Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today.
Reports in the media about extreme weather conditions across the world are becoming more and more frequent.
Only recently, in summer 2019, we have seen temperatures reach record highs here in the UK, including the hottest day since records began.
We can see the effects it’s having. That’s why we must act now.
Key challenges presented by Climate Change
Climate change is a priority risk for us and acts as a contributor to other principle risks, as everything we do is impacted by weather. We work to calculate, mitigate and eliminate climate change risks through our Enterprise Risk Management process.
All of these result in a poorer customer experience. Our annual report details the risk climate change poses and how we will manage climate risks.
Accountability and Governance
The Board has overall responsibility for our approach to climate change, and meets 7 times a year to review strategic matters. Climate change is discussed as a key environmental topic.
The board regularly reviews carbon performance metrics as it is an outcome delivery incentive, reported to our regulator, OFWAT.
Carbon is monitored at the group level as a corporate
responsibility metric, and is reviewed at each Corporate Responsibility meeting.
Climate change risks are assessed by the Corporate Responsibility Committee and reported into the board.
We have an Energy Steering Group who meet quarterly and is chaired by our Chief Executive Officer.
Both mitigation and adaptation climate-related issues are integrated into the performance objectives and business plans for the Energy and Environment teams, steered by our Head of Environment and our dedicated climate change lead.
How we’re reducing our carbon emissions
We’ve been reducing our carbon emissions year-on-year over the last decade, but we need to do more.
In 2019 we set a clear and bold ambition, which we have named our Triple Pledge.
By 2030 we will reach:
Our climate achievements so far
In 2018, we won Energy and Carbon Initiative of the year at the Water Industry Achievement awards for our energy demand management work to deliver over 20 Mega Watts of energy flexibility, balancing supply and demand on the National Grid.
Our carbon footprint explained
Our triple pledge relates to our operational carbon emissions and focusses on direct and indirect emissions we produce. These are categorised as scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
We currently report all of our scope 1 and 2 emissions, and estimate a proportion of our scope 3 emissions. We are working to improve our data capture for scope 3 emissions, which include emissions from our supply chain companies who do work for us
What we’re doing to reduce our carbon emissions
Our PR19 Business Plan, covering 2020 to 2025, sets out how we will continue to cut our carbon emissions
We take a range of actions to reduce our energy consumption. We regularly monitor site energy performance, challenging current practice and identifying energy saving opportunities.
We’re delivering energy efficiency improvement work on all assets across the wholesale business. This includes:
- Improving heating and lighting assets and controls
- Replacing or refurbishing inefficient pumps and other infrastructure
- Refurbishing office sites as part of our workplace improvement programme, to create more efficient, resilient and comfortable places to work
- Improving treatment processes on clean and waste water sites
- Researching and developing newer, more efficient technologies.
We also encourage our teams to support and take responsibility for reducing our energy consumption at work. Our monthly Kill-a-Watt league recognises people who achieve the best energy saving measures each month.
We engage with customers on water efficiency and sewer misuse, to reduce the amount of water and waste water we need to treat.
We generate 50% of our energy from renewable source. This energy is used at Severn Trent Water sites and exported to the national grid.
We are able to generate green energy using the following methods:
- Solar panels
- Sewage sludge
- Anaerobic digesters
- Hydro turbines
- Wind turbines
- Food waste
We're currently researching, investigating and working on new projects to use a variety of renewable technologies, such as converting food waste into green energy.
As part of our triple pledge we have agreed to roll out 100% electric vehicles across our fleet.
We will achieve this by:
- Reducing the number of miles we all drive
- Introduce more electric vehicles to our fleet (we’ve already started with our vans)
- Explore alternative fuels for our larger vehicles
- Provide sites with charging infrastructure
Greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide are released through the biological treatment of sewage and biosolids.
We are running and involved in projects to better understand and quantify these emissions so we can focus activity to reduce them.
Our approach to reporting is based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and we have included only emissions from the assets which we own and operate and which we can directly influence and reduce, known as the financial control boundary.
|Emissions for combustion of fuel and operation of facilities (Scope1)||132,535||132,406||134,584||138,131||134,307||132,360|
|Emissions from electrcity purchased for own use (Scope 2)||330,679||357,756||337,028||294,426||279,393||217,726|
|Total Annual Gross Operational Emissions||463,214||490,163||471,612||432,557||413,700||350,086|
|Emissions benefit of the renewable energy we export (including biomethane exported for which we hold green gas certificates)||21,672||38,878||45,085||42,069||45,333||46,986|
|Emissions reduction from purchase of renewable energy (market based carbon accounting benefits)||-||-||-||-||-||34,818|
|Total Annual Net Operational Emissions||441,542||451,285||426,527||390,488||368,367||268,283|
Adapting to climate change
As a water company we are acutely aware of the day-to-day impact that weather can have on our business.
Our 2015 to 2020 Climate Change Adaptation Report