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 solar farm and servicing our windmills through 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. We’re now certified to ISO14001 as a mark of how we are continually striving to improve our performance and reduce our impact on the world around us as promised in our Environmental Policy.
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.
Our 2023 Environmental Footprint Report
Four years ago we committed to becoming a zero-carbon organisation by 2025, and our thirteenth 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.
This year we’ve seen a new post-COVID work pattern continuing to develop. Transport usage has increased, whilst we’ve now removed pure fossil fuel vehicles from our pool car fleet we’re still having to use them for our maintenance vehicles that service our wind and solar farms as currently there aren’t any electric options suitable for the weight/distance combo that these vehicles have to cope with (if you are a manufacturer and want us to test a new prototype then please get in touch).
However, the biggest increase for us this year was due to a maintenance issue with one of our windmills and a loss of coolant from its system. Although only a small volume and was discovered and repaired very quickly, the high GHG potential of this stuff means the carbon footprint equated to a loss of 59 tonnes, that’s nearly a third of the companies whole footprint for the year.
Our 2023 Carbon Footprint (Tonnes of CO2)
|Pool car / Van fuel
|Grey fleet (staff own vehicles)
We’re now carbon neutral – three years ahead of target!
Back in 2019, we were the first (and only) energy company to stand alongside Extinction Rebellion and declare a climate emergency. Part of that commitment was to become carbon neutral by 2025. Over the past four years, we’ve continued in our ongoing mission to not only help others transition to a more sustainable lifestyle, but to cut our own impacts as well. We feel that we’ve now reached a point where we still need technology to provide us with a few answers (such as a practical EV for our windmill maintenance fleet) that will allow us to cut our carbon footprint further. However, in the meantime we’ll purchase carbon credits to cover the residual emissions that we still produce, and so we’re supporting a project in Malawi to replace traditional cooking fires with fuel efficient stoves – you can read more about it here.
Our 2023 environmental targets
Various parts of the Ecotricity Group have taken on individual targets to tackle their significant environmental impacts over the coming year. The Facilities team are looking to cut our energy use in our remaining offices by 5% as are the O&M team based in Louth whilst the Technology and Growth Teams are aiming to increase the number of customers using our online services to reduce paper consumption (yes, some of our customers still like to have a paper bill!).
If you have any questions regarding the report or our Environmental Management System in general then please contact our Sustainability Lead – Gary Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org)