Net Zero 2030 Routemap
Unlocking a net zero carbon future
Unlocking a net zero carbon future
In November 2020, water companies unveiled a ground-breaking plan to deliver a net zero water supply for customers by 2030 in the world’s first sector-wide commitment of its kind.
We’ve estimated we could save the emission of 10 million tonnes of greenhouse gas by reaching net zero two decades ahead of the UK Government’s legally binding target of 2050.
Our ambition is that this will set the bar for other infrastructure, utility and energy-intensive industries in the UK and around the world.
The Net Zero 2030 Routemap has been developed using over a decade’s worth of detailed data and provides water companies with a framework on which to develop and cost their own net zero action plans.
Expert analysis and consultation with stakeholders confirm there is no single solution that achieves net zero on its own so a broad combination of approaches and collaboration between water companies, policymakers and the supply chain will be needed.
By 2030 we aim to see:
100% of fleet passenger vehicles are electrified and 80% of commercial vehicles (LGVs and HGVs) converted to alternative fuels to cut carbon and air pollution.
New strategies to tackle leakage and help customers save water, alongside smarter and more efficient networks and catchments.
Targeting a reduction of up to 60% from our 2018-19 baseline by 2030, with monitoring of emissions to inform research and detailed pathways ahead of PR24.
Up to 3GW of new solar and wind power coupled with energy efficiency measures and suitable storage to provide up to 80% of sector demand, relieve pressure on grid generators, and minimise the need for offsets.
Biomethane from sewage waste is injected into the grid to heat up to 150,000 homes, use in hard to decarbonise sectors, or to generate low-carbon power when generation from renewables is low.
But even those highly challenging actions won’t be enough to reach net zero, and our plans also include:
20,000 hectares of owned peatland and grassland are restored and 11 million new trees are planted. These nature-based measures will help achieve a just transition by reducing demand on treatment, providing an important sink for the hard to abate activities like process emissions, restoring habitats, and reducing flood risk.
Process emissions are highly uncertain and tackling them quickly is a significant global challenge. We don’t have all the answers yet and finding efficient retrofit solutions is a big priority for our innovation strategy.
Even in the most ambitious of our pathways, achieving net zero will include purchasing suitable offsets to counter emissions that cannot be tackled directly by 2030. The development of a robust UK market for businesses to procure carbon offsets will be a key part in helping the sector manage any emissions that cannot yet be eliminated.
Our plan sets out six commitments alongside four recommendations for others. Together, they create accountability, reduce the costs and risks of transition, and create new benefits like restored habitats.
On 12th November, we launched the Net Zero 2030 Routemap to an audience of over 300 stakeholders in a live broadcast. Hosted by Alastair Stewart, the event brought together 14 senior decision-makers, environmental and policy experts to explore the steps that will need to be taken to deliver the transition to net zero while supporting a green, resilient recovery from Covid-19.
Water companies will use the Routemap to build their own detailed net zero action plans, taking account of the plans of key regional stakeholders such as their local electricity distribution network operator, local authorities, and environmental groups.
We have established an independent panel of experts that is working to help us navigate the opportunities and challenges of our net zero journey.
The Net Zero Expert Panel meets quarterly and is an important sounding board for the sector, providing us with strategic input and guidance at key milestones for the Routemap.