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No environmental impact report

  • 26 January 2019
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Hi. Www.ethicalconsumer.org has given Pureplanet its worst rating for environmental reporting because in 2017 it had no environmental impact report. There are no targets on the website, or externally verified environmental data.

Is this still true? Is PP taking this seriously, does anyone know? (Deeds not words.)
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Best answer by Marc 28 January 2019, 18:57

AlBrew;21984:
Hi. Www.ethicalconsumer.org has given Pureplanet its worst rating for environmental reporting because in 2017 it had no environmental impact report. There are no targets on the website, or externally verified environmental data.

Is this still true? Is PP taking this seriously, does anyone know? (Deeds not words.)


Hi @AlBrew
Welcome to the community!
Nice one for getting stuck in.🆙
Do you know how often these reports are published?
As @Jon1 points out, in June 2017 we'd only just launched, in fact we were about one month old.
There's a lot of info on our website, but to give you a bit here:
Our electricity is 100% renewable (last year it was 52% wind and 48% solar) and backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin, aka REGOs. More info about REGOs here.
Our gas is 100% carbon offset, as we work towards a renewable electric-only future.

Here's a blog post about one of our biggest suppliers, a wind farm in South Wales.

Hope that helps you out a bit. Happy to keep chatting, of course 🙂
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I don’t have the facts but not terribly keen on the shoot first and ask questions later assumptive tone of your post - wouldn’t it be prudent or reasonable to garner some facts first and then point the gun? Your question is however reasonable.
Maybe PP were unaware of the need to provide info, but that doesn’t make them unethical.(deeds not words??)

From my perspective and conversations with PP to date I see nothing that leads me to believe that they are ethically lacking, quite the contrary, but then one persons ethics are another’s corruption.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Who audits ethicalconsumer.org, and who funds them?
(and who checks upon the ethics of the consumer?)
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If deeds not words is the policy then frankly ethical consumer need to really get their house in order. The link provided shows the result of a report compiled in june 2017, at a time when pure planet existed but was barely trading as a new business and as such did not have to produce any impact study reports. So as donald trump would say this is FAKE NEWS.the fact that their number 1 pick on the list is a company which is owned by the second company on their best buy list kind of sums up the validity of the report as it leaves me wondering how big a payday they get from ecotricity.
Then again maybe im looking at the wrong report as PP were not bottom of a selective list and i dont subscribe to such so not all the info is available.
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Whenever I see headline grabbing reports like this, be it scientific, environmental, medical or political, I ask myself "Who funded this research?"
All to often the 'facts', 'statistics' and 'leading expert's quotes' are selectively chosen, misinterpreted and taken out of context to bolster the slant the people behind the funding want the conclusion to convey. I give you Bush & Blairs WMD report on Iraq as a blatant example; or the countless reports provided by tobacco companies claiming smoking was harmless; or how benign tetraethyl lead was as a petrol additive . . . the list is endless.
AlBrew;21984:
Hi. Www.ethicalconsumer.org has given Pureplanet its worst rating for environmental reporting because in 2017 it had no environmental impact report. There are no targets on the website, or externally verified environmental data.

Is this still true? Is PP taking this seriously, does anyone know? (Deeds not words.)


Hi @AlBrew
Welcome to the community!
Nice one for getting stuck in.🆙
Do you know how often these reports are published?
As @Jon1 points out, in June 2017 we'd only just launched, in fact we were about one month old.
There's a lot of info on our website, but to give you a bit here:
Our electricity is 100% renewable (last year it was 52% wind and 48% solar) and backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin, aka REGOs. More info about REGOs here.
Our gas is 100% carbon offset, as we work towards a renewable electric-only future.

Here's a blog post about one of our biggest suppliers, a wind farm in South Wales.

Hope that helps you out a bit. Happy to keep chatting, of course 🙂
Oh and I forgot to add @AlBrew that we also support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. We're the only British energy supplier to do so.
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Comprehensive answer 👍👍👍
Thank you for what you relayed. Are you going to contact them to either redo their questionnaire or ask them to correct what they say about PP? That would seem the best (though not the quickest) way to resolve this?

