To achieve the reduction the company will close two of its older coal-fired power stations, Kingsnorth in Kent and Ironbridge in Shropshire, by 2015 and has submitted applications to build two gas-fired stations at the Isle of Grain in Kent and at Drakelow in Derbyshire.

In addition, the company is also conducting a feasibility study into building a new coal-fired power station at Killingholme in Lincolnshire, which will have carbon capture capability.

As well as operational reductions, the company is looking to reduce its carbon footprint by making its buildings more energy efficient and reviewing ways to reduce business mileage. Noting the challenge associated with cutting carbon intensity Dr Paul Golby, chief executive, said: “We’ve already reduced our carbon intensity by more than 20% since 1990.”