Scottish Water Joins Global Coalition on Sustainable Water Use

The 50L Home Coalition was created to address two major concerns: water security and climate change.

The announcement was made at COP26 taking place in Glasgow today (Thursday November 11 2021) during an event in the Water Pavilion – A Net Zero Circular Water Future for Cities.

Scottish Water’s Gordon Reid, who leads on the delivery of a net zero route map which will transform water and waste water services across the next 20 years, spoke at the session.

Water management is critical to addressing challenges presented by infrastructure requirements, investment levels, growth and urbanisation against a background of the climate crisis and its impact on water sources and supply.

The coalition brings together public and private sectors to drive innovation and action. Public sector bodies and non-governmental organisations are jointly led by the Mayor of Phoenix Kate Gallego – whose appointment was also announced during COP26 – and Shailesh Jejurikar, the Chief Operating Officer of P&G.

Brian McCarthy, Scottish Water’s economic demand manager, said: “This year we experienced the driest six months between April and September in the north and west of Scotland and the second driest nationally since records began. By working together as organisations and with our customers, we can find ways of looking after our water to ensure supply for generations to come and reduce our impact on the planet.

“Scottish Water shares in the ambition to create a water-efficient, net zero future. We have committed to achieving net zero status by 2040 and going beyond thereafter. Water demand management will play a major role in reducing what we abstract from the environment, help to protect a precious resource and safeguard the country’s water resources for generations to come.
“We are delighted to be joining 50L Home as we encourage our customers to think about the water they use – and how we can all look after it. Being part of the coalition will aid our understanding and help deliver action to more sustainable water use and management.”

Braulio Eduardo Morera, Director of the 50L Home Coalition, said: “From our Coalition’s launch, our intention has been to transform the 50L Home into a public-private collaboration platform.

“Scottish Water is instrumental to realizing that intention, and we are delighted to welcome them into our Coalition. Scottish Water has played a substantial role in supporting the economy of communities across Scotland as well protecting and enhancing the nation’s natural environment. We are honored to learn from an organisation with such an important social role, and our hope is that through our collaboration, we can support Scottish Water in achieving its ambitious net zero emissions goal as well.”

50L Home was created in response to events in Cape Town in 2017 and 2018 when the city came close to “day zero” – when water services would be turned off to citizens due to major drought and the need to reduce usage.

Launched in October 2020, 50L Home is supported by an emerging group of global private partners – including Electrolux, Engie, IKEA, Kohler, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Suez, and Arcadis. It was convened by the World Economic Forum, 2030 Water Resources Group, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. 50L Home was selected by the World Economic Forum as one of its Lighthouse Projects in 2020.


Scotland’s Smart Canal Makes First Connection to New Housing Following North Glasgow Success Story

Sighthill is being connected to the award-winning Glasgow Smart Canal at Scottish Canals’ ‘Re-imagining 18th century infrastructure to address flood risk, stimulate investment & tackle health inequalities’ event in Scotland’s Climate Ambition Zone.

The event explores how the transformation of Scotland’s canals via projects such as the Glasgow Smart Canal, not only reduces carbon and mitigate flood risk, but tackles health inequalities and improve people’s lives.

Sighthill will be the first of five housing sites to be connected to the Glasgow Smart Canal, a new flood mitigation system that will accept surface water run-off, cutting 35,000 tonnes of carbon and unlocking 110 hectares of land for 3,000 new houses to be built in North Glasgow. The £17m project, has been delivered by the Glasgow City Council alongside Scottish Water and Scottish Canals through the Glasgow City Deal backed Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP).

Mr Harvie will make the connection in front of a 100 strong audience of industry leaders as well as those streaming in from around the globe as part of Scottish Canals’ panel discussion. He will be joined by facilitator Ross Martin, advisor on regional economies, and fellow speakers Catherine Topley, CEO of Scottish Canals, Karen Dee, Scottish Water’s Wastewater Service Strategy General Manager, Glasgow City Council Leader Susan Aitken, Sebastien Chastin, Professor of Health Behaviour Dynamics at Glasgow Caledonian University, and Vanessa Gilpin, Founder of social enterprise Gathering Ground.

