How we look after the environment and the communities we serve

Chris Marden, SSE Group Environment Manager, tells us about the progress SSE has made in its Biodiversity Strategy.

This week we publish our second annual Biodiversity Report which sets out SSE’s Biodiversity Strategy and the progress we’ve made against it. That strategy focusses on protecting and enhancing biodiversity at the same time as connecting people with the natural world. In doing so, we also aim to realise the economic benefits of a diverse natural environment. 

The different aspects of our business – producing, distributing and supplying energy – interact with the natural world in a variety of ways, presenting challenges that need to be managed. 

By working to reduce the carbon intensity of the electricity we generate, we are helping to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. SSE remains one of the biggest producers of renewable electricity in the UK and Ireland.

We also recognise our business has more direct and localised impact on the environment. That is why our approach is to actively manage our activities and the impacts they have in order to minimise negative impacts and maximise positive ones. 

Whether it’s working to reduce biodiversity impacts during construction of developments, ensuring we operate our assets in the most ecologically sensitive way possible or contributing to research in order to help us understand our impacts on biodiversity, we adopt methods that manage and mitigate environmental impacts throughout the entire development process – from the project initiation stage through to construction and operation.  

In the report you can read about some of the important projects SSE is involved in across the UK and Ireland. For example we report projects like the Habitat Management Plan at Galway Wind Park, and the work we are undertaking to understand and resolve the impacts our hydro schemes are having on salmon stocks in the River Conon. We also report more local projects such as how our community funds are improving paths in rural communities and how SSE employees have used their ‘be the difference’ volunteering days to help maintain important local natural resources such as the Hilsea Lines near Portsmouth. It demonstrates that, just as our activities interact with the environment in different ways, SSE is responding to these challenges with an equally varied approach.   

As well as managing our impacts, it’s important that our actions are transparent and accountable to the wider community. SSE’s Biodiversity Report 2015 is an important part in that process and allows us to show exactly how we are taking responsibility for our actions. 

As a company, we benefit greatly from the environment – not least from the renewable power we harness from natural resources. It’s only right we look after and respect the environment and communities which allow us to operate and earn a profit, so we can continue to share this benefit for generations to come. 

Read the report here.