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SSE Renewables launches Net Zero Transition Plan at COP28

06 Dec 2023

Kate Wallace Lockhart, Head of Sustainability at SSE Renewables, addressing delegates at a roundtable event with key stakeholders at COP28 in Dubai on the occasion of the launch by SSE Renewables of its Net Zero Transition Plan.

New report sets out approach to reduce carbon footprint between now and 2050

SSE Renewables has today published a Net Zero Transition Plan, outlining the company’s approach to reducing its business carbon footprint in line with climate science between now and 2050.

The new plan – which was officially launched at a roundtable event with key stakeholders at COP28 in Dubai today – serves as a roadmap to net zero, identifying carbon-intensive ‘hotspots’ in the development and production of renewable energy which SSE Renewables will seek to address across the business.

The plan sets out the approach SSE Renewables will take from now through to 2030 and 2035 and out to 2050 to reduce its business carbon footprint, including shorter, medium and long-term science-based carbon reduction targets. To achieve these targets, the company has set out a range of ten actions to be taken between now and 2050 to reduce Scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions within the company’s direct operational control, as well as Scope 3 GHG emissions in the company’s value chain over which it has influence but no direct control.

In the shorter term to 2030, the company will seek to reduce the carbon intensity of scope 1 and 2 emissions by 66% by 2030 (tCO2e/MWh) and set a target for 90% of suppliers by spend to have set their own science-based carbon reduction targets within the same timeframe.

In the medium term to 2035, SSE Renewables will seek to be net zero for scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2035 and reduce the carbon intensity of scope 3 emissions by 66% by 2035 (tCO2e/MW in construction).

In the long term from 2035 to 2050, SSE Renewables has an ambition to be net zero for remaining scope 3 emissions by 2050.

From here on, SSE Renewables will report annually on its progress against these new carbon reduction targets.

On the launch of the plan, Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Renewables, said:

"Tackling climate change is what we do in SSE Renewables, with a fully-budgeted plan to double our net installed renewable energy capacity from 4.5GW today to 9GW by 2027, and an ambition to build upon this further to at least 16GW by 2032. However, to be a real leader in the net zero transition we have to go further, ramping up renewables in a way that is truly sustainable from end to end.

Without new ways of doing things, the clean energy being produced by the renewables sector will still be reliant on high-carbon activities and value chains. By committing to a plan which is ambitious and transparent, with a healthy dose of realism for the challenges ahead, we are determined we can achieve net zero emissions across our direct operations by 2035, and across our entire supply chain by 2050. As a business with sustainability at its very core, the report is designed to show how we intend to ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to net zero, not just ‘talk the talk."

Stephen Wheeler Managing Director of SSE Renewables

Kate Wallace Lockhart, Head of Sustainability, SSE Renewables, added:

“This is an important milestone for SSE Renewables to officially launch our Net Zero Transition Plan today at COP28. The message this year at COP is clear – we need to triple the world’s renewables by 2030, and at the same time do it in a way that is positive for people and planet. This is going to take a whole lot of innovation and collaboration and we know there is no time to waste, which is why I was delighted to get that conversation started today with representatives from key stakeholders.

“As our business continues to grow significantly over the years to come, decoupling that growth from carbon emissions is absolutely critical for achieving the biggest challenge we face, net zero, in a way that doesn’t end up contributing to the very problem we are trying to solve. This will only be achieved by working with our partners, peers, customers, communities, civil society, policy-maker and – critically – our supply chain. And fundamentally it will come down to our teams across SSE Renewables. It will be the inspiring and innovative people working in every part of the business that will continue to drive cleaner ways to achieve our net zero ambitions – in a truly sustainable way.”

You can read the plan in full here.