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2018 Sustainable Business Report

Our framework for being a sustainable and responsible energy business

The Better Plan is an integral part of EDF’s 2030 vision – to be the efficient, responsible electricity company, and champion of low-carbon growth.

Our society depends on energy to live, work, develop and grow. Our customers depend on us to produce enough affordable energy– and to do it in a sustainable way. And we depend on our people to help us take on new challenges and fulfil our ambitions.

We want to deliver Better Lives, Better Experience and Better Energy for all of society.

The Better Plan will help us to drive innovation, achieve profitable business growth, save costs and manage the risks of doing business in an increasingly volatile world – and, importantly, that we do all these things in a sustainable and a responsible way.

THE BETTER PLAN stick of rock


We will innovate to transform people’s lives with skills and job opportunities.

  • Health and safety
  • Future skills
  • Building stronger communities


We will innovate to help all customers manage energy better.

  • Customer service
  • Supporting vulnerable customers
  • Energy efficiency solutions


We will innovate to lead the UK’s transition to safe, low-carbon energy:

  • Nuclear power
  • Decarbonising our electricity
  • Environmental impact

Creating The Better Plan

To achieve long-term success as a sustainable and responsible business, we aim to understand the most material issues affecting our company.

By addressing those issues, we can focus our resources, stakeholder engagement and reporting activities.

We have developed a process for identifying and prioritising our sustainability activity. We determine these using a range of inputs, including stakeholder discussions and research. These inputs are analysed by our Sustainable Business and Strategy teams, with support from the relevant Business Units.

We then prioritise these against a set of criteria that measure the level of stakeholder concern on an issue. We consider this alongside the potential that issue has to impact us as a business, and our ability to influence this impact. Each is then categorised as ‘significant’ or ‘non-significant’.

The starting point was to firmly align with the values and goals of our parent company, EDF Group, who have set strategic vision to 2030 to be the efficient, responsible electricity company, champion of low-carbon growth. 

Secondly the material and future issues affecting our business were reviewed and mapped against stakeholder interests.  We identified three strategic goals where we make an important contribution to society and economy through: Better Lives, Better Experience and Better Energy and underpinned these with the creation of 16 goals and targets in our Better Energy Ambitions to measure innovation and progress to 2030.  

We developed a process for identifying and prioritising issues involving stakeholder analysis and feedback. These were prioritised through an evaluation of criteria relating to the measure of the level of stakeholder concern against our impact as a business and our ability to influence change.  This resulted in a classification of ‘significant’ or ‘non-significant’ impact categories. 

  • STAGE 1
    Internally, we benchmarked ourselves against various companies with notable sustainability programmes and aspirations. We also benchmarked ourselves against our direct competitors.
  • STAGE 2
    We spoke to both internal and external stakeholders to assess our position in regards to sustainable and responsible business. We also sought their feedback on what they believed were the most significant issues for their respective stakeholders groups.
  • STAGE 3
    We commissioned Deloitte to facilitate an internal assessment to determine material issues for our business. This took the form of a questionnaire followed up with a workshop.
  • STAGE 4
    In collaboration with teams throughout the business, we developed a road map to understand what future challenges and risks the energy industry is likely to face between now and 2030.

EDF Group’s CAP 2030 strategy was developed alongside the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which attained a benchmark of excellence. We completed an exercise to assess our alignment with the strategy.
Key findings from the research concluded that:

  • Our Better Energy Ambitions cover the right issues. However, stakeholder feedback revealed that there is too much detail: our plans are not coming across simply and clearly enough.
  • External stakeholders believed that we could show more ambition, given the realities we face and the leadership shown by other companies.
  • We had an opportunity to outline how our business contributes to addressing our material issues.

Following this research and its conclusions, our Executive Team sponsored the update of our Better Energy Ambitions and development of three strategic goals to address our most material issues.

This process has made our sustainable business plan broader and more forward-looking, with a clear direction on the areas where we believe we can have the greatest impact. 

Aligning our Better Plan with the EDF 2030 Strategic Vision, Corporate Social Responsibility Goals and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Our Better Plan includes six core Better Energy Ambitions for improving our social, economic and environmental performance. They are closely linked to both EDF Group’s Corporate Responsibility (CSR) Goals and, in turn, the United Nations’ long term vision for sustainable development – the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Our Better Energy ambitions

Our six Better Energy Ambitions set out our short, medium and long-term goals and targets for improving our social, economic and environmental performance.

