Centrica has a strong track record in setting and achieving carbon reduction targets. In 2007 for example, we embarked on a journey to cut the internal carbon footprint of our property, fleet and travel by 20% by 2015. We exceeded this, having reduced emissions by 27%. We then committed to a further 20% reduction by 2025 which we surpassed just four years later. This led us in 2019 to then set the ambition to reduce our internal carbon footprint and customer emissions in line with Paris goals out to 2030, whilst becoming a net zero business by 2050.
But as the need to accelerate our collective journey to net zero grew, we built on progress already made and strengthened our commitment to tackle climate change even further with the launch of our People & Planet Plan in 2021 – setting new targets to help customers be net zero by 2050 at the latest (28% carbon intensity reduction by 2030), whilst working to become a net zero business ourselves by 2045 (40% carbon reduction by 2034), which is five years ahead of the UK’s net zero deadline.
As a market leader in energy solutions, we’re well-placed to achieve these goals by utilising capabilities to embed sustainable technologies and behaviours across the business.
Against our 2019 baseline, we’ve made strong progress against our net zero targets by reducing the carbon intensity of our customers’ energy use by 18% whilst cutting our businesses’ carbon emissions by 82%.
In 2021 an outage at our Whitegate power station temporarily reduced our carbon emissions leading to much of the 82% reduction that year. However across the business, hawse also accelerated savings through efforts to drive organisational efficiencies and move away from upstream generation and production, as well as the roll-out of green tariffs and the installation of low carbon and energy efficient technologies. These included Combined Heat & Power, LED lighting, on-site solar and optimisation services, biomass boilers and battery storage.
To reduce the emissions of our 10,500-strong road fleet, we purchased 3,000 e-Vivaro electric vans from Vauxhall which is the largest commercial electric vehicle (EV) order of its kind in the UK.
Through our membership of EV100, a global initiative that brings together forward-looking companies that want to accelerate the transition to EVs, we’ll continue to share learning about the roll-out and use services and solutions developed for our own fleet to help drive forward the transition to EVs forward.
Meanwhile, we also inspire colleagues to reduce wider travel emissions. Colleagues for example are provided with the latest IT solutions so that they can work flexibly from home when they want, with virtual meeting software and cloud-based data storage. We also incentivise the take-up of green travel options such as having an EV-only company car policy and have introduced a salary sacrifice scheme to enable colleagues to lease an EV at a competitive cost.
In Centrica’s Climate Transition Plan published in 2021, we set out how we plan to deliver our net zero targets whilst ensuring a fair and affordable transition for all.
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