By Peter Close
Director of Safety and Sustainability, Cadent
Many of you will know that, here at Cadent, we are industry-leading in our approach to finding solutions to climate change issues and helping the UK reach net zero
. We’re helping to shape the future UK energy landscape to be one that keeps us warm, in a carbon neutral way.
What we haven’t shouted about as much, but have every intention of doing moving forward, is how we’re using our influence to leverage improvements on biodiversity. The two go hand-in-hand and there is growing societal concern (rightly) about the significant loss of biodiversity in the UK.
We know we can play our part in helping to reverse that trend. We already do huge amounts. For example, we have begun a programme undertaking full habitat surveys at many of our sites. This enables us to develop and implement a site-specific biodiversity action plan, including enhancements such as tree and wildflower planting and installation of bat and bird boxes.
And at ad hoc
operational sites, those where we may have open excavations to deal with gas leaks for example, we require our teams to follow strict protocols that keep everything safe and minimise impact. While there is thankfully no evidence to suggest our work adversely affects wildlife in an urban setting, it’s a very different challenge and consideration when we are working in rural areas. Here we often employ the services of ecological experts to guide on ensuring we negate our environmental impact. In one major project about to begin in our North West network, for example, we have carried out surveys to ensure we do not disturb habitats for otters, bats and badgers.
We also chair the environmental group of the Energy Networks Association, so have the opportunity to bring the industry with us too. Because together we are greater than the sum of our parts.