Reporting and policy

As a responsible company, SSE aims to be as transparent as possible. Below you can access reports which detail the contribution SSE is making to society, the environment and the economy.

Sustainability Report 2018 Frontcover

Creating value in a sustainable way

SSE’s Sustainability Report 2018 discloses information on the most material economic, social and environmental impacts SSE's business activities have on the world outside it. Designed to be the sister document to the Annual Report 2018, it demonstrates the way SSE creates value for shareholders and society in a sustainable way.

SSE has also published an update on its sustainability performance and initiatives undertaken during the first half of the 2018/19 financial year in its Half-year Sustainability Statement 2018.

SSE encourages and welcomes feedback on its sustainability strategy, priorities and performance. Please email with any comments.

Sustainability Reporting

Sustainability Reports

Sustainability data sets


The data sets below report on social, environmental and economic KPIs for some of SSE’s most material impacts. For transparency, three year’s worth of data is provided against each KPI where possible. 

10 years of onshore wind

10 Years Of Onshore Wind CoverIn the ten years between March 2008 and March 2018 SSE’s onshore wind capacity increased three-fold. SSE’s expansion of its onshore wind portfolio in the UK and Ireland has delivered clean, low-carbon electricity, important investment in the UK, Scottish and Irish economies, and good quality jobs, many of which are located in areas where economic activity tends to be low.

This report explores the contributions SSE’s decade of clean growth has made, and continues to make, in the UK and Ireland.

The methodology document can be viewed here.

Beatrice: assessing socio-economic impacts


At £2.6bn, the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL) project is one of the largest ever private infrastructure investments in Scotland. SSE and its BOWL joint venture partners have undertaken an assessment of some of the most material social and economic impacts of the investment in BOWL, including SSE’s first social return on investment (SROI) analysis and calculating the contribution of project expenditure to the UK and Scottish economies. The report finds that for every £1 invested through the BOWL Community Fund, £3.21 of value is expected to be created for the communities, and that project expenditure will contribute £1.13bn to the UK economy and support around 18,100 years of employment in the UK.

View the methodology document for the SROI calculation here.

View the methodology document for the economic contribution calculation here.



Caithness-Moray impact study


The Caithness-Moray transmission reinforcement is SSE’s largest ever capital investment at £1.1bn. SSE has assessed the most material economic and social impacts of the 100 mile High Voltage Direct Current link between Spittal in central Caithness and Blackhillock in Moray, which include:  an estimated £643.5m to be spent with UK-based suppliers and contractors; 217 local people employed in the rural north of Scotland; and £3.55m spend on local accommodation in Caithness and Sutherland and Moray to date.


District heating impact study


Working with partners, SSE has quantified some of the social, environmental and economic impacts of installing a retrofit district heating system at the Wyndford Estate in Maryhill, Glasgow. Highlights include: a 62% reduction in carbon emissions; residents feeling warmer and more satisfied with their heating; and £10m added into the UK economy, £6.5m of which went to Scotland.

View the technical appendices document here.

Keadby wind farm impact study


SSE calculated the economic, environmental and social impacts in the UK from its £100m investment in the construction of Keadby wind farm.

Highlights from the report include: £43m contribution to UK GDP; a net positive CO2 impact from Keadby over the wind farm’s lifetime; and an £8.5mcommunity investment fund available to support to local community projects over 25 years. 

Galway Wind Park Sustainability Impact Report


Galway Wind Park (a joint venture between SSE and Coillte) will be Ireland’s largest onshore wind development. SSE and Coillte worked together to quantify the most material economic, social and environmental impacts of the project. Main findings include: €88.7m added to Irish GDP and 1,657 years of Irish employment supported; €20m spent with local suppliers; enough renewable energy generated to power 89,000 homes and save 190,000 tCO2 from being released into the atmosphere; over €150,000 granted to community groups during construction and a multi-million euro community fund available during operation.

Social reporting

Reporting on SSE's Gender Pay Gap

Promoting Diversity Web


Following on from the publication of its 2016 UK Gender Pay Gap in June 2016, SSE has now also published its 2017 UK Gender Pay Gap following the UK Government regulatory requirements.

The gender pay gap differs from equal pay as it is not exclusively about men and women doing the same job but being paid differently. When calculating the difference in average earnings, the gender pay gap takes into account all jobs, at all levels and all salaries within an organisation. This means the gender pay gap can result from many different factors. SSE’s median gender pay gap in 2018 is calculated to be 19.6%.

Read about SSE's 2018 Gender Pay Gap here.
Read about SSE's 2017 Gender Pay Gap here.
Read bout SSE's 2016 Gender Pay Gap here.

