Water industry experts from Ricardo and Mott MacDonald have collaborated to create what they describe as “a pioneering strategy that will guide the UK water industry to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.”
The strategic routemap was produced on behalf of industry body Water UK, after many months of analysis, in-depth conversation and innovative thinking by consultants at the two global consultancies. The document is also seemingly unprecedented; the UK water industry is the first such industrial sector in the world to deliver a detailed plan to achieve net zero carbon on operational emissions by 2030, a full twenty years ahead of the UK Government’s stated goal.
Ricardo CEO Dave Shemmans said: “There is a critical relationship between climate change and water resource management, and whatever sector you work in, water will play a significant role in what you do. It was essential that the sector took this proactive step that will have substantial positive impacts in helping the UK achieve its 2050 target.”
The Routemap, which was officially announced on Thursday, 12th November, has been designed to offer a range of potential pathways to suit the different requirements of water companies but with the same end goal of achieving net zero by 2030.
“This is an important report, not just for the water industry, but for all sectors,” added Dave Shemmans. “The climate emergency that we are experiencing around the world, will not go away without strong leadership, innovative ideas and people who care enough to want to make a genuine difference.
“The work that has been done in developing this scientifically robust strategy is an indication to other organisations and industries of what is possible. And this ground-breaking approach has now opened the doors to other industries to follow a similar path.”
Mike Haigh, Mott MacDonald’s executive chairman, said: “Net zero isn’t something that any one water or wastewater company can achieve alone. Every single organization will have to work with its peers, with the whole of its supply chain, with landowners and with its customers. Government and regulators have pivotal roles in setting the policy and legislative frameworks to enable and incentivise the transition. Net zero by 2030 will be a huge team effort.”
To achieve net zero by 2030, the water industry will need to reduce its current greenhouse gas emissions through the use of efficiency interventions and alternative technologies; renewable energy generation; and removing residual emissions by contributing to the UK’s natural sequestration efforts. The sector has already started working towards its goal with a number of programmes and initiatives already in place.
The work done by Ricardo and Mott MacDonald in preparing this routemap builds on what has already been achieved and supports the transition to a lower emissions future, according to the firms. Progress on the net zero carbon goal will be independently assessed each year with key milestones reported publicly.
Ricardo and Mott Macdonald will be conducting a series of webinars on the routemap in Feb 2021. These will include how and why the routemap was developed, the net zero solutions it identifies and the lessons that can be learned for other sectors and organisations looking to achieve net zero.
To register interest in attending one of the Ricardo and Mott MacDonald webinars on the Water UK net zero 2030 routemap, visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3546104630903434764?source=pr
The routemap is available for download here: https://www.water.org.uk/routemap2030/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Water-UK-Net-Zero-2030-Routemap.pdf