WaterFuture - Get into water


The world is facing a genuine climate emergency and we need to act now to protect our planet.

At South West Water, we have ambitious plans to transform how we produce and use energy. Our mission? To bust our operational carbon emissions and hit Net Zero by 2030.

How does it all add up? What does Net Zero mean in numbers? For us, it means cutting up to 100,000 tonnes in carbon emissions.

So, how will we get there?

Our strategy is driven by: changing operational practices, focusing on self-generation, and reversing carbon emissions. Put simply, we are focused on how we create and use energy in the most efficient way and how we can innovatively use our local environment to reverse carbon emissions for decades to come.

Promise to the planet

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Download ‘Our Promise to the Planet – carbon-busting Net Zero plan’ here for more details including our route map timetable of when activities will be delivered.

In our plan, we also share more information on the ‘three pillars’ which under-pin our Net Zero to 2030 approach: “Sustainable Living;” “Championing Renewables;” and “Reversing Carbon Emissions.”

Headline activities include:

  • Increasing our energy efficiency programme, including pump optimisation, and waste and water treatment processes
  • Decarbonising our fleet – switching to an 100% electric car and van fleet by 2030
  • Switching from fossil fuels to lower carbon alternatives
  • Going greener by championing renewables and purchasing 100% renewable electricity
  • Recovering energy from the wastewater sludge that arrives at our works
  • Reducing leaks and helping customers to use less water
  • Leading the way in natural carbon sequestration through peatland restoration
  • Planting 250,000 trees by 2025
  • Working with our supply chain partners to provide lower carbon contracted services
  • Supporting the development of innovative solutions to develop low carbon footprint processes through research and development


Team work

Our colleagues will be actively involved in developing and delivering on our carbon neutral ambitions through a number of initiatives. One of them is the creation of a team of colleague ‘Net Zero Pioneers’. They will support our Net Zero team in shaping and delivering our plan and will help to galvanise our colleagues in our contribution to net zero.

Of course, collaboration extends beyond our business. We will support and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our community and other organisations in the South West to protect the environment. To achieve Net Zero we will need support from our communities, regulators and stakeholders.


Looking ahead

As new tools, technologies, and eco solutions develop, we will adapt our climate plans accordingly.

And those ambitious plans don’t stop at Net Zero by 2030. We’re committed to going beyond this – reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with purchased goods and services (‘embodied’ carbon) and those associated with waste generated by 2045. We’ll share more detail on our 2045 goals as those plans mature.