- - - Updated - - -

I wasn’t saying PP were unethical. I was asking some questions. I think PP should re-engage with EC. (I’m not an expert so I value EC’s input. Of course, your QC point is always valid. But then QCC, and so on all the way down.)

- - - Updated - - -

Correct none of us has all the info which is why I asked. And I’d like PP to reengage with EC
AlBrew;22133:
Thank you for what you relayed. Are you going to contact them to either redo their questionnaire or ask them to correct what they say about PP? That would seem the best (though not the quickest) way to resolve this?

- - - Updated - - -

I wasn’t saying PP were unethical. I was asking some questions. I think PP should re-engage with EC. (I’m not an expert so I value EC’s input. Of course, your QC point is always valid. But then QCC, and so on all the way down.)

- - - Updated - - -

Correct none of us has all the info which is why I asked. And I’d like PP to reengage with EC


Thanks for jumping back in @AlBrew
That's great feedback. I've passed this on to our marketing team to see what the deal is with the Ethical Consumer questionnaires. It may be something that they run periodically 🆙
Marc;22207:
Thanks for jumping back in @AlBrew
That's great feedback. I've passed this on to our marketing team to see what the deal is with the Ethical Consumer questionnaires. It may be something that they run periodically 🆙


Marc, glad to hear that. When will you be able to let us know the outcome please? Whether EC have stepped out of line in critiquing PP as they did, or whether they have a good basis for it, it will be good to know 🙂
Marc another month has passed. Do you have an answer yet? Thanks
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hi AlBrew
Normally for the sake of harmony in the community I wouldn't respond to your post (it's not addressed to me anyway so apologies if you think it untoward of me to respond).
Firstly a, a month isn't very long and PP are aware of your question, as marc says it's been passed to the team to look at.
I have real issues with ethicalconsumer.org and the way they operate.
I would go as far as to say that I fundamentally disagree with their stance on a number of issues and their boycotts.
So even if a glowing positive audit was produced for PP (which no doubt will be the case in fullness of time) I'd still take it with a pinch of salt.

My personal audit of PP is based on my real interaction with the company, and while there is still room for ethical improvement as there is in every company, and it's work in progress, I have no doubt in my mind that PP, as far as my ethical stance is concerned, PP surpass my expectations (especially given the strangulating regulatory framework in which they have to work)

I think the real question you should be asking on here is Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Or to put it another way who is giving ethicalconsumer their moral authority?

To be blunt I don't really care what they have to say about PP and publishing that PP have a negative rating when they haven't had time to be properly audited is as far as I'm concerned akin to blackmailing companies by leaving a negative review on tripadvisor when you've never been there..not really ethical is it?

AlBrew;25399:
Marc another month has passed. Do you have an answer yet? Thanks
So Marc, I’m still waiting to hear about this. I know PurePlanet is a business and staff time matters, but I don’t understand why there’s still no update on this after 10 weeks? Many thanks
Hi @AlBrew
I'm not 100% sure what you're asking! You point out that they didn't give us an environmental impact report in 2017 when PP was still in closed market entry.
I've explained how we're backed by renewable energy guarantees and linked to our website which explains that in more detail.
And I've linked to the United Nation's SDGs which we support.
What are you waitng to hear about?
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So Al (I'd never normally start a greeting with so, but I'm emulating your style, personally I find it somewhat confrontational, but then I'm strange...)

I distrust EC.org and would go as far as to say that any report from them would be a negative indicator for me.

So...what's the end-game here? A happy positive report from EC, and we can all sit back and relax in the knowledge that all is well?

