Environment

Our business is intrinsically linked to the environment as we rely on it for our raw product, water. For this reason we do all we can to ensure there is a clean, resilient and sustainable supply available for current and future water customers whilst ensuring there is enough water available to support the needs of the environment too. Click 'Discover More' to hear from our Head of Environment, Emma Goddard.

People

Our people are dedicated to providing you with the best service possible, whether they’re out in the field searching for leaks, managing our operational sites, testing the quality of your water or answering your queries. Each and every person within the business is dedicated to delivering you the safe reliable tap water supply you expect. Click 'Discover more' to hear from our Head of HR, Sian Jenkins.

Last updated 06-07-21

We are a significant landowner in the South East, owning or managing 33 sites of Special Scientific Interest, a National Nature Reserve, two local nature reserves and numerous Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Protecting and enhancing these areas is key to maintaining a vibrant and flourishing environment.

We have a dedicated team committed to measuring and enhancing the biodiversity on these site through our ongoing conservation work.

Working with Natural England we are committed to providing net biodiversity gains during this five year period.

Due to the time it takes to see results in this area, we will not be fully assessed on this new target until 2024/25 where we could receive an outperformance reward, or underperformance penalty.

Despite this, we are keen to drive success in this measure forward and therefore had a target to undertake improvements on 1,166 hectares of land during 2020/21.

How have we performed?

During the 2020/21 period we outperformed this target, undertaking improvements on 1,172 hectares of land.

The success of this measure was largely due to the expansion of the team, the purchase of new specialist equipment and the undertaking of site surveys – an area we prioritised during Covid-19 as teams were able to work independently.

One piece of equipment that’s been purchased is a specialist cut and collect machine for use on our sites which cuts grass and collects the arising (cuttings). By collecting the arising it means that the vigour of the course grasses is reduced, benefitting wildflowers.

The species data we collect continues to highlight the importance of our sites for biodiversity with many protected species such as dormice, wart-biter bush crickets and orchids recorded.

Early indications show our programme is likely to deliver biodiversity net gain across our landholdings during the 2020 to 2025 period.

The impact of Covid-19

Due to the team being able to work independently when undertaking site surveys, we prioritised this area enabling work towards this measure to continue in a Covid-19 safe way.

Case Studies

Groundwater

Driving environmental innovation

In February 2021, we submitted two lead company applications into Ofwat’s £200 million Water in Innovation Challenge.

River

The Cuckmere and Pevensey Levels ELM Test and Trials Project

A proactive part of our day-to-day operations is to work with landowners to help manage catchments in a more integrated way to improve the quality of the environment at a local level, in the face of challenges including local development and climate change.

Forest

Protecting the environment for future generations

Protecting the environment we abstract water from is very important to us. Between 2020 and 2025 we’re donating a total of £75,000 towards Trees for the Downs, a project run by The South Downs National Park Trust.

One of our Catchment Scientists with one of our new electric vehicles. This is why we’ve committed to reducing our carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2025 and are part of the industry wide Net Zero 2030 commitment spearheaded by Water UK.

Beginning our carbon reduction journey

As guardians of the environment, we take our environmental responsibilities seriously. This is why we’ve committed to reducing our carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2025 and are part of the industry wide Net Zero 2030 commitment spearheaded by Water UK.