While the global pandemic has played its part, temperature changes and less consistent rainfall also present new water demand challenges beyond any previous modelling. The need for action is clear."
Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive Officer, NWG
"As we are in a cost of living crisis, it may seem that investment in new technologies or ways of working that may have a short-term cost impact are poorly timed, but at Northumbrian Water we do not accept this.
We believe that, given not only the immediate challenges but also the increasing likelihood of further climate damage, as well as the direct financial costs of that new environment from not decarbonising now, it is very much the sensible, affordable option to act on net zero at pace.
I was delighted to represent the UK water sector as part of the Marrakech Partnership at COP26, to outline our ambitions at Northumbrian Water and the seriousness with which our industry takes this challenge. Few people have been aware that clean water has historically been a carbon-heavy commodity, but through COP26 and the UN Race to Zero, the public at large is now ever more understanding of their role in the water cycle.
Our Emission Possible plan sets out the clear ambition to achieve net zero by 2027, building on real progress since 2008, combining investment, operational improvements and constant innovation in our business.
Yet, our ambition does not stop with operational carbon. In our plan, we indicated that we would investigate and consider actions to reduce process emissions and would achieve net zero without benefits from process changes. I am pleased that we have now made progress that will allow us to begin planning and delivering on reductions in this area. We are also looking at capital carbon holistically and in a considerate fashion, rethinking our asset health and maintenance approach. We hope we demonstrate what is possible with a committed business, showing leadership in the water sector and contributing to making sure the entire sector can achieve the broader 2030 goal.
I am proud to present our progress and updated plans for our Emission Possible. It gives me great pleasure to say that we are ahead of our plans on achieving our ambitious 2027 target and anticipate achieving the goals in the plan earlier than scheduled. Given our progress, we will now go further than our original plan, looking at process emissions and capital carbon to continue to stretch ourselves further – because, at Northumbrian Water, when it comes to delivering for the environment, that is what we do."