Water Industry News

Scottish Water Slashes Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Utility supplier Scottish Water has just published the second annual update of its Net Zero Emissions Routemap, revealing that exactly half of all greenhouse gas emissions from water and wastewater services have successfully been cut.


In 2021, a drop of 18,000 tonnes in operational emissions was seen, bringing the total figure for the year to 231,000 CO2e, as a result of energy-efficient measures, renewable energy prioritisation and planting over 200,000 trees.


The company produces over 1.5 billion litres of water each day and treats over one billion litres of wastewater. This new routemap update highlights the key areas of progress that have been made to drive down emissions associated with these processes over the last 12 months.


Activity across all key areas has helped the supplier reduce, capture or eliminate emissions, as well as identifying opportunities for innovation in the future.


Commenting on the latest results, Simon Parsons – director of strategic customer service planning with Scottish Water – said: “This is a significant milestone to have reached, but we are committed to doing much much more at scale and speed to ensure we meet our 2040 net zero targets.


“We are on track to exceed our original routemap target on operational emissions of 60 per cent by 2025.”


Douglas Millican, company chief executive, made further comments, saying that the supplier is now seeing “real forward momentum” where delivering emissions reductions is concert, helping to reduce operational environmental impacts and laying down firm foundations for even more reductions in the future.


Scottish Water has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2040, five years ahead of the timeframe set out in the Scottish Programme for Government plans to be carbon neutral by 2045.


The routemap itself was developed alongside a panel of experts and stakeholders, setting out how it plans to be an industry leader for net zero emission success by 2040 and beyond.


It intends to achieve this by becoming more energy efficient overall, as well as embracing low carbon construction, using lower-carbon energy products, storing unavoidable emissions and investing in renewable technology.


Its vision for the water sector in particular includes ensuring that all of Scotland enjoys excellent quality drinking water all the time, while wastewater treatment and recycling could be done in ways that generate value and protect the environment at the same time.


Furthermore, it has pledged to involve and inspire the people of Scotland to love their water and only use what is necessary, while promoting access to the natural environment and encouraging local communities to both enjoy what’s on their doorstep and take steps to protect it, as well.


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