Patrick Harvie MSP, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, said: “I’m delighted to join Scottish Canals during COP26 to connect the Glasgow Smart Canal to the Sighthill housing development. I hope other countries with similar historic assets can learn from the impressive approach taken here in Glasgow to mitigate against the damaging impacts of climate change.

“The Smart Canal is helping to manage flood risk, allowing areas of the city to be regenerated whilst also providing safe active travel routes for people to walk, wheel and cycle.

“It has been a decade of hard work to get to this point and I want to thank Scottish Canals, Scottish Water and Glasgow City Council, for coming together to deliver real change in new and innovative ways.”

The connection to 800 new homes in Sighthill has been made possible by an innovative new eco drainage system, The North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System, a partnership between Scottish Canals, Glasgow City Council and Scottish Water. This new infrastructure forms part of the £250million Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) – the largest project of its kind in the UK outside of London.

Catherine Topley, Chief Executive Officer at Scottish Canals, said: “Today’s success is the culmination of 10 years hard work and it would not have been possible without the vision, creativity and bold thinking of all the partners involved.

“By re-imagining Scotland’s canals for the modern day we have transformed them into vibrant ribbons of opportunity which not only deliver public value in incredible ways but help provide solutions to some of our biggest challenges, from tackling health inequalities to mitigating against climate change.

“The Glasgow Smart Canal shows how working heritage assets can be repurposed, using modern technology, to not  only provide safe car-free travel routes, blue and green space for leisure and recreation and community-designed, sustainable places for local people to live, work and enjoy, but reduce flood risk and cut carbon. If we can do this in Scotland, it’s possible elsewhere.”

The £17m Glasgow Smart Canal uses predicative weather technology and sensors prior to lower the water level on the Forth & Clyde Canal by as much as 10cm before a period of bad weather, creating 50,000 cubic metres, the equivalent to 22 Olympic swimming pools, of capacity for surface water run-off from residential and business areas to flow into the canal through urban drainage. 

Karen Dee, Scottish Water’s Wastewater Service Strategy General Manager, said: “The Smart Canal is a great example of collaboration and partnership working to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions to issues such as flooding. The impact of climate change has never been greater, and we must transform how we think to deliver the solutions for the future. Scottish Water is proud to be part of the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP) and the work that’s being delivered together.

“The collaborative working with the Smart Canal brings together two sets of assets built by previous generations: the canals, and the underground sewers, which together help us adapt to the effects of climate change. By diverting surface water into the canal and away from the sewers we reduce the flood risk and pollution and keep these assets working to serve our communities for generations to come. This approach allows our urban areas to adapt to the changing climate and improve the places we live and work in. We are working actively across the country with local authorities to deliver this in all areas.”

The Glasgow Smart Canal is part of a 20-year programme of community-driven transformation that has taken place across Scotland’s canals, attracting £1.53bn of investment since 2002, creating 8400 jobs, and 9000 houses.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet, said: “Glasgow’s Smart Canal uses cutting-edge technology to effectively manage surface water which enables the building of new homes and businesses on land that historically has been unfit for development. It is very exciting to see such smart technology in operation in Glasgow – one of very few examples in the world – and I am delighted that this ground-breaking project which will play a key role in the continued regeneration of Glasgow’s Canal and the north of the city has been recognised by peers and industry experts for its innovation and excellence.”

A recent health study carried out by panellist Professor Sebastien Chastin of Glasgow Caledonian University in North Glasgow – one of Europe’s most deprived areas – showed that canalside regeneration resulted in a faster rate of decline (3% annually) in mortality rates among those individuals living within 500m of the canal.

Professor Sebastien Chastin of Glasgow Caledonian University said: “Climate action is an opportunity to improve the lives and the environment as they have co-benefits for health, water and pollution that equal or outweighs the investment required to achieve them. What has happened in North Glasgow by working in an integrated way delivers real change and is a far more effective way of working.”

Panellist Vanessa Gilpin, founder of Gathering Ground a non-profit community food space, highlighted new opportunities for people to live and work along canal corridors thanks to the regeneration of the area. Since reopening the canal network 20 years ago over £1.5bn of public and private investment has flowed into the canals. 

