Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive of Northumbrian Water, opened an industry-wide conference on Thursday, where representatives from across the sector came together to discuss the challenge and share experience as they work to deliver on a commitment to be net zero carbon by 2030.
Having set itself a challenge of achieving this by 2027, Northumbrian Water was among those at Water UK's Delivering a Zero Carbon Water Sector conference and Heidi is one of three CEOs leading the industry commitment.
Northumbrian Water is the industry leader in Advanced Anaerobic Digestion, through which it uses 100% of its sewage sludge to create energy, and has reduced its own carbon emissions by 50% since 2008. Additionally, its commitment to increase the amount it spends in its operating areas to 60p in every pound, aims to reduce travel and movements as well as supporting local economies, while green fleet plans are set to add to existing sustainable energy purchasing and generation.
Heidi said: "The environment is something we, as an industry, care about passionately. How could we not? The water cycle starts with us taking water from the environment and the circle closes when we treat customers' wastewater and return it, at the highest standards possible, back to the environment.
"Achieving net zero carbon is a challenge we are best placed to tackle if we work together, sharing experience and ideas, so that everyone benefits, and so does the environment. Our passion for the environment doesn't start and finish on the borders of our operating areas, we care deeply on a regional, national and global level.
"At Northumbrian Water, we have set ourselves a really challenging target of being net zero carbon by 2027, ahead of the industry target, and we are making real progress. We want to help others make similar big steps and also to learn from the impressive achievements of other water companies, so that we can all do more - because that is what is needed right now, more progress."