Government commitments to cut Greenhouse Gas emissions in the UK to net zero by 2050 have been welcomed by a water company that is on target to be carbon neutral more than 20 years ahead of that deadline.
Northumbrian Water Group′s own objectives include zero avoidable waste by 2025 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2027 - 23 years ahead of the Government′s ambition.
The company, which includes Essex & Suffolk Water, has already reduced operational emissions by 46% since 2009 and is calling on the rest of the water industry to meet the sector′s own ambition for net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Graham Southall, Group Commercial Director, said: "Shifting the UK′s target for 2050 from an 80% reduction to net zero carbon is a bold move and one that we welcome. It is a really strong statement of intent that we can all really get behind and the water industry can be a leader in this field, and I am really proud that we will be carbon neutral more than twenty years ahead of this bold nationwide ambition.
"We′re already the only UK water company to use 100% of its sewage sludge to produce green power, and we have an agreement in place to power all 1,858 of our sites with renewable electricity for the next four years, eliminating the equivalent of 125,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.
"The hydroelectric plant at our Kielder Reservoir is the largest of its kind in England and one of a number of hydro turbines at our sites, and it′s within the power of our industry to embrace a mix of energy sources that can make a big difference to our environment.
"With or without this Government commitment, our company and sector is in a really strong position - and has a responsibility to be flagbearers for a zero carbon future."