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Sustainability and Climate Change

Trusted to serve Scotland in a changing climate

Our purpose is to support the protection of public health and the environment through providing high quality affordable drinking water and safely managing society’s waste water. We do this whilst ensuring our services are affordable and support Scotland’s economy.

Water and waste water services that are resilient to change are vital to a sustainable society. Our challenge is to find ways to be increasingly sustainable in how we deliver those services.

Our Sustainability Reports, published on this page, show examples of some of our achievements in supporting a sustainable Scotland.  They also contain our annual Carbon Footprint Reports and, this year, our Biodiversity Report, which we will publish every three years.

Carbon Footprint

We monitor and report our annual carbon footprint to help us understand how our emissions of greenhouse gases are accounted for by the different processes and activities within the business.  Knowing our carbon footprint allows us to efficiently manage these emissions and to benchmark ourselves against the UK water industry as a whole.

We undertook a crucial rebaselining exercise in 2014 to take into account major change to the way Defra calculates grid electricity emission factors, along with changes to some others such as aviation emission factors. These changes applied not only to the 2013/14 reporting period, but also retrospectively to previous years’ carbon footprints.

Our carbon footprint for 2013/14 was measured at 379,000 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent). This is a decrease of 3% compared to 2012/13, meaning we have reduced our emissions for the 7th consecutive year, despite continued investment to enhance our services.

Carbon footprints 2006/07 to 2013/14

Further details of our 2013/14 carbon footprint can be found in our Sustainability Report 2014 (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 encourage and track actions that each area of Scottish Water can undertake to help mitigate our emissions.  Our Carbon Management Plan will be published shortly; in the meantime our Carbon Plan 2010 is available.

Read our Q and A for our approach to carbon.

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

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