CARE is an SSE group initiative that our Transmission business has been taking the lead on since 2016. The focus of the initiative is to embed the natural environment and sustainability values in project development and construction, and in day to day operations. CARE is about considering the natural environment in every aspect of our working lives, from looking into the feasibility of a new network project to ensuring we recycle the waste from our site offices. It gives this responsibility to all network employees, clearly setting expectations for Managers, Supervisors and all staff.

CARE builds upon our strongly embedded aim of being a responsible developer and provides a structure to deliver on stakeholder drivers, developing and building our projects in a sustainable manner. Our interaction with the environment needs to consider:

  1. Nature: Landscape, ecology, habitats
  2. History: Heritage, culture, archaeology
  3. People: Employment, quality of life, transportation

CARE makes all employees aware and committed to protecting the environment above and beyond standard regulations. 

The first stage of developing CARE within Transmission, was an in-depth survey conducted with over 450 staff and contractors. There were over 350 responses received which formed the baseline of how well we were currently performing on environmental issues and where we need to improve. Over the last nine months, the Transmission Environment team, have revised our environmental standards and procedures; developed new relevant training resources specific to the jobs we undertake, and established ‘on the ground best practice principles’, raising the awareness of all staff (Transmission employees and contractors) through the CARE acronym. 

With CARE, the aim is to take the core principles and apply these to any procedure. A key aspect of the work we undertake in SHE transmission is the construction of new assets and upgrading existing infrastructure. To support those undertaking the day to day work ‘on the ground’, a Construction Engagement work stream of CARE has been developing the following:

  • Project Environmental Ground Rules: six key rules that we should all meet on our construction sites;
  • Model Environmental Structure: defines environmental responsibilities dependent on your role and how the Environment team can support;
  • Construction Environmental Aspects Graphic: The key considerations are necessary as the construction work progresses;
  • Environmental Cartoons: Good and bad practices for our key activities;
  • Environmental Meetings: Guidance on weekly and monthly discussion/ review points; and
  • Audit Protocol: Updated Audit and site inspection guidance.

"The initial roll out of CARE during 2016/17 has been a great success and really illustrates our commitment to developing projects in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way. Going forward we will continue to embed CARE throughout the business with further emphasis on training for staff and working in partnership with our contractors to set the standard in environmental performance”

Richard Baldwin, Head of Environment, Transmission