Western Power Distribution has pledged to become a net zero emissions organisation by 2028 – more than two decades ahead of UK and Welsh government targets.

The electricity provider for South Wales outlines the bid in its latest business plan, with the aim to achieve the feat by tackling their own carbon footprint.

More than half of the company’s carbon emissions – 57% – come from fuel consumed by its vehicles and generators.

By switching to electric vehicles and phasing out diesel generators, Western Power Distribution (WPD), which also supplies electricity to the Midlands and south-west England, can make big steps towards its target.

“Customers in South Wales can’t get to net zero without WPD, but they also want to see us lead by example by tackling our own business carbon footprint,” said Andrew Martyr-Icke.

The WPD environment team manager added: “If we solve the climate emergency and enable our children and grandchildren to live in a world that is not ruined by the impacts of climate change, that will be – for many people across the UK – because staff at WPD did what they needed to by standing up to the challenge and making net zero happen.”

WPD has pledged to replace at least 89% of its existing vehicle fleet with electric vehicles by 2028, installing the necessary charging at all operational sites as well as reducing business travel by encouraging more remote working and virtual meetings.

The company is also looking to limit the impact of its activities on the environment, by dealing promptly with leaks from equipment and achieving a 10% net gain in biodiversity for new major projects and larger substation sites by considering ways of introducing and maintaining flora and fauna on site.

WPD will continue to focus on reducing its building energy use too. It has consistently outperformed its five per cent reduction targets, achieving a reduction each year.

This has been through a range of measures, including greater employee awareness of energy savings, the installation of motion sensors for lighting, upgraded air conditioning systems and higher energy efficiency ratings in new and refurbished depots.

The company is also working hard to enable customers to achieve their own net zero ambitions by preparing the network to connect thousands of low carbon technologies, like electric vehicle chargers, solar panels and heat pumps.

WPD predicts that by 2028, an additional 1.5 million electric vehicles will be on the roads in its region, while 600,000 heat pumps will be installed.

UK and Welsh governments have set a net zero target of 2050.