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How to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

As the UK and other European governments prepare to legislate for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the focus on sustainability has never been stronger.

Many organisations across the globe are aligning their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and environmental strategies with the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We've joined forces with edie to publish a guide to SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. In this report  Centrica's Andrew Donald explores how businesses can use the seventh goal  to accelerate the transition to an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system.

Centrica is well qualified to advise organisations on how to achieve SDG 7 of 'affordable and clean energy' because this is one of four lead UN Sustainable Development Goals that underpins our global Responsible Business Ambitions.

Setting and committing to goals

Aligning your overarching CSR and environmental strategy with SDGs in this way is critical to achieving success. This involves setting and committing clear, relevant, measurable long-term targets.  For example, our internal goals include reducing Centrica’s internal emissions by 35% in the ten years to 2025; demonstrating that we are on track with The Paris Agreement by 2030; and developing a path to net zero by 2050.

While we focus relentlessly on embedding sustainability across Centrica's own global operation, we recognise that we can make an even bigger impact by helping our customers to use energy more sustainably and by applying our expertise to shape a low carbon future energy system.

Therefore, our 2030 goals also include:

  • Helping customers reduce their emissions by 25%.
  • Enabling a decarbonised energy system by delivering 7GW of flexible, distributed and low carbon technologies, which is comparable to more than 10% of the UK’s current peak demand.

Proven energy sustainability solutions

Although ambitious, these targets are realistic. We've already reduced our own emissions by 80% over the last decade and have retained our A-rating for climate change action and disclosure in the global CDP rankings. We've also helped businesses and public bodies to transform their energy sustainability.

We use the same emissions and cost reducing distributed energy solutions throughout the global Centrica estate as we do across our customers' sites.

This decentralised approach to generating, managing and optimising clean energy combines a range of proven technologies and solutions. We're helping organisations to achieve outstanding cost and carbon savings and to improve energy resilience by combining energy efficiency and advanced energy insights; on-site power generation, such as combined heat and power (CHP) and solar PV; Demand Side Response (DSR) and supply optimisation, and battery storage.

Transitioning to EV

Decarbonising the transport fleet is also part of the sustainability challenge and we're partnering with organisations to enable the transition to electric vehicles (EV).  Our new  EV Enablement solution involves integrating EV infrastructure with renewable on-site distributed solutions.

Distributed energy technologies are now easier to access and more affordable than ever before. This means that we can finance complex energy infrastructure projects via ongoing energy savings, which are repaid via the ongoing energy and operational savings.

Download the edie SDG Spotlight report: How businesses can achieve Goal 7 – Affordable and clean energy