Our region has many of the country’s finest rivers and streams and we are focused on working with other stakeholders in continuing to protect and improve their condition.
- Watercourses in good ecological and chemical condition with abstractions, effluent and land run-off sustainably accommodated by the environment.
- Responsible management of our own land and neutral/beneficial impacts on other land that is influence by our activities.
- A biodiversity-rich landholding and contributor to the wider region’s biodiversity.
- Achieving carbon neutrality in the long term and generating more of our own renewable energy.
- Sustainability principles and practice integrated into the capital programme; environment and resource footprints of sites and projects minimised; and operation or promotion of more sustainable alternatives to conventional water management and treatment.
- Waste generation minimised, with zero waste to landfill; environmental sustainability embedded within our supply chain.
What we are doing
To protect our rivers and streams we have reduced water abstraction where the risk is greatest. Other interventions in the wider water system, such as reducing leakage and encouraging more efficient water use by customers, have led to a reduction in the amount of water we supply overall compared with the last 20 years.
We have widely upgraded sewage treatment and reduced the number of pollution incidents from our sewers, usually caused by blockages, and work with the Environment Agency and local councils to address where further investment is needed to comply with European regulation, which is now being extended to deal with persistent compounds.
While electricity use increased between 1990 and 2010, mainly due to tighter sewage treatment standards, we have now halted this trend, largely through concerted energy efficiency work. This is supported by detailed consumption information, analysed through our energy data hub, that reveals sites using too much electricity and in turn helps focus corrective measures. We are also generating more renewable electricity and gas from digested sewage and food waste and have increased solar and hydro electricity generation.