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Our net zero goal

As part of our environmental ambition, we’re aiming to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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Why is net zero important?

The disastrous effects of climate change, such as extreme weather, can already be seen. Tackling emissions is key to reducing the harmful greenhouse gases which cause climate change.

That’s why we’ve been involved in developing the sector’s route map to commit to zero emissions in line with the government’s national net zero carbon goal.

How are we going to reach net zero?

We understand the important role we, and the water sector must play in reducing emissions while balancing this with the need to provide our services at an affordable price to our customers. 

We remain committed to achieving net zero by 2050, which is aligned with national government net zero targets. Our long-term decarbonisation approach follows the carbon hierarchy: 

  • Reduce
  • Avoid
  • Replace
  • Remove
  • Offset

However, we continue to believe best value to our customers will not be served by purchasing external offsets for residual emissions.

Our 2025 net zero roadmap

Our net zero 2050 plan is in integral part of our submitted business plan for 2025 to 2030 and focuses on the six areas outlined below to help deliver our ambition.

Power icon representing energy demand

Greening our energy demand

Improving energy efficiency to reduce demand and source renewable energy from onsite or adjacent sources to meet our energy needs.

EV vehicle icon representing a decarbonising fleet

Decarbonising our fleet

Transitioning our fleet of cars and vans to electric by 2035 and investigating low carbon fuels such as biodiesel and hydrogen to decarbonise our HGVs by 2040.

Hand icon representing efficiencies in bioresource processes

Improving our bioresource processes

Developing new infrastructure and implementing new technologies and solutions to recycling our waste into biogas that can be used by others.

CO2 icon representing process emissions

Focusing on process emissions

Researching and developing ways in which process emissions can be monitored and reported, and building on the Bluewave Innovation team trials to reduce process emissions.

plant icon presenting a holistic approach to scope 3 emissions

Scope 3 emissions and capital carbon

Developing a sustainable procurement framework and our existing carbon culture for more conscious decision making, improving the coverage, scope, and quality of capital programmes.

Footprint icon representing natural carbon

Exploring natural carbon stores

Investigating ways in which we can better manage our own land and catchments to reduce our carbon footprint, restore our natural environment, and benefit our customers and community.

Our 2025 net zero roadmap

Our net zero 2050 plan is in integral part of our submitted business plan for 2025 to 2030 and focuses on the six areas outlined below to help deliver our ambition.

Power icon representing energy demand

Greening our energy demand

Improving energy efficiency to reduce demand and source renewable energy from onsite or adjacent sources to meet our energy needs.

EV vehicle icon representing a decarbonising fleet

Decarbonising our fleet

Transitioning our fleet of cars and vans to electric by 2035 and investigating low carbon fuels such as biodiesel and hydrogen to decarbonise our HGVs by 2040.

Hand icon representing efficiencies in bioresource processes

Improving our bioresource processes

Developing new infrastructure and implementing new technologies and solutions to recycling our waste into biogas that can be used by others.

CO2 icon representing process emissions

Focusing on process emissions

Researching and developing ways in which process emissions can be monitored and reported, and building on the Bluewave Innovation team trials to reduce process emissions.

plant icon presenting a holistic approach to scope 3 emissions

Scope 3 emissions and capital carbon

Developing a sustainable procurement framework and our existing carbon culture for more conscious decision making, improving the coverage, scope, and quality of capital programmes.

Footprint icon representing natural carbon

Exploring natural carbon stores

Investigating ways in which we can better manage our own land and catchments to reduce our carbon footprint, restore our natural environment, and benefit our customers and community.

Our interim target

Last year we reported how we faced significant challenges to deliver our interim target of net zero operational emissions by 2030 without the use of external offsets. This year we completed a review of our interim target, and the Board approved a revised commitment to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 35% by 2030, compared to 2022–23 emissions. 

This interim target accounts for our forecast that emissions will rise by nearly 10% during our business plan period 2025–30. This increase is due to the impact of population growth – we will serve more customers and operational emissions will rise – and our planned investments in assets, including actions in our Water Resources Management Plan and Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP). 

Our interim target to reduce emissions relies heavily on projected UK grid decarbonisation and delivery of interventions, including:

  • transitioning from natural gas to more carbon efficient electric heat pumps for office heating
  • moving our fleet from combustion vehicles to low or zero emission vehicles
  • investment required at our sewage sludge anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities to support compliance with the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). 

We continue to explore opportunities that deliver additional emission reductions above this target, including efficiency actions, plant replacement and optimisation. 

Our decarbonisation roadmap

Our decarbonisation roadmap for long- term reductions is underpinned by four principles:

  • further embedding a culture for decarbonisation
  • industry collaboration
  • innovation and research and development
  • and an adaptive approach. 

We will continue to develop our decarbonisation roadmap out to 2050 and report our progress on this, and our interim target, on an annual basis.

A key part of this is our continued work to progress the accuracy and completeness of our capital carbon emissions, following the guidance of Ofwat, and enhancing our supplier relationships to leverage their information, expertise and knowledge. Our net zero plan will be updated during this year.

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