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Next stop, net zero 2030

Transforming the way we create and use energy

Climate change is the greatest challenge we all face. To help protect our world and your water supply for the future, we’re transforming the way we create and use energy. For us, the next stop is net zero. We plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 – 20 years ahead of the UK Government’s target. But we won’t stop there – by 2040, we want to go beyond net-zero and become a carbon negative business.

From cutting our carbon emissions to generating our own electricity, powering your homes to planting more trees, we won’t stand still until we reach our goal.

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What we’ve done so far

Since 1990, we’ve reduced our operational emissions by 68%, despite serving an extra 4.3 million customers. And we’ve been producing our own sustainable energy at Mogden Sewage Treatment Works since the 1930s.

Last year, we reduced our carbon emissions by 56%. One of the ways we did this was by self-generating over 20% of the electricity we used, harnessing wind, solar and poo power. We were also able to recover 150GWh of renewable heat from our operations, reducing our dependency on natural gas. And each year we produce up to 12GWh of solar energy – enough to power 3,700 households or treat water for 200,000 people.

Of course, there’s still plenty to do. To reach net zero, we’re ready to take on pioneering and innovative projects and embrace new technology.

Did you know?

The UK's largest floating solar farm can be found on our Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir.
A picture of a series of solar power panels floating on the surface of water with clouds reflected in the surface.

The UK's largest floating solar farm on our Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir. (Photo courtesy of © Lightsource bp)

What we’re doing now

Reducing use of fossil fuels

We’re increasing the use of biogas on our sites, to replace fossil fuels. And we’re looking to convert it into biomethane to export to the gas grid so customers can benefit from clean green power too.

Harnessing solar power

Right now, we can generate up to 12GWh of solar energy. We’re planning to increase this by over 50%, with panel installations at six new sites over the next year. As well as cutting down carbon emissions it lets us reduce our use of generators, for fresher air and quieter surroundings.

Recovering heat from sewage

We’re planning England's first sewage-powered domestic heating scheme. We’ve been developing inventive new ways to recover heat from our sewage treatment processes, and it could be used to power 2,000 homes.

Trialling electric vehicles

We’re introducing electric vehicles to our fleet to help us understand and tackle the challenges of a longer-term roll-out, As well as cutting carbon emissions, bringing in electric vans will make your streets quieter and help us all breathe cleaner air.

Improving energy efficiency

We’re continually monitoring and upgrading our water and sewage treatment processes to reduce the amount of energy they use.

Building a sustainable supply chain

We’re engaging with our supply chain so we can understand how they’re measuring and reducing their own carbon footprints. By sharing learnings, we hope to find new opportunities for our own improvement too.

Unlocking our resources

We’re helping farmers substitute manmade fertilisers with biosolids to save resources and avoid carbon emissions.

How we’ll get there

We know it won’t be an easy road, and we can’t achieve our goals on our own. To overcome the net zero challenge, we’ll need to work with all our partners, stakeholders, and regulators. And we’ll continually adapt our plans as the latest technologies and opportunities emerge.

Download our plan

See our full plan, including details on when we’ll deliver different initiatives.

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