​Disclaimer:
This post is not intended to be confrontational.
Hi Mark to see the questions again just read back to jan 19. In my first post, and then the follow up after the pile on by WOZ et al. You have kindly provided other info, but not answers to the questions. You did pass the enquiry on to your marketing people (should it perhaps go to compliance?) but they haven’t replied either. I’m interested to know PP’s position on Ethical Consumer’s concerns. I appreciate some people active in the forum don’t think their concerns should be taken seriously, but rather than shoot the messenger, it would be good to hear the answers, either from you or from them after you’ve set them straight (if they’re now wrong, since 2 years has passed). Many thanks!
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hi AlBrew
Ethical concerns should of course be taken seriously, My replies were not intended to shoot the messenger but were in response to your contention that if EC.org were to give PP a clean bill of health all would be well, or that's how your original query/contention presented to me (with this query at least).
​I disagree with that, but that's only my opinion - it's about who I trust personally.
I genuinely hope you (eventually) receive a reply which sets your mind at rest.
Late edit..
Here's their latest chart, top score 14 PP score 12.5, for anyone who is concerned HERE is a link.

for info:
​EC.org don't for example support a boycott of Brunei (Gay death sentences) or Saudi (multiple reasons), (or the UK for selling arms), but among others do support a boycott of Botswana, Caterpillar, Coca Cola, Hewlett Packard, Israel, Motorola....
I'm NOT posting the above comment to trivialise your concerns, on the contrary, just looking for a balanced approach...
​One man's meat is another man's Vegan sausage roll...
AlBrew;29113:
Hi Mark to see the questions again just read back to jan 19. In my first post, and then the follow up after the pile on by WOZ et al. You have kindly provided other info, but not answers to the questions. You did pass the enquiry on to your marketing people (should it perhaps go to compliance?) but they haven’t replied either. I’m interested to know PP’s position on Ethical Consumer’s concerns. I appreciate some people active in the forum don’t think their concerns should be taken seriously, but rather than shoot the messenger, it would be good to hear the answers, either from you or from them after you’ve set them straight (if they’re now wrong, since 2 years has passed). Many thanks!
AlBrew;29113:
Hi Mark to see the questions again just read back to jan 19. In my first post, and then the follow up after the pile on by WOZ et al. You have kindly provided other info, but not answers to the questions. You did pass the enquiry on to your marketing people (should it perhaps go to compliance?) but they haven’t replied either. I’m interested to know PP’s position on Ethical Consumer’s concerns. I appreciate some people active in the forum don’t think their concerns should be taken seriously, but rather than shoot the messenger, it would be good to hear the answers, either from you or from them after you’ve set them straight (if they’re now wrong, since 2 years has passed). Many thanks!


Hi @AlBrew
OK thanks. This is your Jan 19 questions/post:

Hi. Www.ethicalconsumer.org has given Pureplanet its worst rating for environmental reporting because in 2017 it had no environmental impact report. There are no targets on the website, or externally verified environmental data.
Is this still true? Is PP taking this seriously, does anyone know?


To which I've replied that:
In June 2017 we'd only just launched, in fact we were about one month old.
There's a lot of info on our website. It states that our mission is to help make the UK powered 100% by renewable energy.
Our electricity is 100% renewable (last year it was 52% wind and 48% solar) and backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin, aka REGOs. More info about REGOs here.
Our gas is 100% carbon offset, as we work towards a renewable electric-only future.
Here's a blog post about one of our biggest suppliers, a wind farm in South Wales.
We also support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. We're the only British energy supplier to do so.
More info on SDGs here.
Hi Marc.

Perhaps someone at Pure Planet would like to respond to whomever's responsible for the report mentioned in the article here:
https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-6992675/The-green-energy-firms-exploiting-cheap-certificates-mean-charge-more.html


Particularly as they are pretty much accusing Pure Planet of, if not outright lying, then bending the truth.


Most other providers of 'green' tariffs – everyone from Centrica-owned British Gas through to German-owned Npower and eco-friendly brands such as Pure Planet – derive little or no energy directly from renewable sources.
They simply buy the right to label tariffs as 'green' through a complex 'certificated' system.



Regards
Mark

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I can't find the words...
The article is inaccurate and partisan, the comments are even worse....(don't read them you'll only upset yoursef)

​My only question is what deal did they come to with the companies they promoted. I suspect we'll never know.