This investment has seen some of the nation’s most iconic structures appear including the world’s only rotating boatlift, The Falkirk Wheel, and the largest equine structures on the plant, The Kelpies. 


Scottish Water Joins Business Climate Collaboration Launch to Accelerate Climate Action

Participating businesses who have come together to create the Scottish Business Climate Collaboration (SBCC) are from a range of key strategic economic sectors. They are: Aggreko; Diageo; EY; FirstGroup; Lloyds Banking Group; M&G; Scottish Power; Scottish Water; and, Wood.

The nine businesses represent around 25,000 employees in Scotland and 570,000 globally, with more than £92billion in global revenue. SBCC’s mission is to leverage combined scale and sustainability ambitions to accelerate the journey towards a net-zero future in Scotland.

Scottish Business Climate Colab Logo

SBCC is providing strategic direction and exploring practical, best practice action members can take – corporately and at employee levels – in the fight against climate change. Through a programme of collaboration in the build-up to COP26, SBCC aims to generate a meaningful business legacy from the global inter-governmental conference when it takes place in Glasgow next month.

This work will culminate in a SBCC Pledge, to be announced during COP26, when other businesses will be invited to adopt the measures in the pledge. Following COP26, the group will meet on a bi-annual basis to share best practice, ensure the spirit of the SBCC Pledge is being observed and consider further ways to collaborate to work towards net zero. 

“We have our own highly stretching targets to reach Net Zero and support biodiversity, but we won’t achieve them on our own, we need the support of our customers, communities and supply chain partners to get there. The SBCC will enable us to work together with other leading businesses in Scotland to ensure we harness our collective potential to achieve a just transition to a sustainable economy.”

Scottish Water Chief Executive, Douglas Millican

“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our generation. Achieving a net-zero future will require unprecedented levels of collaboration and alignment between government, investors, society and the business community. The SBCC offers an ideal platform for businesses in Scotland to engage in this important dialogue and to help shape some of the solutions we need.”

Wood Chief Executive, Robin Watson

“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is right that we focus the same level of resolve on tackling sustainability – the other great global crisis of our time. We are proud to be playing our part, taking action in our own business as well as working with other organisations through initiatives like the Scottish Business Climate Collaboration, the Sustainable Markets Initiative, the S30 forum of Chief Sustainability Officers, and the World Economic Forum. While sustainability presents tremendous challenges, it is also the innovation opportunity of a generation. The business community is ready to take positive steps in the fight against climate change. Forums like the SBCC will help to identify opportunities to unlock the full potential of the private sector to drive progress and support the transition to a net zero economy, with business and policy makers working closely together on this shared objective. Through collaboration like this we will find new ways to protect and create value from sustainability for all stakeholders.”

EY Scotland Managing Partner for Financial Services, Sue Dawe

“As we work to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net zero targets, companies like ours have a responsibility to lead by example and show how we’re making the transition to a cleaner and greener future a reality. As a 100% green energy provider, every decision we take as a business is through the prism of achieving net zero. We’ll only make a success of that by joining forces with our peers, competitors and communities through initiatives like SBCC. This is the latest step on our journey to tackle the climate emergency, reduce our own emissions and show how to become a more sustainable business.”

Chief Executive Scottish Power, Keith Anderson

BLOG: Helping Tackle Climate Crisis with WaterAid – Shirley Campbell

Around the world our climate is changing, and it’s changing at an alarming rate. The impacts are being seen here in Scotland in our own communities, in the services we provide and the infrastructure we operate.

Scottish Water’s employees can see first-hand how delivering water and waste water services are being affected by more frequent intense rainfall events, and longer drier periods of weather.

The impacts here can range from flash flooding of property and urban spaces, water efficiency measures being implemented and our source water quality changing, requiring different treatment approaches to maintain reliable supplies.

Across our organisation, our people are engaged day to day to combat the effects of climate change, to minimise any potential disruption, enhance customer experience, ensure water and waste water services run as effectively as possible.