SSE's response to The Hampton-Alexander Review

The Hampton-Alexander Review on gender balance in FTSE leadership, set out in Reports in 2016 and 2017, builds on the success of the voluntary business-led approach of the Davies Review for Women on Boards. It has set a target for 33% of Executive Committees and their Direct Reports in FTSE 350 companies to be women by 2020.

The energy sector must overcome a legacy of industry and societal factors to improve the gender imbalance in leadership positions. SSE is therefore not in a position, immediately, to sign up to the Hampton-Alexander recommendations. We have, however, outlined a comprehensive response to the Review and have set ourselves a series of important ambitions for women at senior leadership level at SSE. Those ambitions, while not reaching the levels Hampton-Alexander propose, represent a significant development for the company. Please click here to read SSE’s full response to Hampton-Alexander which sets out our approach and actions to meet our targets.

Financial return from inclusion and diversity initiatives

Inclusion And Diversity Report Cover _For WebVALUING DIFFERENCE

SSE has worked with inclusion and diversity (I&D) specialists Equal Approach to calculate the financial value from investing in gender diversity initiatives over the three years to 31 March 2017, as well as the expected value of continued investment in wider I&D initiatives up to 2020.

The results showed that for every £1 invested by SSE in 2017, there was a £4.52 ‘Return on Inclusion’ (ROI). The analysis also showed there is the potential to greatly increase SSE’s ROI if it focuses on becoming a truly inclusive workplace – aspiring to a £15 ROI with more strategic approach to investment in I&D.

Read the report here.

Great Place to Work 2017

SSE’s Great Place to Work 2017 survey was undertaken shortly after the annual reporting period and, rather than wait until the year end, SSE committed to disclose this information outside of the usual reporting period. This short report discloses additional detail about the engagement of SSE’s workforce and – more importantly – details the actions being taken as a result of the findings.

Read the full report here.

Return on investment of Barnardo's Works


SSE has estimated the economic return on its investment in the Barnardo’s Works youth employability programme.

Since 2008, SSE has invested over £1m and helped over 230 individuals join the programme.

It found that for every £1 invested, there is a £7.67 return on investment: £2.22 for individuals, £2.07 for wider society and £3.38 for companies, of which SSE receives approximately £1.10.

Community Investment Reviews

Community Investment Annual Review 2017/18

In the last financial year, SSE’s community investment funds delivered £5.1m in grants to community projects, helping over 460 not-for-profit organisations realise their ambitions.

In the 2017/18 Community Investment Annual Review, you’ll find details of how and where these funds have been spent and read about some of the innovative projects making a real difference in their local area.

SSE Community Investment Review 1718 Frontcover

Other documents:

Community Investment Review (Great Britain) 2016/17
Community Investment Review (Great Britain) 2015/16
Community Investment Review (Great Britain) 2014/15

Community Investment Review (Great Britain) 2013/14

Community Investment Review (Ireland) 2016/17
Community and Regional Funds - Northern Ireland Annual Review 2016/17


Calculating SSE's human capital

HumancapitalreportVALUABLE PEOPLE

SSE was the first UK company to measure the economic value of the skills and capabilities of its employees – calculated to be £3.4bn. Establishing this value allows us to understand how we can best develop and grow these attributes. We have also measured the return on investment from two of our key training schemes which shows how the individual, the employer and wider society all benefit from investment in sustainable employment.

The Good Corporation

The Good Corporation


Since 2015, SSE has held two events designed to encourage discussion around the nature of the good corporation and its role in modern society. At the events, SSE has discussed its response to the challenge of being a good corporation, including paying people a fair wage and contributing a fair share of tax. Guest speakers from a variety of organisations have been invited to join in the debate to give their opinions on how businesses should adapt and change in the future.

The Good Corporation and its role in modern society 2015/16

Employee Volunteering Annual Reviews

BTD Ireland WEBBe the Difference Annual Review 2016/17 – SSE Ireland
SSE Ireland’s latest annual review of its employee volunteering programme, Be the Difference. The review looks back on the volunteering and fundraising activities of SSE’s employees across the island of Ireland during financial year 2016/17. It was another impressive year of employee volunteering at SSE Ireland, with 455 days – equivalent to €130,000 in working hours - donated to 49 different charities and community groups.


Bt D Group

Be the Difference Annual Review 2015/16 – SSE Ireland
The review looks back on the volunteering and fundraising activities of SSE’s employees across the island of Ireland during financial year 2015/16. It was another impressive year of employee volunteering at SSE Ireland, with 490 days – equivalent to a 55% staff participation rate – donated to 51 different charities and community groups.

