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Time to beat air pollution

Category : News

How SSE Business Energy can help businesses clean up our air.

‘Beat air pollution’ is the theme of World Environment Day on 5 June 2019, which is followed by the UK’s Clean Air Day on 20 June 2019.

World Environment Day is the United Nations’ biggest annual event for positive environmental action to encourage awareness of the need to protect our planet. This year it’s calling on governments, industry, communities and individuals to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve air quality.

Air pollution can affect us all, increasing the risk of a range of health problems and making some existing conditions worse – from asthma, dementia and diabetes to pregnancy loss, cancer and stroke. In the UK, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths every year, according to the Clean Air Day campaign.*

The good news is that air pollution is preventable. As well as government-led solutions like laws, standards and policies, SSE is working on programmes, investments and technologies to clean up our energy. Through SSE Business Energy, businesses can implement these to help us all breathe better air and enhance their sustainability credentials, too.

Power generation: from fossil fuels to renewables

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fine particulate matter and outdoor air pollution is possible. It means moving to energy sources like natural gas, nuclear and renewables, which include hydropower, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass energy.

Among SSE’s 2030 Goals, aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is to cut the carbon intensity of the electricity we generate by 50% from 2018 levels. We also aim to treble renewable energy output by developing and building more renewable energy that contributes renewable output of 30TWh (terawatt hours) a year. These targets are directly linked to SDGs 13 and 7: Climate Action and Affordable and Clean Energy.

SSE has one of the largest pipelines of renewables projects in the UK and Ireland and our electricity networks businesses are at the forefront of the green energy revolution. And when businesses choose our SSE Green contract, they show the demand for cleaner energy, and tell the world that they care about our environment.

Transport: promoting the spread of electric vehicles

Almost a quarter – and rising – of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions come from global transport. Reducing vehicle emissions is vital to improve air quality, especially in urban areas. Worldwide, nearly 400,000 premature deaths have been linked to air pollution emissions from transport, and diesel emissions cause almost half of all deaths by air pollution from transport .**

Cleaner fuels are part of the solution. SSE is paving the way to help accommodate 10 million electric vehicles (EV) in the UK by investing in electricity network flexibility and infrastructure. This is another one of SSE’s four 2030 Goals, linked to SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

Committing to green electricity further reduces emissions from charging and driving EVs. Source London was the city’s first EV charging network to rely exclusively on 100% renewable energy, supplied via SSE Green. The company is helping reduce pollution and improve local air quality while expanding its network across the capital.

SSE and Source London are also empowering Londoners to suggest the best locations for EV charging points across the city. At, residents can map where they want the charging infrastructure. This will in turn help city planners and electricity suppliers chart demand and make the choices a reality.

Going green: helping businesses switch

Arriva was the first major private transport operator in the UK to switch to a 100% renewable electricity supply. Almost all its UK bus and rail sites – including UK Bus, Arriva Rail North, Arriva Rail London, Chiltern Railways and Grand Central – are powered by SSE Green.

SSE Green allows Arriva to report zero carbon emission electricity. Power used is matched to an equivalent volume generated by SSE’s wind and hydro assets then exported to the National Grid. This is fully backed by Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origins (REGOs) and independently verified by EcoAct (formerly Carbon Clear), a CDP Accredited Provider.

Arriva’s switch to SSE Green is preventing an estimated 27,000 tonnes of CO2e from entering the atmosphere each year. The volume of carbon saved is the equivalent to taking almost 95 million miles driven by an average car off the road, or powering almost 25,000 homes with green electricity.

To find out how SSE Business Energy can help your business play its part in cleaning up our air, visit



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