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EDF Energy

Business in the Community's Responsible Business of the Year Award, Finalist, 2016

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants.

Three tips from EDF Energy

  • Being a responsible business is about taking a very long term view.
  • Trust is everything, and is often overlooked as an asset.
  • Never underestimate the value of listening and collaborating with stakeholders.

EDF Energy

Ambitious about sustainability

EDF Energy's Better Energy Ambitions are a set of priorities which directly address social, economic, and environmental megatrends facing the energy sector and the wider economy, including:

  • Decarbonising electricity generation through long term investment in a safe, secure and reliable low-carbon and renewable energy mix, with a target to reduce the carbon intensity of its generation below 100g/KWh by 2030.

  • Keeping energy affordable by focusing on value, better service and simplicity, with energy efficiency and support for vulnerable customers. EDF Energy is delivering low carbon, nuclear-backed products to over 2m account holders, and incentivising businesses to save energy.

  • Tackling STEM skills shortages and preparing the next generation through award winning, inspirational programmes.

  • Using digital technologies to empower customers to generate, store and use energy efficiently. EDF Energy's dedicated innovation platform – Blue Lab – will deliver new products, services and smart energy into customers’ homes and businesses.

  • Transforming supply chains to build the next generation of low carbon power for the UK, providing a huge opportunity for local engagement and regeneration. During the consultation period for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station the company engaged with 6,480 people, held 34 public exhibitions, attended 67 meetings and processed almost 33,000 comments. 

EDF Energy has also provided information and advice to the UK Government, offering the business perspective on achieving low carbon transition and the role nuclear can play in the UK is meeting its climate, supply and affordability challenges. 

Understanding stakeholder priorities

The company undertakes a formal, independent review process every three to five years to identify key sustainability risks and opportunities for all stakeholder groups, using the findings to develop their strategy. Beyond commercial considerations, projects go through a Better Energy Ambitions appraisal tool and Trust Test to ensure that every proposal is fair for customers and stakeholders.

Effective industrial relations

EDF Energy developed a ground-breaking new agreement with their trade unions and supply chain which has been recognised by trade unions and politicians as an example of innovation and best practice in industrial relations. In 2015 the company also worked in partnership with their trade unions to agree a major reform of its pensions schemes.

Balancing immediate impact and future vision

EDF Energy tries to balance long-term vision with a short-term focus. For example, investing in assets that will operate for decades, while in other areas responding to rapid developments taking place in the industry, in particular around digital technologies. The company aims to help their customers benefit from new technologies and make the most of their energy consumption and production while working towards a low carbon future.

What EDF Energy's Chief Executive said:

“This means being an efficient and responsible electricity company - having a long-term vision. A leader in low-carbon generation, we also help our customers tackle climate change. We help them manage their energy consumption as well as innovating to deliver truly smart energy into their homes and businesses. We strive to be a force for good in the communities we serve.
We are also working to inspire younger generations on energy and environmental issues because in all of this, we think not only about the planet we leave to our children, but also the children we leave to our planet.” - Vincent de Rivaz, CBE, Chief Executive, EDF Energy