EDF Energy has a responsibility to act sustainably towards the environment and communities in which it operates. Among other things, this means seeking to minimise the impact of power stations on their local areas and volunteering to help out with sustainable projects within the local community.
Power station sites
Many of EDF Energy’s power stations are located near areas of wetland, woodland or grassland. Where possible, EDF Energy looks to conduct work carried out at power station sites in such a way as to cause as little disturbance as possible to the wildlife occupying these habitats.
EDF Energy works with local wildlife organisations to help manage and maintain the integrity of these areas throughout the lives of its power stations. For example, the ash lagoons at Cottam power station have been developed into a nature reserve with help from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. The reserve is a haven for over 180 bird species.
The nature reserve surrounding Sizewell B power station is popular with wildlife and nature lovers alike, attracting birdwatchers from all over the world. It has received accolades from the British Trust for Ornithology’s Business Bird Challenge, and in 2009 became the first power station site to achieve the Wildlife Trusts’ coveted Biodiversity Benchmark.
EDF Energy is committed to its long-term plans to restore power station sites as closely as possible to their natural state once its power stations reach the end of their lives. For coal-fired power stations, this can involve reclaiming land used for fuel storage and waste handling, and creating temporary wildlife shelters while habitats are rebuilt. For nuclear power stations, the land can eventually be returned to a natural condition over the course of the power station decommissioning process.
EDF Energy’s Helping Hands programme allows employees to use two days of company time every year to volunteer in their local community. Employees have helped to plant saplings at primary schools in Essex and worked with the London Wildlife Trust to help clear a pathway near the new Olympic Park in Stratford, among other projects.