Water Industry News

Yorkshire Water Unveils Carbon Net Zero Strategy

Utility company Yorkshire Water has just published its carbon net zero strategy, outlining how it intends to hit its targets by 2030, with measures included to reduce emissions, store more carbon through land-based solutions like tree planting and peatland restoration, and increase the use of green sources of fuel.


The climate strategy will focus on five key areas: climate resilience, carbon reduction, reducing emissions, improving carbon storage and forming key partnerships.


As such, Yorkshire Water will be working to make its operations more efficient, delivering an energy efficiency programme that will see electricity use reduced by 28 per cent by 2030.


It also aims to choose renewable energy and low carbon fuels to reduce emissions, with up to 120 MW of solar to be deployed in the next five years and a minimum of 30 per cent of all electricity coming from onsite renewables.


Pete Stevens, manager of carbon neutrality with the water supplier, explained just how important tackling climate change is now becoming, with the 21st century the hottest of the past three centuries – the impact of which is now being seen on the region and the business.


He went on to say: “The water industry makes up over one per cent of total emissions in the UK, so our national carbon commitment will have a big impact on emissions reduction in the UK.


“We know that reaching that target will be a significant challenge, but it’s important that we do everything we can to meet it. Through this strategy we’ll be able to ensure that reducing emissions and finding low-carbon solutions are a part of day-to-day business at Yorkshire Water.


Mr Stevens continued, saying that the supplier’s fleet strategy is already being implemented, with alternative fuel vehicles being trialled – including the industry’s first hydrogen fuelled tanker.


It’s expected that by the end of 2021, ten per cent of all vans will be electric, with plans in place to increase this to 50 per cent by 2025. Thus far, the company has achieved a 650 tonne reduction in fleet emissions.


Yorkshire Water has also just teamed up with a group of innovative farmers as part of the Sustainable Landscapes Wolds Programme to improve water and soil quality on the Yorkshire Wolds.


Under the scheme, each farmer will grow at least ten hectares of cover crops (also known as popup rainforests), which will hold nitrates in the soil and stop them from entering aquifers and watercourses before needing to be removed at the supplier’s treatment works.


These popup rainforests, which are planted annually between food crop rotations, sequester atmospheric carbon, improve the land’s capacity to hold water and increase soil organic matter.


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