Malawi borehole

Many of us in our own lives are also taking steps to minimise our footprint on the world around us. From reducing the water we consume in our homes, reducing our energy needs, using less single-use plastic or being more sustainable in the food we eat and clothes we wear.

At the same time our employees in Scottish Water continue to make another vitally important contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change. Not in their own home, or community, or workplace, but thousands of miles away.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the water industry’s partnership with WaterAid. Since 1981, we have worked together to find solutions to the global water crisis.

Over the decades, those working in water services in Scotland have played a very active part in supporting the charity’s mission to bring clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to places where those things aren’t as accessible as they are to us – or accessible at all.

With climate change impacting countries with the greatest need for the basics that we take for granted here in the UK, it’s more important than ever that we make collective efforts to support. In short, the climate crisis is fast becoming a water crisis.

Already, 1-in-10 people worldwide don’t have a reliable source of clean water. And the more our climate changes, the more challenging this becomes. WaterAid is working to ensure communities have a steady supply of clean water whatever the weather may bring. Find out more here.

Scottish Water employees fundraise year-round through a variety of activities to specifically bring clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to communities in Malawi and Rwanda.

In Malawi almost 6 million people don’t have access to clean water; more than 13 million don’t have access to a decent toilet; and every year, 3,100 children die there through poor sanitation and dirty water.

The link between water and climate is crystal clear. The connection between our people and those communities around the world runs deep. You can find out more about climate change and its impact on people in Malawi through stories told by WaterAid.

With all eyes on Glasgow in November for the world’s most important forum on climate – COP26 (the 26th session of the UN conference of the parties), it will bring the debate much closer to home for many of us.

Alongside the focus on reducing carbon emissions, we urgently need to look at how we can support those living on the front line of climate change right now.

So, as we continue to make steps in our own lives – at home and at work – to adapt to the changing climate, we too remain committed to ensuring vital daily access to clean water, working toilets and sanitation that protects the health of millions of people.

To mark our 40 years in partnership together, WaterAid has come up with a fundraising challenge with a difference – £40 for 40 years. Help us reach everyone, everywhere with clean water. Find out how to get involved.


Iconic Loch and Woodlands to Help Tackle Climate Crisis

he banks and forests surrounding one of Scotland’s iconic lochs are to boost the fight against the climate crisis by becoming a carbon emissions sink.

Plans being developed by Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) will see Scottish Water’s lands and catchment areas around Loch Katrine increasingly soak up emissions from human activity which cannot otherwise be eliminated.

The 8-miles long freshwater loch – which supplies water to 1.3 million people in much of the Greater Glasgow area and other parts of the Central Belt every day via infrastructure built by Victorian pioneers – is surrounded by 9000 hectares of land managed by Forestry and Land Scotland.

Together the two organisations are working to maximise the biodiversity benefits of around 5000 hectares – an area broadly equivalent to the size of the city of Dundee – to lock up greenhouse gases and ensure visitors and local communities can continue to enjoy the natural environment in the area.

A consultation is ongoing with local communities on future land management plans for Loch Katrine.

Using the environment to act as a natural sink for greenhouse gases on such a scale will play a vital role in achieving the net zero emissions targets set out by Scottish Water.


The public water and waste water organisation published its Net Zero Emissions Routemap in September 2020 and pledged to achieve net zero status by 2040 – but go beyond that by working with others to achieve similar gains.

Dr Mark Williams, Scottish Water’s sustainability and climate change manager, said: “Loch Katrine and its surrounding catchment is a jewel in Scotland’s natural environment crown.

People live, work and play there and it has an essential part in the daily lives of around a quarter of the Scottish population who receive their water supply from the loch.

“The surrounding woodland, rivers and landscapes not only shape the lives of thousands of people locally and further afield, but they are a become a vital component in our work to mitigate the impact of the climate crisis.

“We are working to reduce emissions across the whole network which produces 1.5 billion litres of water per day for customers and collects, cleans and recycles waste water, returning it to the environment. But some emissions simply cannot be prevented. Vibrant forests and peatlands act as a sink for them and lock them up stopping them emitting into the atmosphere.

