Skip to content
Networks

News item

Northumbrian Water joins the Race to Zero

Water UK is delighted to welcome Northumbrian Water on board as the latest member of the UN’s Race to Zero campaign.

The company, which supplies water and sewerage services to just under 4.4 million people in Essex, Suffolk, and the north east of England, has today published detailed plans to achieve net zero in 2027, having almost halved operational emissions since 2009. It is the only water company in the UK to use 100% of the sludge remaining after sewage treatment to produce renewable power.

The Race to Zero is a UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world.

Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive of Northumbrian Water said:

“We are proud to show our support for the ambition that will be outlined at COP26 by joining the Race to Zero, and delivering leadership and support for our region and communities in the face of climate change and all the challenges it brings.

“Climate change poses the single greatest threat to our environment and reducing carbon emissions is a vital step in tackling that challenge. Our plan to achieve net zero in 2027 outlines how we are facing this as a business – head on! And by joining the Race to Zero, we are recognising our part on the global fight ahead.

“When tackling something on this scale, collaboration is key to success, whether it is as a sector, as set out in our industry’s plans to achieve net zero carbon by 2030, or on a global scale as part of the Race to Zero. Nobody has all the answers, but by working together we can share knowledge, ideas and experience in a way that can deliver impactful – and vital – results for our environment.

“It’s fantastic that the United Nations recognises the role the UK water industry and businesses such as Northumbrian Water can play in this challenge, and we look forward to working with regions, cities, countries and companies around the world as we race to zero.”

Water UK is working as an official partner to the Race to Zero to encourage providers of water and wastewater services around the world to commit to achieving net zero ahead of the COP26 Climate Conference this November. The campaign’s ambition is to mobilise major water companies responsible for 20% of global water supply, with the aim of delivering the full decarbonisation of water and wastewater services in 20 countries by 2030.

Christine McGourty, Water UK Chief Executive said:

“With less than 100 days to go before the start of COP26 in Glasgow, there has never been a better time for water utilities around the world to demonstrate our sector’s commitment to playing its part in a healthier, safer, fairer world.

“I am delighted to welcome Northumbrian Water as the latest member of the Race to Zero and invite others to join us in the campaign as a key opportunity to share learnings and best practice on the journey to net zero emissions.”

The UK water industry was the first sector in the world to publish a detailed Routemap to achieve net zero on operational emissions by 2030. Published in November last year, the Net Zero 2030 Routemap is now being used by all UK water companies as a framework on which to build their own net zero action plans.

To find out more about the Race to Zero and register your interest in joining the campaign, go to www.water.org.uk/racetozero.

ENDS

Notes to editors
For more information contact:

About the Race to Zero

  • The Race to Zero is the largest global alliance of credible commitments by non-state actors to achieving net zero emissions as soon as possible, and by 2050 at the latest.
  • It mobilises a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing 31 regions, 733 cities, 3,067 companies, 624 educational institutions, 173 investors and over 3,000 hospitals from 37 healthcare institutions. All actors must meet stringent criteria which will bring them to the starting line to credibly race to zero emissions.

 About Water UK and the Net Zero 2030 Routemap

  • Water UK represents all water companies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • The UK water industry was the first sector anywhere in the world to publish a comprehensive plan to achieve net zero on an industry-wide basis, having almost halved operational emissions since 2011.
  • It is estimated that water companies in the UK alone will prevent the emission of 10 million tonnes of greenhouse gases by reaching net zero two decades earlier than the UK Government’s legally binding target for 2050

About Northumbrian Water

  • Northumbrian Water supplies water and sewerage services to just under 4.4 million people in Essex, Suffolk, and the north east of England.
  • The company has committed to powering all 1,858 of our sites using renewable electricity for at least the next four years, enabling us to eliminate the equivalent of 125,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
  • The company has also committed to create zero avoidable waste by 2025; this will mean eliminating, re-using or recycling 90% of waste from their operations, and working with partners to contribute to the circular economy in their regions.