Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SSEN Transmission) announced that its targets for GHG emissions reductions have been approved by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). According to SSEN Transmission, it is the first electricity networks company globally to receive target approval for GHG emission reduction goals in line with SBTi’s most ambitious category of keeping warming to 1.5°C.

SBTi was formed as a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), with the goal to establish science-based environmental target setting as a standard corporate practice. Achieving approval of targets by SBTi is a significant milestone for companies’ sustainability efforts, with many companies joining the initiative, but only 430 receiving approval globally to date. Crown stated that the approval follows a stringent validation process by SBTi, which defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ goals.

Rob McDonald, Managing Director of Transmission said:

“The world is warming faster than we imagined even a few years ago and we are running out of time to tackle the threat of climate change, one of the most critical challenges of our generation. It is important that we are all accountable, make tangible changes to help the fight against climate change. That is why we have put net zero emissions at the heart of our business activities.

“We are extremely proud to be the first electricity networks company globally to receive confirmation that our own carbon reduction targets have been scientifically approved for the most ambitious 1.5°C pathway.

“With our network region being home to some of the UK’s greatest resources of renewable energy, we have a critical role to play in helping the UK and Scottish Government meet their commitments to achieve net zero emissions by connecting more renewable energy and transporting it across the country.

“It is important for us, as we work to deliver a Network for Net Zero, that our contribution to the low carbon transition is credible and transparent. The validation of our targets by the Science Based Target initiative ensures that we are held accountable for our carbon reduction commitments and that our actions are measurable; helping to build trust with stakeholders, customers and our communities.

“We now call on other companies to follow our lead and set science based climate change targets and we encourage Ofgem and Government to ensure our net zero ambitions are realised as we approach the next transmission price control period, which begins next April.”

SBTi lists SSEN Transmission’s targets as follows:

Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions 46% by FY2029/2030 from a FY2018/19 base year. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc commits to reduce scope 3 transmission losses GHG emissions 50% per gCO2e from losses/kWh over the same target period. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc also commits that 67% of its suppliers by spend covering capital goods, fuel and energy related activities, upstream transportation and distribution and waste generated in operations, will have science-based targets by FY2024/2025.

Alexander Farsan, global lead for Science Based Targets at World Wide Fund for Nature, one of the SBTi partners said:

“We congratulate SSEN Transmission for becoming the first electricity transmission network operator to set emissions reduction targets consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This is the Paris Agreement’s most ambitious goal and what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says is required to prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change. SSEN Transmission has cleared a high bar and is setting an example that their peers must follow.”