“Smart approaches to peatland restoration, planting and re-planting, forest and land management, natural regeneration and biodiversity will mean Loch Katrine, for decades and longer to come, will be a valuable asset to our communities. We cannot plant our way out of the climate crisis. But biodiversity can help reduce the impact of activities on the very environment we rely on for our water.”

Making use of native tree species where possible will minimise ground disturbance and encourage natural colonization, with planting taking place where the seed source is scarce or where a greater mix of species is required. 

This approach will blend with the work that FLS is already doing – such as the significant juniper planting in the extensive ancient woodland that rings the loch – and the ongoing management of the Ben A’an and Brenachoile Woods SSSI / Trossachs Woods SAC. 

The project will also benefit the diversity of wildlife in the area, which includes badgers, bats, a huge variety of birds and particularly rare species, such as the Pearl Bordered Fritillary butterfly.

FLS’ Operations Forester for Loch Katrine, James Hand, said: “There is a huge variety of wildlife in the area and we’re currently carrying out a large survey to update our data on open habitats at Katrine to help inform our management decisions.

“We’ll be looking at how habitat enhancement can benefit the many species to be found here, also taking care to avoid planting in areas where it will be of detrimental impact on key species – such as Golden Eagle – and priority habitats such as peatland and upland heathland. 

“This careful, considered approach will bring significant, long-term benefits for wildlife. It’s all about finding the right balance.”


BLOG: Building Knowledge and Taking Action – Mark Dickson

Mark Dickson

In the slightly altered words of Elvis, our mantra in the world of Capital Investment has been: “a little less conversation, a little more climate action.”

Our routemap to net zero marks its first anniversary and it has been a good time to reflect on not just how much we have learned in Scottish Water and our supply chain partners, but what is being delivered on the ground.

Our business knowledge has increased. On the capital programme we have learned that on average there are around 200-300 tonnes of embedded carbon for each £1m invested.

We have signed up to reducing this by 75% by 2032. We know that we need to think differently and go after the lowest whole life carbon solutions. We need to change how we design projects, procure materials, and carry out construction.

We established an ‘expert panel’ for reduction in carbon in construction and it has explored many issues to grow knowledge and drive action. It is attended by senior reps from all of our supply chain, CECA (the Cilvil Engineering Contractors Association) and Scotland’s construction innovation centre. So, all the right people are there to help shift the dial.

One fantastic output is the ‘Carbon Academy’ – our digital learning hub. It’s available across our supply chain as well as to employees and will help us reach net zero but importantly go beyond thereafter.

Our Alliance partners have mapped their top 10 materials which drive emissions: at the top end of the list are concrete and steelwork; so to materials which help from our pipelines – so important to our day-to-day service for customers.

Here are some examples which are making a small but important dent in carbon emissions:

Procurement: All our suppliers have committed to create carbon plans by 2023.

Pilot Projects: 16 projects are identified in Managed Delivery to pilot low emission materials/techniques. CWA and ESD have published case studies of the use of golden rules.

Concrete: Two trials of low carbon concrete are underway, the first in Scotland.

Diesel: Hydrated vegetable oil (HVO) offering 90% reduction in emissions is being piloted by one of our delivery partners. Another has trialled innovative new software monitoring plant and material movements in real time to reduce movement and emissions.

Pipe Materials: Modified approach to selection – brought to life by new materials avoiding the need for concrete thrust blocks on our largest pipeline project.

Net zero site establishment: CWA’s site at Ibrox has been set up using net zero cabins involving solar panels and rainwater collection, wider deployment is being explored.

Net zero plant and equipment: We have successfully trialled electric mini diggers

Many construction sites use diesel generators for all their power. We are working with the supply chain to trial alternative approaches and fuels for generation to reduce emissions.


Blog: Driving down emissions – Paul Kerr

Paul Kerr

“Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about that.” One of the many bold and inspiring quotes from the remarkable Sir David Attenborough.

It’s a quote that particularly resonates as we mark this year’s climate week.  All too often, images of death and destruction continue to flash across our screens due to the impact of climate change. Closer to home, the impact is also becoming a disturbing reality, propelling the need to make changes to the way we live, work and play.

