Water industry launches carbon neutrality project

3rd December 2019

Web water istock 638362198

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Planning ,
  • Waste ,
  • Water ,
  • sea ice loss



Water companies in England have today launched a major project to plan how the sector will become the first in the UK to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

International consultancies Mott MacDonald and Ricardo will carry out research on behalf of Water UK and UKWIR to agree a practical approach, assessing what carbon reduction measures will be most impactful.

The sector will publish a comprehensive plan next March detailing what action it will take to achieve net zero emissions over the next decade, followed by a detailed report in the summer.

Progress on the 2030 goal will be independently assessed each year, with key milestones reported publicly. Individual companies will use the action plan to inform their own approaches to carbon neutrality.

“This is an important first step on the sector's journey to be net carbon zero by 2030, said Peter Simpson, chief executive of Anglican Water, and one of the project's sponsors.

“This vital project will help us find the technologies and processes we need to help us become carbon zero. Bringing in outside expertise to help us reach this target is essential.“

As the fourth most energy-intensive industry in the UK, the water sector directly contributes to around five million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.

It is the first industrial sector in the UK – and one of the first major industries in the world – to commit to carbon neutrality by 2030, and did so in a Public Interest Commitment earlier this year (PIC).

As well as the immediate impact of carbon reductions, the industry intends to share its learnings to help other major energy-using industries to deliver their own plans.

Additional targets announced in the PIC include tripling the rate of leakage reduction across the sector by 2030, and preventing the equivalent of four billion plastic bottles ending up as waste.

It has also pledged to make bills affordable, as a minimuim, for all households with water and sewerage bills more than 5% of their disposable income by 2030, and develop a strategy to end water poverty.

Moreover, it has said it will become the first sector to achieve 100% commitment to the Social Mobility Pledge.

“The water industry is committed to playing a leading role in decarbonising our economy and while achieving net zero carbon for the sector by 2030 is an extremely challenging task there is huge conviction, enthusiasm and passion from across the sector to ensure we achieve it, Simpson added.

Image credit: ©iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Majority of environmental professionals fear green skills gap

Almost three-fifths of UK environmental professionals feel there is a green skills gap across the country’s workforce, or that there will be, a new survey has uncovered.

4th July 2024

Read more

Climate hazards such as flooding, droughts and extreme heat are threatening eight in 10 of the world’s cities, new research from CDP has uncovered.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Nine in 10 UK adults do not fully trust brands to accurately portray their climate commitments or follow the science all the time, a new survey has uncovered.

19th June 2024

Read more

Just one in 20 workers aged 27 and under have the skills needed to help drive the net-zero transition, compared with one in eight of the workforce as a whole, new LinkedIn data suggests.

18th June 2024

Read more

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

David Symons, FIEMA, director of sustainability at WSP, and IEMA’s Lesley Wilson, tell Chris Seekings why a growing number of organisations are turning to nature-based solutions to meet their climate goals

6th June 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close