We’re delighted to share our annual Sustainability Report which measures our sustainability performance and progress in implementing our stakeholder-led Sustainability Strategy.  

This report is being published at what feels like a pivotal point in history with the publication of the IPCC Sixth Assessment report and as the UK prepares to host COP26, of which we are proud to be a principal partner through the SSE group. It also comes at the end of the RIIO-T1 regulatory period, allowing us to reflect on the progress made over the past eight years.

Between 2013 and 2020, the UK electricity sector’s emissions have fallen by over 100 MtCO2e. In the north of Scotland, we have invested over £3 billion in the network infrastructure that has allowed renewable generation to more than double. The clean green electricity produced in the north of Scotland is playing an outsized role in the effort to decarbonise our nation.

Looking back on our journey so far to net zero, throughout RIIO-T1 we have:

  • More than doubled the amount of renewable generation connected to our network from 3.4 GW to 6.7 GW displacing an estimated 38 MtCO2e from generation connected to our network
  • Become the world’s first electricity networks company to receive Science Based Target Initiative accreditation for our carbon reduction targets which are in line with a 1.5°C global warming pathway
  • Developed an industry-leading and award-winning Biodiversity Net Gain approach to improve the environmental impact of our projects, committing to making no-net loss on project consented from 2020 and making a Biodiversity Net Gain on projects consented from 2025
  • Worked with our local communities including £429,286 contributed from the community resilience fund
  • Achieved leadership in Ofgem’s Environmental Discretionary Reward scheme for the last three years

Focusing on 2020/21 we’ve:

  • Continued to connect and transport renewable energy whilst advocating to remove barriers to connecting renewables in the north of Scotland including the publication of our Transmission Charging Paper and ScotWind advocacy
  • Energised the first GB SF6-free Siemens Clean Air Power Voltage Transformers in GB at our Glen Kyllachy substation
  • Achieve independent assurance of our greenhouse gas emission reporting to international standards – the first GB network licensee to achieve this
  • Demonstrated how Biodiversity Net Gain approaches can be implemented by showing improved biodiversity of 92% at Alyth substation

Our people

We couldn’t have delivered the achievements outlined in this report without the support of local communities, stakeholders, customers and our most valuable asset, our people. Our team has grown by 31% in the last 12 months, enabling us to continue creating new green jobs and create opportunities to grow meaningful careers for our existing employees.

Supporting our communities

Alongside our sister company SSEN Distribution, we used our community resilience fund to provide much needed Covid-19 support to over 115 communities across the North of Scotland. The last 12 months has also seen us adapt our engagement approach to ensure we have been able to maintain a strong level of meaningful stakeholder engagement during the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has brought.  


Looking to the future, RIIO-T2 will see us play a key role in delivering a Network for Net Zero by connecting and transporting electricity from at least 10 GW of renewables, including connecting the Shetland HVDC link to the GB electricity network, and reinforcing and upgrading the existing transmission network whilst delivering our industry leading Sustainability Action Plan.

We’re proud of our strong track record and contribution to the journey to net zero so far. And we look forward to meeting the challenges set by our Science Based Target Initiative commitments in line with a 1.5°C global warming pathway and delivering on RIIO-T2 commitments including reducing our carbon emissions by a third.

We’re always open to feedback and welcome this throughout the year to help further inform our work. Please contact us at TransmissionSustainability@sse.com

Please read our full report here


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