Protecting, restoring and enhancing the environment – SSE’s Biodiversity Report 2018.

SSE has published its Biodiversity Report 2018 which sets out the steps it’s taking to protect, restore and enhance biodiversity in the areas it operates.

This year’s report focuses on a range of initiatives across SSE’s business which have made a significant impact on the environment and species in the area, improving the local ecosystems.

From creating bee-friendly habitats at our substation sites, supporting salmon on their impressive migrations along Scotland’s rivers to contributing to vital environmental research, SSE’s businesses have been playing their part in working sustainability with local partners to improve biodiversity across the UK and Ireland.

SSE’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Rachel McEwen, said: “SSE’s Biodiversity Report 2018 is published at a time when there is deep concern about the future of the world’s ecosystems. In February 2019, the first scientific review of insect species at a global level was published. That research found there is global rate of decline of 2.5% a year which, as the authors point out, is devastating for the proper function of ecosystems.

“The root cause of this decline is intensive agriculture with urbanisation and climate change playing a contributory role. So, what can an energy company focused on low-carbon energy do to help?

“While we might not have the most material impact on the global decline in biodiversity, we must understand, respect and contribute to the solution.

“The first contribution we can make to supporting ecosystems is in the role we play to decarbonise electricity. SSE’s entire business strategy is focused on that challenge. We invest, develop and build renewable energy and we build and develop the electricity infrastructure that connects more renewable energy to the grid.

“In 2018, SSE made more progress to that decarbonisation aim, completing the nationally significant Caithness-Moray submarine electricity cable, enabling many hundreds more megawatts of renewable energy to connect to the national grid. We also made progress on the Beatrice wind farm, 13 km offshore from the Caithness coast which, when complete will add a further 588MW of renewable energy to the UK’s generation capacity.

“But we must not stop there. In doing these things, we can impact – positively or negatively – on natural environments. 

“That is why the development of complex plans by one part of SSE’s business, the north of Scotland transmission network, is so welcome. Within the Scottish Hydro Electric (SHE) Transmission sustainability plan, it is proposed to ensure there is no net loss of biodiversity from transmission infrastructure projects by 2020, aiming for net biodiversity gain by 2025.

“This means we will undertake a scientific quantification of biodiversity value before and after an investment project. That will show us exactly how we can develop projects in a way that results in biodiversity being better than before we started the project.

“Because in the long run it is, without doubt, in all our interests that a sustainable solution is found to prevent further devastation of ecosystems and the precious life they support.”

Download this years Biodiversity Report here.

Watch how SSE works with fisheries boards to support the ecosystem within its hydro-electric assets.