New Net Zero Emissions Drive Welcomed

03 September 2019

Leading the Way

Our investment in renewable technology and commitment to making energy efficiencies wherever possible has already delivered significant results. Now we're seeking to transform our activities to reach net zero emissions five years early.

“We’re absolutely committed to doing all we can to reduce the impact we have on the environment. It’s not just our duty and our responsibility – it's the right thing to do.”

Douglas Millican
Chief Executive, Scottish Water
Scottish Water welcomes the opportunity to deliver net zero emissions ahead of national targets, as set out today in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government.

The plan sets out national priorities for the coming year and places a focus on how the country will respond to the climate emergency, highlighting the important role Scottish Water will play in leading on renewable technologies and energy efficiency.

Scottish Water’s track record over more than a decade has already delivered significant reductions in carbon emissions from our activities, increased energy efficiency and developed renewable technologies.

Now the organisation will seek to transform its activities to reach net zero emissions five years ahead of national 2045 targets – and go beyond.

Scottish Water will develop a route map for progress working with both the water sector and wider public sector.

Activities will include increasing the amount of renewable energy generated and hosted to 300 per cent more than the energy consumed, leading on biogas generation and recovering energy from waste water to convert into heat.

We will accelerate our strategy to minimise emissions through reducing demand and leakage, investing in energy efficiency and renewable power, and transforming our treatment works and processes to lower emission technologies.

At the same time, we will invest in the management of our catchments to restore peat, increase woodland and turn our landholdings into a ‘carbon sink’, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Water drinkers in Scotland tap in to smart top up points
Anaerobic digestion at Deerdykes Recycling Centre
New Net Zero Carbon Drive
Hydropower at Firrhill Edinburgh
New Net Zero Carbon Drive


We're already investing in renewables such as heat from waste, solar energy, Combined Heat and Power (CHP), Biomass, hydropower and wind power schemes at our sites across Scotland.

Douglas Millican, Chief Executive, Scottish Water, said: “This will be a big challenge – it presents a massive opportunity.

“We’re absolutely committed to doing all we can as a major public body providing vital water and waste water services throughout the whole country to reduce the impact we have on the environment. It’s not just our duty and our responsibility – it's the right thing to do.

“Our aim is to go further than just meeting the targets already laid down. We want to meet our net zero milestone by 2040, five years early. And once we achieve that we want to go beyond, to go further in ensuring all of our activities have an overall positive impact on the planet.

“This will have a transformative impact on everything we do.

“I’m enormously proud of the positive contribution we’ve made in the water sector in Scotland to date. There is clearly more we can all do and Scottish Water will lead the way in delivering better and more sustainable services for our communities.”

New Net Zero Carbon Drive

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) scheme at Deerdykes Recycling Plant.

New Net Zero Carbon Drive

Heat from Waste Green Energy Network in Stirling