Ofwat urges companies to go further to cut emissions

Carbon reduction should be prioritised over carbon offsetting, says Ofwat

Pathway to COP26 report

Ofwat has today urged water firms to accelerate and take further steps in their decarbonisation plans.

The water services regulation authority, which unveiled last month plans to raise credit quality and transparency standards for companies, said the sector must go beyond what is proposed in the Water UK 2030 Routemap by tackling embedded carbon emissions.

That is carbon that is emitted while infrastructure is being built.

In a paper published today, Ofwat calls on water companies to align their plans to national government net zero targets and highlights that greenhouse gas emissions from companies should first be reduced and eliminated before they use offsets to reduce their emissions.

John Russell, Senior Director of Policy at Ofwat, said: “Water companies need to be in the best position possible to achieve their net zero targets and address the challenges that come with that.

“We welcome the sector’s ambition, but we need water companies to tackle and comprehensively report on their carbon emissions if they are to make the changes needed to sustain and improve the environment.

“We will be working with the sector to further develop reporting requirements to ensure the sector delivers on net zero.”

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