EnironmentKeeping the North West flowing is an energy and resource intensive process, but we work hard to minimise our environmental impact, and to enhance wildlife and biodiversity.

We’re committed to reducing our carbon emissions by 21 per cent by 2015, by designing out waste from our operations, and generating our own energy. In 2013/14, we generated more renewable electricity than ever before, thanks in no small part to the completion of our world-leading thermal hydrolysis plant at Davyhulme wastewater treatment works in Manchester.

Wildlife was not only protected, but frequently improved, as a result of our interventions. For example, hen harriers returned to our Bowland Estate for the first time in two years, and our operational sites continued to provide a haven for wildlife, through sensitive management.

When supplying households and businesses with great quality water, we need to balance the needs of the environment with the needs of our customers. In West Cumbria, where there is a pressing need to protect naturally occurring local water sources, we launched a major consultation programme on a long-term solution to the area’s supply needs.

We helped to reduce the number of sewer flooding incidents – which are messy, distressing experiences for our customers – by continuing to invest in our sewer network, and by using more sophisticated techniques to manage and monitor our sewer pipes.

With strict new bathing water standards due to take effect in 2015, we continued to work with partners to improve the quality of rivers and coastal waters, and give the public real time information on bathing water quality.

We maintained an extensive programme of leakage control actions and this year we outperformed the Ofwat leakage target by 11.3 Ml/d (2.4 per cent). This is the eighth consecutive year we have met or exceeded the target.

If you would like to send us a comment about this report, please email our Head of Sustainability, Chris Matthews