Our performance and climate change

Being transparent and open about our contribution to climate change is the first step in tackling it. 

Jumping in a puddle
  • tCO2e – This stands for ‘tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent’. For very large numbers it may be written with ‘kt’ before it, meaning kilotonnes (one thousand tonnes). There are lots of different gasses which all affect climate change differently. To keep things simple, we put them all together and measure them by the amount of carbon dioxide they would produce.
  • Scope 1 emissions – These are the emissions we directly release into the atmosphere. They come from burning fossil fuels on our sites, driving company vehicles and releasing gasses during treatment processes.
  • Scope 2 emissions – These are emissions indirectly released to the atmosphere through the electricity we use to pump and treat water and wastewater.
  • Scope 3 emissions – These are all our other indirect emissions from business travel on public transport and in private vehicles, activities from outsourced operators and the transmission and distribution of the grid electricity that we purchase.

Location based emissions
227 ktCO2e

 Scope 1 emissions 32% 

 Scope 2 emissions 58% 

 Scope 3 emissions 10%


This chart shows what made up our 2019/20 emissions if we were using non-renewable energy.

Market based emissions
84 ktCO2e

 Scope 1 emissions 86% 

 Scope 2 emissions 0% 

 Scope 3 emissions 16%


This chart shows what made up our 2019/20 emissions if we take into account our use of renewable energy, resulting in zero emissions.

As you can see, electricity is the main source of our emissions. Switching to a 100% renewable electricity tariff and investing in renewable energy has cut down our emissions by a huge amount. We’ve also made an agreement with Ofwat (our regulator) to reduce our operational emissions by 12% by 2024/25. You can see our planned targets to achieve this on the graph below.

Date 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 2023/24 2024/25
Emissions 89 83.7 81.7 79.7 77.7 75.7 73.7