Posted on: 13/12/2019
After the launch of our Sustainability Report 2019, Deputy Vice-President of Marketing, Mike Shirley outlines some key highlights and what future actions we’re taking to reduce our carbon footprint.
With 2019 having seen the UK make a binding commitment to reach net zero by 2050, the sustainability of business operations has never been more front-of-mind.
As an energy supplier, not only do we have a responsibility to ensure the sustainability of our own business operations, but by helping to transition the energy system to a low carbon one, we enable our customers to make their own low carbon choices and meet the national net zero 2050 target.
Of the total 7.8TWh electricity we supplied in 2018/19, 79.3% (6.2TWh) came from renewable sources, more than twice the UK Grid Average of 32.8%. The carbon intensity of our total supply mix has dropped this year too, reducing from 112gCO2/kWh to 74gCO2/kWh.
Taking a more internal focus, we’ve undertaken a number of initiatives to improve our own sustainability this year. We have set up a new Sustainability Forum, reporting to the Operational Committee and bringing together people from across the business to define, scope and resource the plans to make the most impactful change.
And as of January 2020, SmartestEnergy is moving its London office too. Waving goodbye to Dashwood House, we’ll be taking up residence in The Columbus Building, Canary Wharf. The building itself boasts a ‘very good’ Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating, which highlights the sustainability credentials of the building.
As part of the office move, we’ll be reducing our floorspace and promoting different ways of working. In our current location at Dashwood House, we accommodate our London based staff across 1 and a half floors. In the new office, we’ll be based on one, smaller floor which should help us reduce our power and heat demands. We are achieving that by adopting more flexible working, giving employees the opportunity to work in the most appropriate location. So not only do our office emissions fall but we reduce peak employee travel as well.
To find out more about what both we and our customers are doing to help reach net zero, take a look at our Sustainability Report 2019 here.
The challenges are big if we are to reduce carbon to zero by 2050 - but we’re optimistic that we’re doing our bit to help.
About the author
Mike Shirley joined SmartestEnergy in March 2014 to head up Marketing, Insight and Product Development. His career before then had focused on the technology sector, working for major brands including EE, Orange and Colt Telecom. The expertise gained in the fast-moving telecoms sector is now being used to help SmartestEnergy better understand how to anticipate and meet customer needs to support its unique position in the energy market. Mike has been at the forefront of building SmartestEnergy’s market-leading renewable electricity product offering. Most recently he has led the development of the UK’s first certified 100% renewable electricity supply product, which is certified by the Carbon Trust and enables corporates to report zero carbon emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Scope 2 Guidance.