SSE adopts new sustainability objectives linked to UN Sustainable Development Goals
UK-listed energy company SSE has set itself stretching new targets for 2030 in a bid to tackle climate change and support global goals for sustainable development.
Four key objectives, aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, have been created and will be directly linked to executive performance measures – putting sustainability right at the heart of SSE’s strategy and operations.
The 2030 objectives are:
- Cut the carbon intensity of the electricity it generates by 50% - linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate action.
- Treble renewable energy output by developing and building more, contributing to renewable output of 30TWh (terawatt hours) a year - linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy.
- Pave the way to help accommodate 10 million electric vehicles in Great Britain by investing in electricity network flexibility and infrastructure - linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure.
- Become the leading company in the UK and Ireland championing Fair Tax and the real Living Wage - linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth.
To demonstrate the seriousness by which it is placing the goals, SSE senior management team will be judged against progress against them. In addition, the company has appointed its first Chief Sustainability Officer, reporting directly to the Chief Executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies, one of only a small number of FTSE 100 firms to do so.
Alistair Phillips-Davies, said: “We’ve put the transformation to a low carbon economy at the heart of our strategy and these measures demonstrate how seriously we take that commitment. Our ambition is to be a leading energy company in a low carbon world.
“The four ambitious objectives underpin what our businesses stand for and our investment in long-term, sustainable, low carbon assets and infrastructure will contribute to the UK and Ireland’s climate change targets while building a fairer and more prosperous society.
“The UN has created a blueprint for a sustainable world and it’s one we are putting front and centre of our business. These goals are at the heart of our business strategy and our senior team will be held to account for the progress we make against them.”
Dame Sue Bruce, independent Chair of SSE’s Remuneration Committee, said: “Through this new approach, very clear and ambitious environmental, social and economic sustainable goals have now been cemented into the business strategy. Aligning directly those aims to how executive directors and other senior managers are rewarded, over time, sets a precedent for how we feel sustainability should be regarded by business leadership.
“We have received clear feedback from shareholders and stakeholders stating they would welcome climate change and sustainability incentives for senior leaders and I look forward to discussing this with them in the weeks to come.”
SSE has one of the largest pipelines of renewables projects in the UK and Ireland and its electricity networks businesses are at the forefront of the green energy revolution.
Independent evidence already suggests its sustainability credentials are amongst the best in the FTSE 100. SSE maintained its ‘AAA’ Leadership rating from MSCI ESG Research and its CDP Climate Change score increased from a ‘B’ in 2017/18 to an ‘A-. It is the first FTSE100 company to achieve the independent Fair Tax Mark accreditation in 2014 and has achieved it every year since and has been an accredited Living Wage employer since 2013.