Has the UK just seen its greenest year ever?

Has the UK just seen its greenest year ever?

Has the UK just seen its greenest year ever?

Businesses that have made strong environmental performance one of their key goals for 2018 will be heartened to hear that the year just gone was the greenest on record for the UK, according to new analysis.

Nature conservation group WWF brought together figures from various sources to show how much progress the country has made over the past 12 months.

Highlights of the year included the first 24-hour period without coal generation since the Industrial Revolution, which occurred on April 21st, and the longest period without coal generation (40 hours, 35 minutes on October 28th and 29th).

The summer of 2017 was the greenest ever, with more than half of overall electricity generation between June 21st and September 22nd coming from low-carbon sources, according to National Grid data.

October 2nd last year brought the lowest amount of carbon produced by electricity production at any one moment - 73g of CO2 per kilowatt hour.

On a similarly encouraging note, the largest amount of electricity generated by renewable sources at any one moment - a total of 19.2 gigawatts - was recorded on March 21st.

June 7th 2017 heralded another milestone, with wind, nuclear and solar power generating more than gas and coal combined for the first time in history.

Gareth Redmond-King, head of energy and climate at WWF, said 2017 was "an amazing year for renewable electricity in Britain".

"We have never been cleaner or greener - and we are on course for an even better year in 2018," he continued. "Climate change is wreaking havoc on our nature and wildlife, but we are at last facing up to the challenge, turning our backs on polluting fossil fuels and embracing a new clean future."

Looking ahead
In anticipation of what 2018 could bring, WWF said the coming year could herald the start of "a new era of low-carbon electricity".

Duncan Burt, director of the system operator at National Grid, said: "I'm sure there will be more records broken in 2018 and we're ready and excited to play our part."

However, WWF also stressed that there is much more to do. Despite the possibility for 2018 to be "the year of opportunity for clean energy", the organisation said there must be clear government action to realise this potential.

It called for specific measures to decarbonise heating and to reduce energy consumption in the built environment, as well as an end to sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

Your business can do its bit to help the environment by making simple changes such as stocking offices with reusable supplies, adopting green procurement policies and cutting down on unnecessary waste.

Provide education for employees on simple practices and behavioural changes that can boost energy efficiency and make your organisation more sustainable.

Furthermore, it's important to ensure you are working with suppliers and partners that can demonstrate strong green standards and policies of their own.


Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/lukbar