EMISSIONS INTO THE AIR
Our carbon emissions into the air come from our commercial buildings and business travel, as well as from our operations. In 2017 we introduced some new initiatives including:
- Ensuring all of our metering and sub metering at all of our non-operational sites uses the latest smart metering, to give us accurate and timely data about our energy use
- Initiatives to encourage staff to drive less, more responsibly, and to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles.
- Improving our management of refrigerants. Our emissions of refrigerant gases (from air conditioning units) was 3,003 tonnes of CO2e in 2017 and we know we need to do more. The revised Montreal Protocol will require us to replace refrigerant gases with ones that have no climate change impact.
Carbon emissions increased from 7,194 (Kt) in 2017 to 7,238 (Kt) in 2018 as we generated more electricity from gas and coal fired generation to make up for the outages at our nuclear plants.
See our total travel emissions graph below
THE WILDLIFE TRUSTS' BIODIVERSITY BENCHMARK
In 2018, we have continued to ensure that all of our operational nuclear sites hold the Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark. The standard certifies our systems for achieving continual biodiversity protection and enhancement across all of our nuclear sites.
For our Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C projects, planned works to ensure that we can mitigate the impact of these projects are well underway.
Our goal has been to make sure our use of water is minimised and sustainably used throughout our operations. The volume of water we use at each of our power stations is largely driven by the station’s cooling requirements, technology and maximum power output. The amount of cooling water we abstracted from coastal waters and the River Trent dropped from 8,565 million cubic meters in 2017 to 8,179 million cubic meters in 2018. Of which in 2018, 49 million cubic meters of water was fresh water abstracted from the River Trent. With the announced closure of Cottam later in 2019, we expect to see a further significant drop in the amount of water that we sustainably extract from the River Trent.
See graph below
Environmental incidents remain at historically low levels and we have had no (zero) environmental prosecutions or high potential events in 2018. However, we have seen some adverse trends in terms of conventional waste management and the loss of low risk chemicals to secondary containment systems, but these events did not cause any harm to the environment. We have fully investigated the incidents that are of most concern to ensure that we share the learning from these events to prevent similar events occurring in the future.
In 2018 we continued to send no conventional waste to landfill from our offices, which is the fourth year in a row that we have achieved this. Since 2015 we have seen a decrease of 33% in waste generation (427 tonnes) at our offices, and the total amount of conventional waste we disposed for EDF Energy as a whole decreased from 26,354 tonnes in 2017 to 20,980 tonnes in 2018.
During 2018 we have pilot programmes in place to reduce the use of paper cups, reduce the amount of paper used for printing and to improve the recovery of materials from our waste streams. At the end of 2018, EDF Energy signed up to the Business in the Community’s Waste to Wealth Commitment. We will report progress against this commitment in future years.