Yorkshire Water makes headway on route map to carbon net zero

Energy and environment


Yorkshire Water is on its way to reach carbon net zero by 2030.

It is one of three water companies driving a world leading industry group in setting out its route map to reaching the net zero milestone in the next ten years.

The route map builds on the progress the sector has made in recent years to tackle climate change and will be launched on Thursday 12 November, in an online event that will see CEOs of Yorkshire Water, Anglian and Northumbrian, discuss their involvement in the project.

As the second largest landowner in the county, Yorkshire Water invests heavily in biodiversity and sustainable land management. Within the three priority themes of the group’s route map, Yorkshire Water is leading on nature-based solutions to the industry’s carbon usage.

Nature-based carbon reduction solutions can provide multiple benefits. For example, Yorkshire Water is well on its way to planting a million trees in the region to help offset carbon use and provide natural flood management benefits to local communities. Through well considered designs, the planting schemes are also providing new recreation opportunities and protecting wildlife.

The water company has already made significant headway on its journey to carbon net zero with an 80% reduction in operational carbon emissions. It has made substantial investment in anaerobic digestion technologies to generate renewable energy from sewage sludge that is used to power its operational sites, as well as committing to buying only certified renewable energy.

The company has also started converting its operational fleet to electric and is leading an innovative trial of hydrogen power for its heavy good vehicles, which is a first for the industry.

Yorkshire Water will soon award a contract for a new eight-year solar framework agreement covering the construction, operation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic arrays. 150 Yorkshire Water sites will generate electricity under a long-term private power purchase agreement, with surplus energy exported to the grid. Once the sites are operational it is estimated the electricity generated could save approximately 6,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent per year.

Gordon Rogers, head of sustainability at Yorkshire Water said: “Putting nature-based solutions in the ground now means long term benefits to our customers and society, well beyond 2030.

“Organisations across the board must work together to make this happen at scale and pace. The development of national funding for nature-based solutions is a step in the right direction. The water industry is perfectly placed to drive this movement in partnership with the Environment Agency and the government.”