I wonder if the DM approached PP for "comment" before they published? and were told to errr...go away...
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Good old daily mail,
Create a story by not givings all the facts just to make it interesting. Yes it is possible to green up your business by buying green credentials. But as i understand it.

100% renewable electric is good.
Green electric not so much.
Gas will by its very nature will never be truly green its how you offset its use that counts.
Carbon offset is better than green gas.
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Gwyndy;30490:
Hi Marc.

Perhaps someone at Pure Planet would like to respond to whomever's responsible for the report mentioned in the article here:
https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-6992675/The-green-energy-firms-exploiting-cheap-certificates-mean-charge-more.html


Particularly as they are pretty much accusing Pure Planet of, if not outright lying, then bending the truth.



Regards
Mark



Hi there

I emailed the journalist, and said "Are you saying that when Pure Planet say "Our energy is 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon offset gas"
and "We only source our electricity from sun, wind and water. Last year, our electricity mix was 52% wind and 48% sun" they are lying?"

She replied "Not so much that they are lying - which I think may be too strong. Just that they don't have a direct relationship with renewable energy producers, they simply buy certificates proving renewable energy has been added to the grid. This is legal, but I don't think many consumers would know about this secondary market that allows suppliers the right to buy a green label for their deals.
So essentially, my understanding is that they have matched all the energy they supply to customers with certificates proving that same amount of renewable energy has been produced. They just haven't produced it themselves."

I replied "Thanks for getting back to me, much appreciated.

You mentioned Bulb and Ecotricity very positively – but their web statements look almost identical to Pure Planet. How does the consumer distinguish?

100% of our electricity comes from renewable sources, and every year we need to let the regulator know where this comes from. Alongside every unit of renewable electricity we purchase is a snazzily named Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificate. These certificates allow Ofgem to verify the source of every supplier's electricity. https://bulb.co.uk/fuelmix/

Ecotricity say “we generate around a quarter of the green electricity we supply ourselves through our own growing fleet of green energy parks, and the rest we buy from other green generators.”
Pure Planet’s fuel mix is identical to Bulb and Ecotricity http://electricityinfo.org/supplier-fuel-mix/#tabletop

Pure Planet certainly don’t add on a charge for being green, they are almost the cheapest around…"

She replied "The point is not that Pure Planet charge extra - moreover the reason they can deliver 'green' energy cheaply is because they can buy cheap certificates. It is more expensive to be truly green.

With bulb there was a bit of editing going on with my piece that I was unaware of but it deserves SOME praise because it derives some gas from renewable sources, rather than just offsetting and has a direct relationship with renewable generators in a way that many other 'green' tariff providers don't. Though it will still partake in purchasing Regos.

Ecotricity is on another level in that it is directly involved in the generation of renewable energy. That is why it is likely to be more expensive - because it is directly trying to address the problem rather than simply purchasing certificates.

A fuel mix can help show the companies that at least try to source renewable energy, but unfortunately will not tell customers the whole picture. So in fact it is very difficult for consumers to distinguish - that was our reason for highlighting this complication in the market."

Does this get us any further?
Stephen
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Well done stephen.
In managing to actually contact the writer of the article.
The answers given are good and show up some valid points and i can see where they are coming from.
The fact that PP dont generate the electricity they retail out themselves somehow makes it less green is a bit of a weird response. Do they not realise that BP is part owner of PP and being as BP are one of the biggest generators of renewable energy in the country does this not count as self generation by PP

On the basis of the responses given then if PP renamed themselves BPPP or PPBP then somehow all will be ok as somehow the energy becomes greener.
Hey @Gwyndy @stephenrand @Jon1
This subject of REGOs comes up quite a lot.
Here's part of a post I made from this thread specifically about REGOs which may be of interest (though it's essentially covering the same ground).
Sorry it's a bit long-winded...


