Behaving responsibly is fundamental to delivering on our purpose, and the group has for many years included corporate responsibility factors in its strategic decision-making. Our environmental, social and governance performance across a broad front has received external recognition. Earlier in the year, we achieved a World Class rating in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the 13th consecutive year, again achieving industry leading performance status in the multi-utility/water sector. We look at our performance across a range of other environmental, social and governance (ESG) indices, where we also perform well.
Leakage: We have continued our strong operational focus on leakage, alongside our network resilience improvements and a range of initiatives such as active pressure management, acoustic loggers, satellite technology and the UK's first leakage sniffer dogs specially trained to pinpoint the exact location of leaks.
We continue to encourage customers to save water through water efficiency programmes as this enables them to help preserve this precious resource and can save money on their water bill.
Our final determination for 2020–25 assumes a 15 per cent reduction in leakage. Although a challenging target, we have invested some of our outperformance reinvestment in 2019/20 in our water network to help further improve our performance in this area.
Environmental performance: This is a high priority for us and an area where we have performed well, achieving Industry Leading Company status in the Environment Agency's annual assessment in three of the last four years. This is a result of our approach to managing our assets in an integrated way to minimise the number of environmental incidents. Further detail is provided in the KPI section on the right of this page.
Carbon footprint: We set a target to reduce our carbon footprint by 50 per cent by 2020 compared with a 2005/06 baseline ,and achieved this target a year early. A major contributor to this has been the purchase of certified renewable electricity, with over 95 per cent of the electricity we use having zero emissions. This year our total greenhouse emissions were 159,243 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, a reduction of 73 per cent since 2005/06.
We generated the equivalent of 191 gigawatt hours, an increase of 18 gigawatt hours on the previous year. This illustrates good progress in our energy strategy to use less and generate more renewable energy.
We have committed to six climate change mitigation pledges – see Our approach to climate change.
Employees: Our primary concern throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to protect the safety of our employees and those they work alongside. We have put safeguarding measures in place, distributed additional personal protective clothing and issued key worker cards to frontline employees to explain their presence in communities. We have not furloughed any employees and recognising that some may face challenging financial issues within their own families as a result of changing circumstances, we created a Staff Outreach Scheme to provide one-off grants through a confidential application process.
We continue to work hard to engage all of our employees in the transformation of the group's performance. Employee engagement was at 84 per cent this year, consistent with the UK high-performing norm. We remain committed to maintaining high levels of employee engagement.
We have been successful in attracting and retaining people and have continued with our apprentice and graduate programmes for 2019/20. We now have a total of 36 graduates and 102 apprentices across the business. Our investment in recruiting graduates and apprentices is already benefiting the company, with 269 employees who have previously been on either the graduate or apprentice scheme having secured permanent roles across our business.
Over the last 12 months all of our employees have attended health, safety and wellbeing training as part of our home safe and well programme, which has been designed to support colleagues understand how our individual decision-making and behaviour can ensure we look after ourselves and each other.
More than 300 colleagues then volunteered to become front line coaches and following their training are now 'peer influencing' colleagues to think again about the activities they are undertaking and consider if there is a safer way to do it. We are seeing a positive improvement in our performance.
Our employee accident frequency rate for 2019/20 was 0.110 accidents per 100,000 hours, representing a 27.6 per cent improvement on last year's outturn of 0.152. Our contractor accident frequency also showed improvement, with 0.083 accidents per 100,000 hours compared to 0.092 in 2018/19. We retained our Gold award status with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, achieving this status for the eighth year.
We are continuing our strong focus on health, safety and wellbeing and have undertaken extensive engagement across our business to enable the further development of our plans.
Communities: We continue to support partnerships, both financially and in terms of employee time through volunteering with other organisations across the North West. Our approach to integrated catchments helps to tackle water quality issues in lakes, rivers and coastal waters across the North West, and our LoveMyBeach contribution includes employees volunteering to help to keep our region's beaches tidy. We continue to support local communities through contributions and schemes such as providing debt advisory services, and our partnership with Beamont Collegiate Academy FabLab and STEM centre which will enable students from across the North West to gain first-hand experience of using hi-tech equipment and learn more about STEM in a fun and engaging way.
Key performance indicators:
Leakage: Although leakage is included within our outcome delivery incentives, we publish our leakage position separately, with it being an important measure from a corporate responsibility perspective. In 2019/20 we have again met our regulatory leakage target of 463 megalitres per day.
Environmental performance: In the Environment Agency's latest assessment, published in July 2019, we were awarded three stars (out of four) across a range of operational metrics. This is lower than our performance in the previous year where we were awarded the industry-leading 4 star status for the third consecutive year. Our lower score in the most recent assessment was primarily the result of a slight deterioration of performance against the delivery of our National Environment Programme where two projects were delivered late. The two projects were delayed due to unforeseen issues with land purchase, planning difficulties and complex interactions with a flood risk scheme. We have since made good progress with delivery and we are now operating the relevant assets in line with their new Environmental Permit requirements. We brought forward the delivery of two other major schemes to offset the environmental impact. Overall, our performance, earning industry-leading 4 star status in three of the last four years is in line with our medium-term goal of being an upper quartile company on a consistent basis.
Corporate responsibility: We are committed to operating in a responsible manner and are the only UK water company to have a World Class rating as measured by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. For 2018/19, we achieved our World Class rating for the 13th consecutive year. We demonstrate a very strong performance across a number of leading corporate responsibility indices and report these publicly in our annual report and on our website; for example, we have been named in the FTSE4Good Index every year for the last 17 years, and reconfirmed as part of the Euronext Vigeo Index UK 20.