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Net Zero Heroes

We’re celebrating the heroes spearheading the UK water industry’s action on climate change. Their passion and innovation is driving the industry to net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and more. Find out about their projects.

Kirsten is developing a new sustainability programme on innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions, including the roll-out of vehicles powered on biomethane, an e-learning module for staff on climate change, and developing an app that enables colleagues to submit ideas for carbon reduction projects. Kirsten hopes Wessex Water’s entire fleet will one day run on alternative fuels such as Bio-CNG.

Mauro is a net zero innovator having led the project at Thames Water that realised the process of generating green electricity from sewerage treatment. This process enables water companies to generate their own energy and not import from the grid during peak hours. From research and laboratory tests to a full-scale roll-out, Mauro’s hard work has lead to benefits for water, energy and national net-zero targets.

Emma is the Head of Environment at South East Water and has written the UK water industry’s first 25-Year Environment Plan. This will provide a roadmap to increasing environmental resilience, reduce both operational and capital carbon emissions by developing a range of nature-based solutions, and reduce the amount of energy and chemical-intensive water treatment processes.

In addition to helping more than 10,000 customers reduce water usage in their homes, Steve has also instigated a Holiday Parks project to help reduce usage on park sites by fitting water-saving gadgets. Steve’s dedication saw him take an active volunteer role in the Water Neutrality bid work, which won an Ofwat Innovation Award in October.

Jane has led the development of green finance in the water sector. Under her guidance, Anglian Water have now funded 850 capital investment projects through Green Bond and Sustainability-Linked Bond issuances, worth a total of more than £1bn and saving 161,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Most recently she secured the first sustainability-linked bond, connected directly to Anglian Water achieving its transitional carbon targets by 2025.

Tony has been at the forefront of Northumbrian Water’s ‘Power From Poo’ initiative, becoming the first company to use 100% of its sewage sludge to create power through the use of Advanced Anaerobic Digestion. The use of AAD played a significant part in the company’s 82% carbon reduction since 2008.

Tony has worked with colleagues from across the industry to share his learning and expertise so that other companies can do likewise.

Lisa has made it a passion to integrate carbon and resource efficiency into every aspect of her role. Lisa’s numerous projects at United Utilities range from using algae for wastewater treatment, to low carbon 3D concrete printing – a first for the UK water industry! Lisa says “the challenge is too great for one person, company or even country, it truly needs widespread collaboration and innovative thinking to tackle this unprecedented issue.”

Kirstie is one of South West Water’s first Net Zero Pioneers, passionate about promoting climate action and inspiring colleagues. Kirstie says “climate change and the impact it is already having inspired me to act. That’s why I’m playing my part in advocating for the environment and helping my colleagues get involved. We all have an important role to play and must act collectively to protect and enhance our precious natural environment.”