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Climate Change

Ready to serve Scotland in a changing climate

We measure our carbon footprint to understand how much greenhouse gases are emitted by different parts of the business and by different processes. Knowing our carbon footprint allows us to efficiently manage these emissions and to benchmark ourselves against the UK water industry as a whole.

Our carbon footprint for 2012/13 was measured at 442,906 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent). This is a decrease of over 22,000 tCO2e compared to 2011/12, meaning we have reduced our emissions for the 6th consecutive year, despite continued investment to enhance our services.

The observed decrease is due to several factors:

  1. We saw a reduction of around 9,000 tCO2e due to a reduction in chemicals. Our analysis relates to the amount of chemicals (for use in water and wastewater treatment) that we purchased in the reporting period - not the amount actually used. It is likely that not all of the chemicals purchased in 2011/12 were used in that year, so those left over will have been used in 2012/13, reducing the amount purchased.
  2. Some of the energy we use, we generate from renewable sources. During 2012/13 we undertook an exercise to achieve accreditation for more of our renewable energy sites. As more of our renewable energy is now accredited, the carbon benefit reduced our 2012/13 carbon footprint by over 7,000 tCO2e compared to 2011/12.
  3. Greenhouse gases are generated during the secondary treatment of waste water and sewage sludge. These are referred to as process emissions. A decrease of around 4,000 tCO2e can be attributed to a decrease in the amount of sludge treated.

Further details of our 2012/13 carbon footprint can be found in our Sustainability Report 2013 (pdf).

Scottish Water is committed to managing emissions and to ensuring all parts of our business consider carbon and wider sustainability within decisions and actions. To this end we are currently developing our updated Carbon Management Plan to quantify some of the carbon savings available from the actions laid out in the first iteration of our Carbon Plan

Read our Q and A on our carbon footprint and climate change.

If you have any further questions or comments, please Contact Us.

To find out more read our 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 Carbon Footprint Reports.

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