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Environmental Impact

What does Net Zero mean to Urenco?

Urenco is committed to contributing to a sustainable net zero future. We will operate safely and form partnerships with our supply chain to deliver measurable positive impact for our people, our communities and help the world to decarbonise.

What is Net Zero?

Net zero carbon refers to achieving a state in which the carbon emitted into the atmosphere is balanced by the carbon removed from it. For this to occur, the amount of carbon added to the atmosphere must not exceed the amount removed.

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Committed to reaching net zero by 2040

In 2021, we committed to net zero carbon emissions in advance of 2040 as part of The Climate Pledge. To support our 2040 goal, we have developed interim targets for 2030 to ensure we make the progress needed to continue being a sustainable and responsible business.

Our interim targets:

  • Reduce scope 1 & 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 (from a 2019 baseline)
  • Reduce scope 3 emissions by 30% by 2030 (from a 2019 baseline)  

Scope 1 emissions are direct greenhouse gas emissions which are produced through means that Urenco owns or controls. Examples of Scope 1 emissions include those from the combustion of fuels in boilers and also diesel and petrol used in Urenco owned road vehicles.

 Scope 2 emissions relate to the generation of either electricity, heat or steam that is supplied and consumed by a company. Urenco consumes electricity that is generated by other organisations which is then supplied to Urenco’s different sites. The greenhouse gases are emitted in a location not owned or operated by Urenco but the responsibility lies with Urenco to report on these emissions.

Scope 3 emissions are greenhouse gas emissions that are classed as ‘indirect’. This means that the emissions are a result of the operation of the company but Urenco does not either own or control the sources of these emissions. Scope 3 covers the wider value chain, for example including mining and extraction of raw materials and transportation of products and services to and from the sites. Also included under this scope are items such as employee travel, as these activities generate greenhouse gas emissions and are a consequence of the requirements of Urenco operations to conduct its business.

Our Commitment Pledge
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How are we reducing our
carbon footprint?

Here are a few initiatives we have implemented to help us reduce our carbon emissions and contribute to a net zero world.

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Managing our environmental impact

We actively monitor our environmental impact to ensure we strive to reduce our water usage, improve our energy efficiency and reduce our carbon emissions. To encourage reductions across our group, our new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set targets to ensure we are making the progress necessary to contribute to a net zero world and manage our environmental impact. View our KPIs on our governance and ethics page.

We manage our environmental impact in several ways, for example, our dedicated energy savings group promotes energy efficiency across all our different sites with a focus on electricity usage. We have implemented different water-saving initiatives including rainwater harvesting at our Tails Management Facility. Each operating site is also developing a net zero action plan to tackle our carbon emissions and keep Urenco on the road to net zero.

Future technologies and services

We excel in our areas of expertise and are involved in bringing forward exciting new developments by actively engaging with our key stakeholders. Our investment in research and development ensures our portfolio of products and services continues to grow. In October 2021, we expanded our Stable Isotopes facility to meet the demand for products in the medical field including products used in MRI imaging to detect lung diseases. Urenco Stable Isotopes is also conducting research to discover solutions for cancer treatment. Additionally, U-Battery continues to innovate and develop: a full scale, first of its kind, mock-up of the main vessels of an advanced modular reactor (AMR) was revealed in 2021.

Responsible management of nuclear material

Responsible uranium stewardship continues to be a key element of our commitment to sustainability. We have two dedicated UK subsidiaries, Urenco Nuclear Stewardship and Urenco ChemPlants, as well as our Tails Management Facility (TMF) that provide expertise in the responsible management of nuclear material.

Waste management

We ensure the safe and responsible management and disposal of nuclear materials. We monitor our waste so that we continue to minimise our environmental impact as well as comply with environmental legislation.

In November 2021, the UK hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conferences of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, during this time Urenco played an impactful role in several events advocating for a net zero world.

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Why is nuclear power important in achieving net zero?

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Nuclear has saved the UK 2.3 billion tonnes of CO2 far more than any other energy source

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Nuclear has saved 70 billion tonnes of CO2 globally since the insutry began

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One kilogram of uranium can release 3 million times more energy than a kilogram of coal

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Nuclear is a proven low carbon energy source that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and can help replace our reliance on fossil fuels

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Nuclear and different renewables can be utilised together to provide efficient and affordable clean energy 

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Nuclear energy and the nuclear industry is heavily aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and supports sustainable development


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