18 Nov 20
Water industry launches roadmap for carbon neutral water supply by 2030
Net Zero

UK water companies have delivered a ground-breaking plan to deliver a net zero water supply for customers by 2030.

This ambitious target, the world’s first sector-wide commitment of its kind, would see the UK water industry reach net zero a whole two decades ahead of the Government’s legally binding 2050 target.

Developed using over a decade’s worth of data, the Net Zero 2030 Routemap delivers a framework that water companies will use to cost and develop their own net zero action plans.

In the foreword to the Net Zero 2030 Routemap, CEO of Water UK, Christine McGourty explains that “water companies’ three million tonnes annually of gross operational emissions constitute about a third of the UK’s greenhouse gases from industrial and waste management processes”.  In fact, by achieving this 2030 target, it is estimated that the emissions of 10 million tonnes of greenhouse gases could be saved.

While it is accepted that there is no single solution to achieving net zero, the routemap suggests considering actions in a variety of areas, including: -

  • Low emission vehicles
  • Water and energy saving
  • Process emissions
  • Renewable power
  • Green gas
  • Restoring natural habitats
  • Targeting innovation
  • Offsetting residual emissions


In announcing his company’s commitment to achieving net zero, Chris Matthews, Head of Sustainability at United Utilities explains that “water companies, more than any other industry, are on the frontline of climate change.  Every year we see the evidence of changing weather patterns with more frequent periods of drought, hot weather and extremes of heavy rainfall and flooding.

“It is absolutely right that we take the lead when it comes to cutting our own carbon emissions.  But we can’t do this alone, and we are calling on politicians, regulators and the supply chain to support our plans so that we can invest in the technologies and nature-based infrastructure we need to improve our environment at a cost that society can afford”.


For more information about the Net Zero 2030 Routemap please click here to visit the Water UK website.


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