By Ritchie Lafaille, Office Fellow
“The Natural Grid” program, which sees National Grid using its green spaces for good, has been named a finalist in the BITC Environmental Leadership awards. Environmental Sustainability Manager Ian Glover explains why it’s so important for the business to make a positive contribution.
Some of the UK’s most treasured species, including birds and butterflies, are in significant decline as their habitats shrink and become more fragmented. Through our Natural Grid program, they’re finding new ways to use our land which benefit our neighbors and communities and, in doing so, improve the quality of nature on their properties.
The program was born from their environmental and sustainability strategy, which they rolled out in 2012/13. One of the big themes they looked at was how, as a company with significant amounts of land, they could not only minimize their environmental footprint, but deliver more positive benefits by enhancing the natural world alongside their energy grids.
Along with the clear environmental benefits, it’s important that the program makes sense to National Grid as a business. As a highly-regulated organization, they need to show that everything they do is creating returns and providing value to their customers. To help demonstrate this, they’ve developed valuation tools that actually put a price on these “priceless” assets. They allow National Grid to highlight their value, prove that the programs they put in place are more efficient, help them reduce risk, increase long-term environmental quality and enhance their reputation.
These tools tell us that National Grid has up to £500 million of natural capital value there! So it’s vital that they make the right decisions that not only preserve that value, but enhance it.
The Natural Grid is growing and they’re proud to have been named a finalist at the BiTC’s Responsible Business awards. It’s recognition that they’re showing new ways for land and natural assets to be managed that are more efficient, collaborative and drive environmental improvements.
National Grid is also seeing a lot of personal passion on display across their sites. Many of their people are voluntarily looking out of their windows and taking the opportunity to build bird boxes and new habitats for local wildlife. The Natural Grid is a fantastic opportunity to get even more colleagues and construction partners engaged in breathing new life into our precious landscapes. Thank you to Chapter Sponsoring Partner National Grid for building on their commitment to sustainability through this program!