Environmental Reporting

SSE's resilience to climate change


The Paris Agreement on climate change is proving to be a key moment in the global response to preventing climate change. SSE has modelled the company's resilience to the decarbonisation of the electricity industry in Great Britain, against warming scenarios of 1.5oC, 2oC and a business as usual scenario, in line with 3-4oC warming. This ‘Post-Paris’ report represents SSE’s first attempt to disclose its assessment.

You can read the report here.

Biodiversity Reporting

Biodiversity Griffin School VisitBIODIVERSITY REPORT 2017

The Biodiversity Report 2017 sets out SSE's Biodiversity Strategy and the steps SSE is taking to protect, restore and enhance biodiversity in the areas it works.

The report demonstrates the wide range of initiatives going on across business, from creating bee-friendly habitats at our substation sites in Caithness, to working constructively with stakeholders to restore flow to the River Garry in Perthshire for the first time since the 1950s. 

This year's report also provides enhanced disclosure around SSE's environmental performance.

You can access previous reports at the links below:

Water Reporting


CDP Logo 273X204CDP’s Water programme requests information from companies about their water management on behalf of more than 800 institutional investor signatories.

For its environmental performance during 2016/17, SSE was awarded a score of B through the CDP Water programme. SSE’s total water consumption reduced by 40% in 2016/17, compared to the previous year.

SSE has now submitted its 2018 submission, you can view it here. Scores are expected to be awarded by CDP later this year.


SSE's Green Bond

Green Bond Framework ImageIn September 2017, SSE launched its €600m Green Bond – the largest issued by a UK company. A commitment was given to update investors each year on the allocation of proceeds and environmental impact from the Bond.

SSE’s Green Bond report 2018 is its first annual Green Bond update to investors. More information about SSE’s Green Bond, including SSE’s Green Bond Framework and PwC’s limited assurance Report on SSE’s Green Bond, can be found here.

CDP Climate Change submission

CDP Climate change submission 2018

CDP Logo 273X204

CDP’s Climate Change programme requests information on the management of climate-related risks and low-carbon opportunities from the world's largest companies, on behalf of more than 800 institutional investor signatories.

For its environmental performance during 2016/17, SSE was awarded a score of B through the CDP Climate Change programme. SSE achieved a 14% reduction in total carbon emissions in 2016/17 compared to the previous year.

You can view SSE's CDP Climate Change submission 2018 here. Scores are expected to be awarded by CDP later this year.

Economic Reporting

SSE's economic impact reports


Produced by PwC on behalf of SSE, the FY18 report estimates that SSE’s activities contributed £8.55bn to UK GDP in 2017/18, bringing its total contribution over the past five years to £46.0bn (in FY18 prices). This activity supported 99,000 UK jobs. Within the Republic of Ireland, €806m was contributed by SSE to GDP and 4,520 jobs were supported in FY18.

FY18 - UK, Scotland and Republic of Ireland
FY17 - UK, Scotland and Republic of Ireland
FY16 - UK, Scotland and Republic of Ireland
FY15 - UK, Scotland and Republic of Ireland
FY14 - UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland
FY14 - Republic of Ireland
FY12&13 - UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland
FY12&13 - Republic of Ireland

Transparency around tax

Talkingtax2018coverTalking Tax 2018

SSE’s Talking Tax 2018 booklet offers increased transparency and explanation of SSE’s tax disclosure for financial year 2017/18. The report provides a clear and accessible account of what taxes SSE pays and where, and is designed to be accessible to non-tax specialists.

In 2017-18, SSE’s total tax contribution to the UK and Ireland was £1billion, inclusive of the taxes it pays and collects on behalf of Government. The report also presents SSE's tax strategy in detail.

You can read the report in full here.

Previous reports are available to view at the links below:

Clyde Extension wind farm economic impact study


Clyde Extension is a planned 54 turbine extension to the existing 152 turbine Clyde wind farm in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. SSE, in conjunction with wind turbine supplier Siemens, commissioned a study to investigate the impact of Clyde Extension on both the Scottish and UK economies. The analysis, undertaken by professional services firm PwC, is ground breaking in terms of its detail. Key findings include: the construction phase of the extension will contribute £108.2m and 1,830 years of supported employment to the UK economy; the manufacture, installation and servicing of the turbines will contribute £53m and over 1,000 years of supported employment to the UK economy.

The economic impact of the Living Wage in SSE's supply chain

KPMGReport_TeaserThe economic impact of the Living Wage in SSE's supply chain

Research undertaken for SSE by KPMG outlines the economic impact of SSE’s policy of ensuring contracted employees working on its sites receive at least the Living Wage.

By 2020, when all of SSE’s contracts are expected to contain the Living Wage Clause, approximately 800 full-time workers will have received a salary increase – around fives times more than SSE’s direct employees who benefitted from the pay rise in April 2015.