Northern Powergrid

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Nissan Leaf and WindturbineNorthern Powergrid’s target of net zero operations by 2040 is officially verified. By employing science-based targets to establish a credible pathway to decarbonisation, the distribution network operator for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire joins other businesses and governments working to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The network operator responsible for delivering power to 8 million people across 3.9 million homes and businesses has been working with consultancy Anthesis to refine and determine its science-based targets to ensure that it will achieve net zero operations by 2040.

Now, the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) has verified Northern Powergrid’s net zero plans and targets, ensuring that they align with Paris Agreement goals to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

This means that the DNO can be confident its plans to reduce business carbon footprint (BCF), which include fleet electrification and installing solar panels at its sites to dramatically reduce emissions from day-to-day operations.

The company has already reduced its carbon footprint by 48% since 2015 and is set to invest £135m between 2023 and 2028 as part of its Environmental Action Plan. Some of this investment is dedicated to reducing BCF and by 2028 will have achieved:

  • 20% reduction in Northern Powergrid’s internal BCF
  • Pathway to carbon net neutral operations by 2040
  • Installation of renewable energy at 50 of its sites
  • 348 ultra-low or zero emission vehicles in its fleet
  • Maintaining a responsible procurement charter and supporting supply chain decarbonisation

Gordon Walker, Northern Powergrid’s Environmental Manager, said: “We have a key role in enabling the transition to net zero in our region and it is our responsibility to strive for ambitious net zero targets for our own operations. Our customers, stakeholders and regulator have made it clear that reducing carbon emissions is a priority and setting challenging targets has made it possible for us to make this critical pledge for our company, customers, and the communities we serve.”

Northern Powergrid has set bold targets for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, including targets to reduce direct emissions from owned assets such as fleet vehicles and office heating, and indirect emissions from purchased electricity. The company will also maintain a sustainable procurement charter to support decarbonisation of its supply chain and take carbon impact into consideration on purchases. 

To find out more about Northern Powergrid’s 2023-28 business plan which outlines its £3bn+ investment plans and commitment to supporting a greener energy future, visit