Our business is energy and resource intensive. We’re committed to reducing our carbon emissions to mitigate our impact on climate change, and are working towards a 21 per cent reduction target by 2015 (against our 2005/6 baseline).
The trend in our overall emissions continues to be downwards even though they have fluctuated over the past few years – as they can be affected by weather and operational conditions.
Last year, our emissions were 449,042 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent - 23 per cent below our 2005/06 baseline.
This strong performance was helped by the fact that we generated more renewable energy than ever before –133GWh of renewable electricity, or 17 per cent of our total electricity consumption.
124GWh of this total came from combined heat and power plants fuelled by gas from sewage sludge. Our new advanced sludge digestion facility at Davyhulme Wastewater Treatment Works was pivotal to these outputs. The project won the Institution of Chemical Engineers Energy Award last year – evidence of the high regard this project enjoys within the industry.
Last year also saw the creation of a dedicated energy team, tasked with helping us reduce our energy consumption, generate more of our own renewable energy, and reduce costs by using our assets more smartly.
Most of the energy we generate on site is used to power our works, with some of the excess being put into the national grid. This reduces our energy bill, and allows us to access Government incentives.
We have ambitious plans to go even further with our renewable energy generation. We recently obtained our first planning permission for a wind turbine on our Fleetwood wastewater treatment works. Once built, the turbine will generate 1.7GWh per year for use on site – the equivalent energy needed to power around 500 homes.
We have been including our carbon emissions in our annual financial statements for several years. This year, under mandatory carbon reporting regulations for listed companies, we have included more information on the breakdown of our emissions in our annual report.
If you would like to send us a comment about this report, please email our Head of Sustainability, Chris Matthews