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Leading the way

Innovation

We have developed a range of standardised equipment to help reduce design and commissioning time, lower costs and produce higher build quality. Our science teams have developed new analysis techniques, while byelaws inspectors have developed a prototype valve to prevent backflow from industrial processes to water distribution systems. We have conducted trials on a recycling sludge system and have been involved in European research projects looking at sustainable urban drainage systems and drinking water sources.

Social media

More and more customers are choosing to find out information about services using digital media, and our customer service Twitter account now has more than 12,500 followers – an increase of 48% in the last year, and we have received 8,824 Tweets, an increase of 63% on the number received a year earlier.

Scottish Water International

Using the expertise of Scottish Water employees, our International subsidiary offers specialist consultancy services to utilities, foreign governments and other international clients. During the year, International continued with its major assignment in Qatar to help oversee management of a 5 year programme to transform drainage and waste water services. International also completed an assignment to make recommendations in the Canadian City of Calgary. International has won a new assignment to provide advice and support in connection with a project in Australia for Adelaide-based SA Water.

Wholesale services

Scottish Water is the wholesaler for businesses, public sector and charitable organisations who can choose their provider of water services. The number of companies licensed to provide these services has increased and Scottish
Water has actively supported the development of the market. We participated in the Open Water Programme Development Board and a number of workshops, as well as in more detailed experience-sharing meetings.

Business Stream

Business Stream is Scottish Water’s licensed subsidiary to provide services to non-domestic customers. Business Stream has worked hard to retain customers by offering them innovative, tailored solutions and value formoney. Business Stream has steadily increased customer satisfaction levels and this year launched a myBusinessStream app and an end of call satisfaction monitoring tool using the market leading service, Rant and Rave.

Scottish Water Horizons

Scottish Water Horizons uses innovative ideas, knowledge and Scottish Water assets to encourage economic growth and the use of sustainable technologies. Horizons’ third party waste business doubled its sales in the last year. Its food waste recycling supplied around 12% of food waste into the Deerdykes Anaerobic Digestion site. Horizons invested £2.5 million in renewable energy schemes and has also been developing innovation testing facilities for new water-related products and processes.

Learning and development

We have built a new training and testing facility which simulates real-life scenarios. We have created qualifications, modern apprenticeship frameworks and graduate schemes. We aim to develop future engineers and scientists, with a specific focus on encouraging more women to take up such careers. We currently have 75 modern apprentices and 33 graduates. We have been named as an “Investor in Young People”, one of the first public sector organisations to receive this prestigious award.

Wellbeing

Our wellbeing programme provides support for employees in respect of physical wellbeing, emotional wellbeing, agility in the workplace and the energised person. Agile working is a key driver of employee engagement. We know from our recent employee survey that one of the things our people value most about working for Scottish Water is that employees are trusted to work in an agile way and that we offer flexible working arrangements and family friendly policies.

Equality

As a family friendly employer, we have been awarded the Carers Positive kitemark. We have developed new policies on shared parental leave and we have developed partnerships with organisations such as the Business Disability Forum. Our women in leadership network events – aimed at inspiring, supporting and encouraging women – continue to attract good support. In the recruitment of new employees, we are achieving an increasingly balanced gender profile.

Health and safety

Our continued focus on health and safety has resulted in a 20% reduction in Lost Time Accidents in the last year. In 2014, we were awarded the industry health and safety management award by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for the third successive year.