Creating Value for Shareholders and Society

This Sustainability Report 2018 is the sister document of the SSE Annual Report 2018. Both reports share the strategic theme of creating value in a sustainable way. The particular purpose of the Sustainability Report is to disclose the way in which SSE’s business activities impact on the world outside it in support of that strategic theme.

The spirit from which we approach sustainability reporting is to disclose the facts, explain our ambitions for improvement, and then – most importantly – be held to account for progress made. We understand that stakeholder scrutiny and accountability are powerful agents for change and improvement. True openness and transparency means we must disclose imperfect impacts.

This year’s report demonstrates there is scope to reduce SSE’s carbon emissions further; to make swifter progress in closing the gender pay gap; and to improve the processes for speeding up the payment of suppliers. We must do all of this, and more.

The strategic imperative is clear: by improving SSE’s sustainability impacts, we create value both for SSE’s shareholders and for society as a whole. Reducing carbon emissions supports the transition to a low-carbon world, helping to prevent dangerous climate change and presenting economic opportunities for SSE’s future commercial success. Closing the gender pay gap creates a much stronger labour market where the talents and skills of women and men can be better accessed to create value. And, finally, the quicker suppliers are paid, the better we support a financially viable supply chain that our businesses depend upon.

Therefore, creating value for shareholders and society in a sustainable way is SSE’s strategic objective.

2018 is a year of transition for SSE. We are seeking to demerge our household energy and services business in Great Britain, establishing a unique, independent UK-based energy retailer by merging with innogy SE’s subsidiary npower. We believe this will be good for customers and it will enable a greater clarity of focus in both the new retail company and the remaining SSE. The business that remains will be able to direct all its attention on the energy and energy-related infrastructure the UK and Ireland needs. SSE will be a company with networks and renewable electricity generation at its core, with flexible thermal generation providing a key supporting role to variable renewable output, and a number of complementary businesses to support its core purpose.

Through this transition, SSE has taken the opportunity to reassert the significance of sustainability to its business, and this report outlines a number of new ambitions, targets and commitments for the years ahead. From ambitions to improve the gender diversity at the most senior levels, to an important new carbon target for SSE’s electricity generation output, the direction of travel for SSE’s businesses is clear. We seek to create value simultaneously for shareholders and the societies in which we serve and operate. 

Engagement, feedback and comment from our stakeholders is vital if we are to meet those ambitions. That means we actively encourage stakeholders to get in touch by emailing sustainability@sse.com if you have any comments or queries relating to our sustainability performance and reporting.

To read the full report please click here /media/522476/SSE-plc-Sustainability-Report-2018.pdf

About the author

Alistair Phillips-Davies Chief Executive

Alistair became Chief Executive of SSE on 1 July 2013. He has a degree in Natural Sciences and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. He has worked in the energy industry since 1997, when he joined Southern Electric. He was appointed to the Board of SSE as Energy Supply Director in 2002 and was appointed Deputy Chief Executive in 2012. As Chief Executive, he leads the Executive Committee and the rest of the SSE team in the day-to-day running and operations of SSE and is responsible for implementing the strategy and policy set by the Board.

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