Our company wide ISO14001 environmental management system helps us to ensure that any potential risk to the environment and the communities in which we operate is minimised and that we continually manage and improve our environmental performance.
Since 2011 we have been certified to ISO14001, the international standard for environmental management systems (EMS), across all four of our licence areas.
During this time we have found having the certification beneficial in a number of ways:
- Validates how we manage our operational activities via our own EMS to ensure minimal impact on the environment.
- Provides confidence to interested parties and industry regulators.
- Ensures that we meet all of our compliance obligations.
- Provides a consistent and recognisable approach to how we manage environmental issues across our entire business.
- Demonstrates our value of good environmental stewardship.
- Encourages our business to improve our environmental performance and to look to future developments in environmental management and sustainability.
During 2022/23 we successfully maintained our business wide certification to the ISO14001 environment management system standard. Our external auditor, NQA, found no major nor minor non-conformances throughout their extensive visit.
The only findings identified were Opportunities for Improvement (OFI) which have subsequently all been assessed and acted upon if appropriate. During 2022/23 we successfully implemented a companywide Competent Management System (CMS), certified externally by NQA to the EU Skills Council standard.
Environmental Employee Awareness
Ensuring and maintaining that all of our employees are aware of their environmental responsibilities and the impact that their activities could potentially have on the environment is a key requirement of our environmental management system.
Throughout RIIO-ED1 we have delivered environmental awareness training throughout the organisation, many courses tailored to specific operational needs. We have also spent more time in the business engaging directly with staff and colleagues at local offices and depots. Furthermore we have utilised other platforms to engage employees in environmental management including recording a selection of podcasts and informational videos on topics such as net zero, biodiversity and waste.
Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Conferences
2022/23 NGED SHE Conferences have been held in person at locations across each of our four licence areas, attendance at each event being approximately 150 people.
Each Conference has been well supported by NGED senior management with both NGED employees and many of our contractors attending. Environmental sustainability is an established agenda item at every NGED SHE Conference and during 2022/23 there have been presentations delivered and roundtable discussions on a wide range of topics including:
• achieving net zero
• electric vehicles
• resource management and circular economy
• biodiversity net gain.
Employee awareness sessions
Throughout 2022/23 we have continued to deliver, both in person and virtually, environmental awareness sessions at our depots across all four NGED licence areas. While some aspects of the sessions are tailored to meet the specific needs of each depot, the following environmental issues continue to be briefed as standard:
• Environment Strategy
• RIIO-ED2 Environmental Action Plan
• ISO14001 and Competence Management System (CMS)
• Pollution prevention
• Waste management
• NGED environmental aspects
• Employee responsibility.
Community Environmental Support and Awareness
At NGED we take our duty to be a socially responsible business seriously by taking active steps; proactively supporting local charity and community projects that are aligned with our company objectives.
This includes a commitment to supporting the protection of our environment and wildlife, supporting the government’s net zero carbon emissions aim, while also encouraging biodiversity. We seek to raise awareness of these vital activities through our internal and external communications.
As part of NGED’s ongoing commitment to the environment, we are committed to planting native trees and shrubs in our operating regions each year. This is achieved through partnerships with The Conservation Volunteers and Groundwork Wales. In 2022/23, we have continued our work in partnership with Groundworks Wales and The Conservation Volunteers. This means that up to 5,000 trees have now been planted through the scheme across our region.