles – it’s not just the impact of the product itself, it’s the process it goes through as it’s delivered.
We’re probably the only energy company in the world that actually knows the carbon cost per customer of our operations.
Our eighth Environmental Footprint Report
Our aim is to eventually become a zero carbon organisation, and our eighth Environmental Footprint report gives us a clear picture of the progress we’ve made and what else we need to do to achieve our goal.
Although 2017 saw us add additional sites to the Ecotricity portfolio and also resolve some longer standing metering issues, we still only saw our total carbon footprint increase by 24 tonnes, equivalent to just a 3% rise compared to the previous year.
By the end of 2017 our Electric Highway had 294 chargers at 181 sites up and down the country – enabling our staff, and electric car drivers across Britain to drive completely emissions free!
We also installed additional charge points for staff in the car park at one of our Stroud offices – so any EV drivers at Ecotricity can charge up while they’re at work. Whilst for our customers we introduced the Fully Charged EV tariff which includes a discounted home charging solution.
Every year, we also carry out a Sustainable Transport Fortnight, encouraging staff to walk, cycle, take public transport, or car share to work. This year one of the Ecotalk team walked 10 miles to work, setting off at 03:40 in the morning to ensure that he wasn’t late!
We saw a massive 25% reduction in the volume of waste that we produced in 2017 compared to 2016 as a programme of building renovation was completed. We already recycle paper, cardboard, plastic and cans from our offices and donate old IT equipment to charity for refurbishment and reuse. In addition we’re increasing the amount of recyclable material that we use for packaging the windmills produced by Britwind and ditching the expanded polystyrene that we previously used.
We’ve increased the options for our customers to operate their energy accounts online which means that we have to print and post fewer bills, cutting the amount of paper we use, reducing the amount of energy consumed and reducing emissions from transport. This also helps customers to receive more accurate bills, with over 350,000 meter reads received via the app in 2017.
Getting the message out!
We don’t just do our thing in isolation, we try to get as many people to join us in our work, and encourage others to live more sustainably too.
To get the message out, we sponsored a stage at WOMAD festival for the fifth year running last year, and hosted two debates – the Big Green Chat and the Young Green Briton Chat - as well as launching Ecotalk, our mobile phone offering that’s going to plough profits into reclaiming land back for nature!
We also gave Ecotricity staff the opportunity to volunteer at one of 15 different charities focussing on energy, transport, food and nature. In total, 112 members of staff took part in the volunteering programme in 2017. We also ran a series of 13 lunch time talks for staff covering our core interests of energy, transport, food and nature.
Our 2017 environmental targets
- We completed construction on our wind farm at Alveston in South Gloucestershire, bringing 6.9MW of new energy capacity to the UK grid
- We’ve installed over 10,000 smart meters along with in-home displays to help customers monitor their energy consumption and cut bills
- We’ve submitted planning permission for 33MW of battery storage which will help the grid balance and reduce the need for additional power plants
- We added another 18 new charge points to the Electric Highway network
- Conducted site trials to enhance grassland for invertebrates and in particular bees.
Our previous reports
For more detail you can read the most recent 2017 report.
If you'd like to find out more about our past environmental performance, please have a look at our Environmental Statements from 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012: