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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 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. You may also be interested to read our Position Statement on Plastics

2018 Sustainability Report

We are delighted to share highlights from our 2018 Sustainability Report:

  • Our carbon footprint continues to reduce, supported by further decarbonisation of grid electricity.
  • 2017/18 saw us pass the renewable electricity milestone of hosting the generation of more than double the electricity we consume.
  • We launched our Capital Carbon Accounting Tool as part of a new approach to managing carbon in our capital programme.

Our Sustainability Report 2018 continues the ‘natural and social capital’ theme of last year’s report. Natural Capital describes the stock from which we draw the environmental services that support society – the water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat and the land on which we live, work and play.

Social capital represents our impact on, and the engagement and trust we have with, customers, individuals, communities and stakeholders.

This year we have introduced a number of metrics, to show how we are performing on various aspects of natural and social capital.

The report also provides details of our annual carbon footprint, which is summarised below.

Carbon Footprint

We monitor and report our annual operational 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.

Our operational carbon footprint for 2017/18 fell by a further 34,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) to 315,000 tCO2e; a reduction of over 10%.

Since we began monitoring and reporting our carbon footprint in 2006/07, our annual emissions have fallen by 32%.

The graph below shows the reduction in our footprint since 2006/07. It is notable that this long-term downward trend has been achieved alongside continued investment to deliver higher service levels, meet growth in demand, and improve statutory compliance.

Annual operational carbon footprints 2006/07 to 2017/18

Carbon Foot Print Graph

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 have embarked upon a new approach to managing carbon in our capital programme as well as in our day-to-day operations.  You can read more about our carbon management in our Sustainability Report 2018.

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

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