Yorkshire Water has revealed its strategy to reach an ambitious carbon net zero target by 2030.
The plans outline measures to reduce emissions, increase the use of green fuel sources and store as much carbon as it can through land-based solutions, such as tree planting and peatland restoration.
Manager of carbon neutrality at Yorkshire Water, Pete Stevens, said: “Tackling climate change is becoming ever more important. The 21st century has been the hottest for three centuries and we’re seeing the impact of that on our region and our business.
“All UK water companies have made a joint commitment to reach carbon net zero by 2030. To do that we must be transparent with our data and set out a clear path to achieve the goal.”
Yorkshire Water’s climate strategy focuses on five key areas:
- Climate resilience – to make long term transformation changes to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
- Carbon reduction – to make operations more efficient and deliver an energy efficiency programme to reduce electricity use by 28% by 2030.
- Reducing emissions – by choosing renewable energy and low carbon fuels. The water company will deploy up to 120 MW of solar by 2030 and is aiming for a minimum of 30% of all electricity use to come from onsite renewables.
- Improving carbon storage – through our land strategy we will retain and improve land to store carbon and provide wider sustainability benefits, such as water quality. By delivering tree planting projects, peatland restoration and other initiatives, Yorkshire Water hopes to store up to 27ktCO2e by 2030.
- Forming key partnerships – by co-ordinating efforts with Yorkshire institutions to meet challenges like developing electric vehicle infrastructure
“The water industry makes up over 1% of total emissions in the UK, so our national carbon commitment will have a big impact on emissions reduction in the UK,” said Mr Stevens.
“We know that reaching that target will be a significant challenge, but it’s important that we do everything we can to meet it. Through this strategy we’ll be able to ensure that reducing emissions and finding low-carbon solutions are a part of day-to-day business at Yorkshire Water.
“Our fleet strategy is already well under way. We’ve been trialling alternative fuel vehicles – such as the industry’s first hydrogen fuelled tanker – and by the end of this year 10% of our vans will be electric with plans to increase this to 50% by 2025.
“We have more work to do, but so far we have achieved a 650 tonne reduction in fleet emissions, which is great to see.”