By meeting these ambitions, we will have created Better Lives, Better Experience and Better Energy - The Better Plan - in a sustainable and responsible way. 

We believe all harm is preventable. That’s why Zero Harm is an enduring priority for us. This ambition means making sure our workplaces are safe and healthy for everyone: our employees and anyone working on our behalf.

More than 10 years since we made it a priority, Zero Harm is part of our culture and the way we operate. We launched the ambition in 2007, following tragic fatalities which made us determined that safety needs to be a 'non-negotiable, enduring priority.' Everyone deserves to go home from work unharmed.

We take a rigorous approach to risk and have introduced innovative programmes. For example, we start every meeting by discussing our Daily Safety Message. This keeps Occupational Health & Safety at the forefront of all our minds, all day, every day.

We are now industry-leading when it comes to our safety performance. Many of our sites go long periods without a recordable safety incident. 

Our ambition is to be better than anyone else at solving our customers’ energy needs. We will achieve this by doing the basics brilliantly, whilst caring for the most vulnerable in society, and seizing the opportunities that demand for digital will offer; including digital energy efficiency solutions. 

The fundamental need for energy won’t disappear, but traditional ways of working with our customers will change. We are embracing this future and taking action to ensure we are better than anyone else at solving customers’ energy needs. We will achieve this by doing the basics brilliantly and offering great service, which in turn will earn us the right to add value to our customers and innovate.  This includes making things easier for customers whilst providing them more choice and more control over their energy consumption.

At EDF Energy, as a responsible business, caring for all of our customers is something we have always considered our duty. For the most vulnerable in society, our aim is to develop our internal processes and develop more collaborative third party partnerships. This will enable us to provide more holistic support to make sure that we add sustained value for those that need it most.

Demand for digital is radically changing the way we interact with customers.  We are therefore seizing these opportunites including digital energy efficiency solutions and services, to enable customers to manage their energy better.

We believe in a decarbonised future and are committed to leading the UK’s transition to a safe, low-carbon energy system. The Climate Change Act in 2008 committed the UK Government to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. In 2016, the UK renewed this commitment when it ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. By 2050, low-carbon nuclear and renewables will fulfil most of our electricity needs. As the UK’s largest low-carbon generator, EDF Energy is helping to enable this future.

We have extended the lives of our nuclear power stations so they can keep generating low-carbon electricity until the next generation of plants comes online. Until that time, our coal and gas power stations will also stand ready to provide electricity when needed. We have an ambition to expand our renewables footprint in the UK as part of our diverse energy future.

We are also investing in new low-carbon technologies like battery storage, small modular reactors and tidal energy. And of course, the UK Government’s decision to go ahead with our proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in 2016 has opened a new chapter in the UK’s long standing nuclear industry.

We are working to give back to society, share the value we create and help to grow the economy we all depend on. We provide an essential service to society and it’s important that we do this in a responsible way. We want to be a better kind of energy company – one that thinks long-term and does business fairly and openly. That is why our ambition is to achieve a strong financial and ethical performance. We have made this central to how we do business.

This ambition also has a focus on transparency and honesty across our financial activities and performance. We are bearing down on costs across our operations, investing our profits wisely and managing our taxes responsibly, to ensure our customers get value for money. We are also contributing to the UK as a whole by paying our taxes, creating jobs and investing in the low carbon energy supply and infrastructure that will serve the country for years to come.

All our people work to our guiding principles for ethical behaviour and our business values. We regularly communicate these in lots of different ways. We also give our people the tools to work in an honest and ethical way and the confidence and processes to report any instances where we suspect we have not. 

We are currently in a transitional phase to a diverse low-carbon energy future where we believe nuclear and renewables have a key part to play. We aim to incorporate sustainability principles and standards into all stages of the generating lifecycle to ensure we design, construct, operate and decommission our generating assets safely and responsibly. Our aim is to be world leaders in the field of nuclear operational excellence, and we are committed to addressing environmental, financial and stakeholder expectations.

We know that what we do has a lasting impact on people’s lives so we are investing in training and job creation, skills and education programmes. We want to be at the forefront of the UK’s long-term industrial transformation, and in doing so, help to close the equality gaps that we see in our society today. An investment in people is an investment in our country and our company’s future – whether it’s creating thousands of job opportunities or reaching out to our communities through our visitor centres.