Sharing the Journey to Net Zero

Sharing the Journey to Net Zero

By Colin Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Energy Assets Group

Climate change. Rising energy costs. COP26.

Has there ever been a time in our history more focused on energy efficiency, carbon reduction and sustainability?

The world’s leaders will shortly converge on Glasgow for COP26. So it’s a good moment to pause and assess the contribution we can all make – as businesses and individuals – to help decarbonise our economy.

For us, this means reflecting on how the products and services we provide to customers can support Net Zero goals. It also means creating an organisational culture that mitigates our impact on the planet. One thing is sure, it’s only through shared endeavour that we’ll truly make a difference.

We operate across various markets fundamental to a more sustainable future:

  • designing and constructing utilities networks ready for low carbon technologies
  • collecting and analysing energy data to improve efficiency
  • supporting the country’s EV charging network rollout
  • developing the local energy network resilience needed for greater electrification.

This vertically integrated business model means we’re strongly positioned to help customers deliver a more sustainable future right across the energy landscape.

Collaborating with our customers

For example, in step with the drive for lower carbon energy usage in homes, we design and construct resilient electricity networks, ready for domestic heat-pumps, EV charge points and renewables integration. At the same time, any gas pipe we install is already future-proofed to carry hydrogen or an appropriate methane/hydrogen blend.  

We should certainly all feel encouraged by investment in low carbon technologies, clean energy generation and sustainable sources of heating. However, what we can’t ignore is the need to improve energy efficiency everywhere – today – for both environmental and affordability reasons.

Central to achieving this is data. We’re accredited to provide half hourly meter reads, in-house, enabling I&C customers to crunch consumption data at a granular level. Our advanced monitoring, reporting and machine learning systems help eradicate waste and optimise efficiency.  

We also need to be prepared for the era of greater electrification. So as final mile network owners, we’re leading on a project, grant funded by Innovate UK, harnessing artificial intelligence to balance loads as we shift to mass EV home charging. We’ve also developed a common design standard for EV charging networks, enabling major operators to accelerate their nationwide installation programmes.

Creating a sustainability culture

Of course, as an energy services company, we also feel a responsibility to lead by example.  

So, we’ve set stretching targets to reduce both our direct and indirect emissions, including:

  • improving energy efficiency in our buildings
  • transitioning our entire fleet (including works vans) to EV or hybrid vehicles by 2025
  • mandating the use of more sustainable transport modes, primarily rail

At the same time, our certified and audited waste reduction and recycling programmes are going further than ever before – meaning we no longer send anything to landfill.

Critically, we’re taking our people with us on this journey. Staff personal objectives are linked to sustainable behaviours and our environmental goals are inherent in the ‘EA Way’ – our people and processes change programme.

We’re developing a culture which celebrates sustainable ways of working. But, we know there’s more to do. Whether it’s in partnership with customers, through office changes, on construction sites, or simply turning the thermostat down at home, our combined actions will help leave a lasting legacy for future generations. The smallest steps matter when we all work together.

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We’re fully accredited in multi-utility metering and multi-utility infrastructure construction and adoption.