In May we continued our cross-party Industry Visit Programme with visits to two sites to learn more about how UK Industry is responding to the immense challenges and opportunities posed by the transition to Net Zero. Here, we reflect on these cross-party visits and the important areas that they covered.
Hinkley Point C with EDF Energy
On 18 May the Industry and Parliament Trust in partnership with EDF Energy took a cross-party delegation of parliamentarians to the site of Hinkley Point C. The delegation included Virginia Crosbie MP, Sir James Duddridge MP, Patrick Grady MP, Derek Thomas MP, Seema Malhotra MP, Damien Moore MP and Lord Gadhia.
Construction and operation of Hinkley Point C will create 25,000 employment opportunities, up to 1,000 apprenticeships and 64% of the project’s construction value is predicted to go to UK companies. Hinkley Point C will make a major contribution to the UK’s move to reduce carbon emissions. The electricity generated by its two EPR reactors will offset 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, or 600 million tonnes over its 60-year lifespan.
The visit began at the National College for Nuclear where attendees got to hear about the programs on offer for students, a tour of the site allowed them to see the practice facilities that they have equipping students for a career in the nuclear sector. Parliamentarians met with apprentices to hear about their courses and why they chose to study at the National College for Nuclear.
From here we travelled to the site of Hinkley Point C. A working lunch then followed which included a presentation from EDF Energy about the site, the progress that has been made, and the wider benefits that the site is creating for employment and the wider economy. Attendees then got into full PPE and embarked on a tour of the site. The tour was led by construction team leads who are working on the site daily. The tour showed attendees the progress that has been made and explained the different structures that made up the site from the Nuclear Island to the turbine hall, as well an understanding of how the site will operate and produce power. During the tour members also got to hear about the different construction processes and practices that were taking place.
In Mid-May, we took a cross-party group of Parliamentarians to Nestlé Confectionary in York to learn about its operations and global research centre. The visit was attended by the Earl of Caithness, Robert Goodwill MP, Yvonne Fovargue MP, Julian Sturdy MP, Rachael Maskell MP and Damien Moore MP.
Described as the home of its confectionery business, Nestlé’s York campus is home to one of the largest confectionery factories in the UK. Amongst several other iconic products, the factory has been producing KitKat, one of the most recognisable confectionery brands of all time, since 1935.
The visit began with a routable presentation and discussion about the business’s ambitious sustainability objectives including its widening use of recyclable packaging and support of the scaling up of farming practices that help protect soil health and increase soil organic matter through regenerative agriculture initiatives in partnership with farmers and their communities around the world. This was followed by a visit to the factory where the parliamentarians learnt more about the investment in new machinery to increase efficiency on the factory floor and witnessed part of the process of making KitKats.
The visit concluded with a visit the Product Technology Centre which sees the development of innovative products and technologies that drive the global business including satellite monitoring technology to address deforestation. This part of the visit included a tasting session which gave a fascinating insight into Nestle’s innovations in plant-based chocolate.
We would like to thank EDF Energy, the team at Hinkley Point C and Nestlé for hosting the visits and to all the Parliamentarians who attended.