On our Scottish doorstep, Scottish Water has set ambitious targets to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2030. As one of Scotland’s largest consumers of energy, that’s no mean feat. Fortunately we have a tremendous amount of land and property that offer enormous potential when it comes to carbon reduction.

Over the last decade we’ve installed a variety of technologies such as solar PV, wind, biomass boilers and anaerobic digestion to help offset operational energy consumption and reduce carbon pollution. Already we’ve come a long way. 

But the pressure is on to do more, much more.  And do things faster and on a much bigger scale. We have an interim target of delivering and extra 90GWh of new renewable generation projects by 2030 (the equivalent powering over 24,000 homes a year), and time is ticking.

Today we’re celebrating the commissioning of our 50th and largest solar PV scheme to date at Perth treatment works. A major milestone thanks to the hard work of our people, contractors and onsite operational teams. Later this year we will begin building another PV scheme in Dunbartonshire that will eclipse anything that we’ve done before.

Of course innovation and new technologies will continue to play a big part in our net zero journey. We have some fantastic examples coming up such as the integration of energy storage batteries at our Perth PV scheme; as well as a trial of bifacial solar panels (which produce power from both sides of the panel) at a site in Fraserburgh to help generate greater power output.

And when it comes to heat production, the need for innovation becomes even greater. With the UK soon to phase out gas boilers, alternative ways to heat our spaces must be a priority. Domestically, things are improving with technologies such air and ground source heat pumps. On a larger scale, there is much more to do.

In Horizons, we are continuing to develop heat projects by supporting upcoming district heat networks. We’ve been working with Clyde Gateway to enable heat to be extracted from Dalmarnock treatment works to support a district heat network in the east of Glasgow area; and with Renfrewshire Council to develop a heat scheme to the AMIDS project (Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland) which will utilise heat extracted from the final effluent from the nearby Laighpark treatment works. Going forward, its likely such schemes will become even bigger and bolder.

On the more local front, we’re continuing to accelerate the delivery of heat and energy efficiency measures across Scottish Water’s office buildings. Often underappreciated, energy efficiency can dramatically reduce carbon emissions. In the future we aim to go one step further by developing a pathway to a net zero building estate by transforming our heating emissions.

Whilst our main focus is on energy generation and efficiency, the sheer scale of Scottish Water’s operations will also require the creation of ‘carbon sinks’.  A lot of great work is being done to maximise the use of our land to help with carbon offsetting such as tree planting and peatland restoration. But there are lots of factors to consider to ensure we protect precious ecosystems whilst creating opportunities for new habitats to grow and flourish.

So a lot to play for.  The opportunities are boundless, but only if we take bold and immediate action.  We must work together and combine forces where we can. We must make conscious decisions in everything we do. In short, we must adopt a ‘mindset change’ to address ‘climate change’. 


Scottish Water Hits Major Solar Power Milestone

The scheme is the utility’s largest single solar energy investment to date and is the first to include battery storage facilities in its design, which will enable around 94% of the renewable power generated to be used on site.

It is the 50th solar power project to be delivered by Scottish Water Horizons, the publicly-owned water company’s commercial subsidiary.

More than 2,500 solar panels are now installed on land adjoining Perth’s Waste Water Treatment Works at Sleepless Inch on the River Tay, with a combined generating capacity of just over 1 Megawatt (MW).

The renewable energy generated is expected to provide around a quarter of the electricity needed to treat water that has been used by customers all over the city, enabling it to be safely returned to the environment.

The battery storage technology will installed later this year – allowing energy to be produced when the sun is at its peak and then delivered to site when it is most needed, any time of day or night.

This will help to cut the carbon footprint of the works by around 160 tonnes of CO2 per annum – the equivalent of offsetting 580,000 miles from the average passenger car.

“This is an exciting milestone in our journey towards Scottish Water’s ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 and it is fantastic to see how innovation is constantly increasing the amount of energy we can generate at our sites. The waste water treatment works here in Perth is a key site for Scottish Water, serving customers across the city, but it uses a lot of energy in serving its vital purpose. Being able to maximise the renewable energy we are now generating by storing via battery technology will be an important boost to the value of our investment – ultimately reducing energy costs at the site by around 40% on an ongoing basis. This year we have assessed over 450 sites for their suitability to host renewable generation and this will form a major part of how we cut our emissions in the coming years, alongside a range of other measures.”

