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.

Introduction by Emma Goddard, Head of 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.

We work hard to ensure we play our part in protecting and enhancing wildlife, reducing our carbon footprint, efficiently using resources and by ensuring we value nature in the decisions we make. As significant landowners, we own and manage 33 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, a National Nature Reserve, two local nature reserves and numerous Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. However we have set ourselves a stretching target in this area, and will be working over the next five years to ensure that almost 70% of our estate is proactively managed for biodiversity.

We go far wider than just our own landholdings and assets, we work closely with landowners to test and promote sustainable land management practices. Our work in partnership with Natural England has ensured that are able to deliver bespoke advice to support land managers enabling them to protect and enhance the environment. During the year we have worked with them on a number of innovative pilots reducing the use of pesticides, nutrients and the amount of soil which washes into water courses. We also worked with the Cuckmere and Pevensey Catchment Partnership, leading a Defra Environment and Land Management (ELM) trial on the Pevensey Levels. Our work here focused on how farmers and land managers could be paid in future for changing practices which help to deliver wider environmental benefit for example locking carbon into soils.

Our work has gone further than just land management, we are one of the first companies to actively engage ‘other abstractors’ to improve catchment resilience to low flows. Here we are engaging and working with abstractors to develop a set of tools to enable them to reduce their water abstraction needs during low flow events. This work has the potential to create much needed drought resilience in a number of our surface water catchments.

In addition to this work, nine Water Industry National Environment Programme projects were signed off, higher than target. The programme serves to enhance the natural water environment which, as guardians of the environment, is something we wholeheartedly believe in.

We are committed to the industry’s ambition to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and have created a company roadmap outlining what we’re going to do to reach that which you can read here.

We are keen to ensure our work to create a thriving environment is embedded throughout the whole company. We do this through training, raising environmental awareness both within the business and outside and ensuring our in-house environmental team supports all aspects of the work we undertake in the business.

Creating a thriving environment is at the heart of our company purpose and through our dedicated work we hope to create a natural environment which is far better tomorrow, than it is today.

For previous years reports, click here.

res

Number of pollution incidents (category 1 - 2)

As a key guardian of the south east’s environment, we expect ourselves to be compliant with all environmental regulations and to have zero pollution incidents.

River

Number of breaches of abstraction licences, environmental discharge consents

One of our key aims is to leave the environment in a better state than today so it can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Electric vehicles

Renewable energy measures

Find out about our responsible business commitment to publish our renewable energy measures.

Canada Geese

Natural capital accounting

We plan to adopt a natural capital approach to ensure we value our impacts and dependencies on nature in the decisions we make.

Refill campaign

Support the tap water refill campaign to reduce plastic bottled water

our responsible business commitment to support the tap water refill campaign to reduce plastic bottled water.

Working with abstractors

Engaging and working with abstractors to improve catchment resilience to low flows

We are one of many businesses that take water from the environment and we work with local farmers and landowners who also abstract water, to plan how they can be more water efficient benefitting both themselves and the environment.

Farming

Bespoke Abstraction Incentive Mechanism (AIM)

We see ourselves as guardians of the environment and a key part of that is maintaining and enhancing the natural world around us.

Electric vehicles

Greenhouse gas emissions

We are committed to the industry’s ambition to be Net Zero Carbon for operational emissions by 2030.

Arlington Reservoir

Delivery of Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP)

The Water Industry National Improvement Programme is focused on enhancing the natural environment and for this measure between 2020 and 2025 we must deliver 65 improvement schemes.

Farmland

Water Industry National Environment Programme

The statutory Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP) is centred on enhancing the natural environment and ensuring any water we take does not have a negative impact on the environment.

Arlington Reservoir

Protecting wildlife and increasing biodiversity

We are committed to providing biodiversity net gains on our sites through our ongoing conservation work during the 2020 to 2025 period.

Working with landowners

Engaging and working with landowners

In areas of land which have been identified as being at risk of raw water deterioration, our target is to successfully engage with farmers and landowners.