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Net Zero Pioneers kick off thought-provoking seminar

23rd November 2021

It was scrum-down for the Net Zero Pioneers for a line-out alongside the new graduates at Exeter Chiefs Sandy Park Stadium.  With a grandstand view of the pitch and the low autumn sun glinting off the Exe Estuary, the Baxter Suite was a wonderful setting for a thought-provoking seminar.

South West Water’s Net Zero Pioneers are a group of dedicated employees who are on a mission to support the wider business aim of becoming Net Zero by 2030 as well as promoting these aims to our colleagues.

They aim to:

  • Support the Net Zero team with the development and delivery of the Net Zero plan
  • Promote and communicate our plans with our colleagues
  • Be the champions of our cultural changes for good, such as how we as a team think about our relationship with the environment
  • Participate in external events and communicate any learnings to colleagues

The aim of this seminar was to discuss how to best deliver our Net Zero plans by 2030, something that we are already underway with.


What does Net Zero actually mean? 

“…the balance between carbon emitted into the atmosphere and carbon removed from it…”


First Half: Carbon Accounting

Our Net Zero Pioneers received an overview of the global and national policies for carbon reduction and how these apply to South West Water.

The team then spent some time making sure they were ‘Carbon Literate’, with the group getting a common understanding of terminology and the context in which it applies and getting to grips with the Net Zero Carbon Reduction Hierarchy, which is:

  • Reduce
  • Renew
  • Offset


Second Half (change ends):   Energy Efficiency / Renewables

The team discussed an overview of the UK power generation sector and how the transition from coal-fired and traditional energy sources to renewable energy sources may affect the industry. One of our key Net Zero goals is to use 100% renewable electricity and to maximise self-generation from renewables at our over 60 sites across the South West.

We’re planning to achieve this by:

  • Investing in new renewable energy schemes appropriate to our needs
  • Optimising our existing renewable energy plants
  • Collaborating with new or existing third-party projects that neighbour our treatment works
  • Working with third party energy suppliers in sourcing green electricity from the electricity grid


Overall, it was an excellent match.  We look forward to the next fixture...