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Leading the way


A number of research and innovation initiatives were progressed in 2013/14 to help deliver positive outcomes for customers. These were focused around enhancing water quality compliance, obtaining value recovery from waste water and supporting sustainable rural communities. We developed our Innovation Strategy to formalise our strategic approach to research and development, accelerating the adoption of new technologies and developing a corporate culture that supports innovation in all areas of the business, and collaborated with a number of universities and research partners.

Health and Safety

During 2013/14 our continued focus on improving all aspects of health and safety has resulted in a 54% reduction in Lost Time Accidents. Furthermore, for the third successive year we were awarded the industry health and safety management award for the water sector by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Business Stream

Business Stream is Scottish Water’s licensed retail subsidiary, which supplies water and waste water services to business customers. By introducing innovation, supported by continued investment in customer service improvements, Business Stream has seen an increase in customer satisfaction levels over the past 6 years. Business Stream has continued to invest in technology to improve operational efficiency and to provide more innovative services to customers.

Scottish Water Horizons

Scottish Water Horizons uses innovative ideas, knowledge and assets to encourage economic growth and the use of sustainable technologies across Scottish Water. The focus of the business is to identify, develop and deliver innovative, profitable and sustainable growth opportunities for Scottish Water that maximise commercial gain from our intellectual and property assets. Energy output in the year was 5.6 GWh, provided by the Deerdykes Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant, and other renewable energy sources.

Scottish Water International

Our International subsidiary develops business opportunities abroad using the skills and expertise in Scottish Water to offer specialist consultancy services. We are growing our International subsidiary by seeking assignments with greater scope to deploy the skills and experience of our people. This includes a major initiative to identify suitable aid-funded projects, principally from the European Union. Our expertise is supporting bids submitted by principal contractors and consortium members, and we are facilitating intern placements for employees from water-focused nations in Scottish Water departments.

In 2013/14 we continued to help oversee management of a 5-year programme to transform drainage and waste water service in Qatar. New assignments during the year were won and delivered in Oman, Australia, Ireland, the Kyrgyz Republic and England. International was recently successful in bidding for a contract to help review services within the City of Calgary Water Services unit.

Wholesale services

Businesses, public sector and charitable organisations can choose their provider of water and waste water services. Scottish Water acts as the wholesaler, providing water and waste water services to retailers, or Licensed Providers, who in turn serve business customers. Scottish Water actively supported the development of the market over the year.

Incentive schemes relating to the identification of vacant premises continue to have a beneficial impact on the market. We continue to work with market participants to support change proposals and activities to enhance market data quality. We also participated in the Open Water Programme Development Board and a number of workshops, as well as in more detailed experience-sharing meetings.