Paul Kerr, Managing Director of Scottish Water Horizons

In addition to the new photovoltaic panels and batteries, the project included the installation of the utility’s first rapid electric vehicle charging facilities to support the transition of the company’s 1,600-vehicle fleet of vans and tankers away from fossil fuels towards clean electricity. The site is located close to the M90, at a key hub of the transport network.

“This is a very welcome project from Scottish Water and marks a real turning point in how renewable energy is incorporated into sites and placed at the heart of powering Scotland’s essential services. At the same time, it can be a part of Perth’s bold ambition to become the most sustainable small city in Europe. The Scottish Government is committed to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change by 2045 and it is innovative schemes like this which will help us reach that target, as well as creating green jobs and contributing to a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport

BLOG: Net Zero Routemap Annual Update – Gordon Reid

Exactly a year ago, we launched our Net Zero Emissions Routemap – and today our Year 1 report card has been published.

There is no doubt that we are already seeing the impacts of climate change.

The need for us to act has been underlined by the significant lack of rain we have seen in Scotland this summer – coupled with a number of intense rainfall events that have led to flooding.

But I’m pleased to say that we are making progress on a broad range of activities.

I always say that everything we do drives emissions, so in a net zero world everything has to be different.

Some of the things we need to work on have a bigger impact than others, and that’s where our focus lies.

A lot of enabling activities have been completed that will allow us to progress our energy efficiency and renewables programme and change half of our fleet to electric vehicles.

Some of the changes are smaller, like getting employees to make different choices in approaching business travel, but to borrow a phrase from a well-known supermarket, every little helps.

One area that we’ve focussed on is working out how to transform the emissions from our construction programme, and we are getting great input on this from our construction partners who have been bringing in learning from the other sectors that they work in.

The best thing in the last year has been how positive everyone is about delivering net zero – everyone understands why we are doing it.

Gordon Reid, General Manager Zero Emissions at Scottish Water

We have been trialling some new low emission alternative materials such as a new low carbon concrete – the first time that material had been used in Scotland – and if we can adopt these then the wider Scottish construction sector will also be able to use them, helping us all to get to net zero faster.

The best thing in the last year has been how positive everyone is about delivering net zero – everyone understands why we are doing it. The question I always get is “what does it mean for me?”.

In the next year I will be looking to answer that for everyone in the business, letting them know when it will be happening – for some it will be soon, for others it’s a few years away as technology needs to mature. And with that will come the need to learn new skills – so a real people focus going forward.


Net Zero on Track as Scottish Water Sign Global Declaration

It outlines the activities which have taken place during the 12 months since September 14th 2020 to further reduce emissions and lay the foundation work to enable future decreases.

The public water and waste water services organisation has been reducing its carbon footprint since 2006 and has now achieved more than 249,000 tCO2e – a 2 per cent reduction on the previous year. In 2006 our emissions were 462,000 tCO2e.

During the year there was a focus on our four strategic areas of action which can help us reduce further and faster to become net zero by 2040 – five years ahead of national targets.

A programme of organisation-wide transformation has also been developed which will enable even more work to be done to limit our impact on the environment.

The routemap was published in 2020 during Climate Week and again it provides a platform for the first annual update on progress.

Scottish Water is working closely with a broad spectrum of partners – from our supply chain to academia, private and public sector – to go beyond net zero.

To mark climate week and the anniversary of the routemap, Scottish Water has become a signatory to the Edinburgh Declaration – an international statement of intent led by Scottish Government to ensure action is taken at all levels to protect global biodiversity.

Edinburgh Declaration

“We are committed to playing our part in supporting a flourishing Scottish environment. Signing the Edinburgh Declaration signals our intent to tackle biodiversity loss and protect nature alongside our commitment to be net zero by 2040.”

Simon Parsons, Scottish Water’s director for Strategic Customer Service Planning