As well as receiving the highest possible four stars in the Environment Agency’s (EA’s) Environmental Performance Assessment (EPA), the company has retained its industry-leading position on pollution.
The rating reflects the company’s work in 2020, displaying leading environmental practices.
2020 saw Northumbrian Water go above and beyond its regulatory commitment to the environment around water, with a dedicated team working to deliver improvements to wildlife and biodiversity, water quality and access for visitors. A total of 28km of water environment was improved in the first year, and the team is now working on plans for the next four years.
Additionally, the company put special measures in place to make sure that its work to protect and enhance the environment were not affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, while its teams took an active role in supporting the EA on investigations into pollutions caused by third parties.
The company’s Bin The Wipe campaign was also launched in 2020 and has contributed to a 40% reduction in wet wipes in the sewers and ultimately the number of blockages in the network, helping to protect homes and the environment.
Richard Warneford, Northumbrian Water’s Wastewater Director, said: “This Four Star rating – the highest possible – is a reflection of an incredible amount of hard work across the business. While we are rightly proud to maintain our industry-leading position on pollution, we will always strive for more and better.
“Since 2015, we have invested more than £400 million in work that has benefitted the environment and our plan for 2020 to 2025 includes further investment of more than £700 million.
“It’s fantastic to see the latest Environmental Performance Assessment recognise improvements in 2020, but we always know that more can be done and will work with the Environment Agency and others to deliver further improvements for our precious environment.
“Our progress towards realising our ambition to have the best beaches and rivers in the country here in the North East is in a strong position, with 33 of the region’s 34 bathing waters rated as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ in the most recent Defra classifications – the two highest standards possible.
“The environment is at the heart of everything we do, and we know this is something our customers care passionately about too. We are determined to maintain and build upon the high standards we set ourselves and which are expected of us.”