There are three ways to buy green electricity.
Method 1. In advance with a renewable producer. You agree a deal pay them for an amount of units that they put onto the grid on your behalf over a year.
Method 2. You community generate. Normally local co-ops, villages etc, who put renewables into the grid and again sell this to the wholesale market.
Method 3. You buy power from the wholesale market and match that after the fact with renewable power that has been put into the grid by renewable generators through certificates.


All 3 types are backed by REGOs.
And all are limited by a common factor - time of day and night.
In other words, it might be a calm day and no wind. Or it might be dark, such as at night time.
How do you then get energy?


Let’s say we have two energy suppliers, called A and B.


Supplier A buys 100MW of renewable energy directly from Farmer Giles's turbine for a year, and with it 100 REGOs.
Where does that energy go? Customers of Supplier A don’t get a special feed of energy from Farmer Giles’ field to their homes. It goes to the grid. And what do customers of Supplier A do at night when they want to use the loo and watch TV? They switch on the lights and the TV!
At that time their energy, which comes from the grid, is coming from all kinds of sources. (Right now the UK doesn’t have a battery capacity to store clean energy for cloudy calm days and nights).


Supplier B (which we at Pure Planet do) buys 100MW from the wholesale market and matches that at the end of the year with 100 REGOs, proving that we’re putting 100MW of renewable energy into the grid.
The difference is that the generator of renewable energy (whether that’s a load of Farmer GIles in fields around the English countryside or a massive windfarm in the North Sea) doesn’t have a direct relationship Supplier B. The owners of the fields or wind farms are trading directly with the wholesale market through brokers.


There’s nothing wrong with the method chosen by Supplier A. Both methods are about buying renewable power backed by REGOs and feeding it into the grid.
But the route that Supplier B is on means it can be done at scale.


The argument that Supplier A uses is really an economic one - not a renewable ‘physics’ one. They argue that by committing to a particular (usually a smaller, local) generator in advance it is supporting the development of renewable generation. There is a small amount of truth in this. But the argument was far stronger 20 years ago when this up front commitment did indeed help small local farmers raise funds to finance the build of small scale wind farms.


Today the scale of renewable generation has changed dramatically. It has been industrialised.
It can be also now be argued that buying ‘after the fact’ is equally economically valid because it creates a dedicated green retail market - a consumer ‘pull’ - which in turn allows large scale producers to seek further finance (from big investment banks) for subsequent building of wind farms.
Renewable capacity now being built costs billions. Not a million or two.
I can understand the basic concepts behind what the Daily Mail article was trying to say, what I disagree with is the way that they are saying it. Which is why I thought Pure Planet should know that the article existed.

There's a bloke on Facebook who I've run into on numerous 'Green Energy' pages, who bangs on about the fact that, unless you have solar panels, ground-source heat pump, or wind turbine in your garden, the energy we buy as consumers isn't 'green' because it goes into a 'mixed-grid' - that concept, I would hope most users get, but suspect many don't.

I know 'my energy' is not likely to be 'green' until such time as most/all of the mix becomes renewable, I buy 'green energy' because end customers need to prove the market exists, or suppliers have less incentive to build the infrastructure.

It's the way that the Daily Mail appears to make out that just because you don't 'own,' or have a 'direct relationship' with the producers, your energy isn't 'green' that annoys me. If they are that concerned that the market's broken, perhaps they should be taking the government on to fix it, and replace REGOs with something more easily understood.

The press can understand that the government need to underwrite a price for generated electricity for 30+ years to build a nuclear power plant, but can't understand that if you want to convince someone to build an offshore wind farm, they need to know there's a market for it.

I presume, and please correct me if I'm wrong Marc, that somewhere along the line, these REGOs mean that someone knows that the amount of 'green energy' generated, and the amount of 'green energy' paid for by energy companies on behalf og their customers - match up?
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Hi @Marc
That's helpful, confirms what I had guessed was the situation. No idea why they picked on Pure Planet, and I've given her the benefit of the doubt that she wasn't responsible for the headline...
Thanks for this extra info
Stephen

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