AMP8 and The Drive for Net Zero

  • Amy Burns
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A significant feature of Asset Management Period 8 (AMP8), which starts on 1 April 2025 and affects all English and Welsh water companies, will be a focus on tackling the water industry’s commitments to lowering their carbon footprint and driving towards net zero.

It is certainly true that many water companies have already put significant efforts into tackling climate change in recent years. United Utilities for example have lowered their greenhouse gas emissions by 70% since 2005/6 and Anglian Water are on track to generate 45% of their energy from their own renewable sources by 2025. But the requirements to be set out in AMP8 are expected to demand more as the sector pushes towards achieving Net Zero targets.

What Is the Drive to Net Zero Expected To Entail?

Measurement of Carbon Impact of Solutions

It will be imperative for water companies to put robust measurements in place to measure carbon emissions throughout the lifecycle of the solutions they put in place. This will provide a much more accurate picture on the true impact that their solutions have upon the planet, but will require accuracy of data collection and a commitment to maintain the collation and reporting of this data.

Measurement of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Across The Supply Chain

It will be insufficient for water companies to simply understand their own carbon impact as an organisation, they will also need to focus on their scope 3 emissions. These are emissions that are not produced by the company itself and are not the result of activities from assets controlled by them, but by those that it’s indirectly responsible for up and down the supply chain. To accurately report on such data, it is likely that water companies will require specialist support. It will certainly necessitate excellent communication between the water companies and their suppliers to ensure data is precise and valid.

Indeed, AMP8 is expected to enforce that suppliers have, or are working towards, science-based targets (SBTs) by 31 March 2026. Science-based targets define a pathway for organisations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, thereby helping to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

Engineering A Green Solution

Water companies will be expected to ‘think green’ when designing solutions. As a consequence, it is likely that water companies will need to empower their engineering teams to be mindful of the latest technologies that deliver on defined outcomes, but that also have a significantly lesser impact on the environment. Innovation will be key to the sector and those water companies that embrace new ways of thinking will be best placed to achieve their targets whilst lowering carbon emissions.

The AMP8 period is expected to particularly drive a focus on nature-based solutions. These are solutions which involve conservation or rehabilitation of natural ecosystems and/or enhance natural processes in artificial ecosystems.

Carbon Reduction Framework Targets

It is anticipated that water companies will be required to embed carbon reduction targets into their AMP8 framework contracts. This is crucial as it ensures that tier 1 suppliers are made aware, from the outset, of the prioritisation that the company places on lessening its carbon footprint. Water companies will be enabled to better understand which suppliers are well placed to support with reporting of carbon emissions (crucial as it is anticipated that they need to measure throughout the life of a solution) and understand the suppliers’ dedication to a shared vision of achieving net zero. By embedding the targets into framework contracts, water companies are better able to hold suppliers to account should the need arise.

Carbon Reduction Collaboration

Lowering our carbon footprint is the responsibility of every individual and every organisation, but by working together and collaborating with the supply chain, water companies will be empowered to share best practice in carbon reduction. Indeed, the need to share lessons learned will facilitate collaboration and strengthen relations between water companies and their suppliers as they strive towards a common goal.


AMP8 focuses a lens on the importance of lowering carbon emissions within England and Wales’ water companies. In truth, it has been on the agenda for these organisations for some years, but AMP8 will provide a greater impetus to focus beyond the company itself, to the supply chain that sustains it. It will encourage greater innovation within the sector and greater collaboration. Those organisations that have the vision to think outside the box to generate solutions that are economically viable but also put the planet first are most likely to prosper.

Amy Burns Black and W

Amy Burns

Amy has 20 years' of Payment, Procurement and Category Management experience predominantly gained within a regulatory utility procurement environment working with multimillion pound contracts across both corporate and maintenance services.

Barkers are utility sector specialists, having supported organisations since 2014 to procure more efficiently and effectively. We have a dedicated AMP8 team comprised of capital specialists and regulated industry experts who combine to offer first class support to organisations going through the rigour of AMP8. We are also a carbon neutral company and are certified silver as a Carbon Literate Organisation, making us particularly well placed to support water companies achieve their carbon emission targets whilst maintaining a focus on greatest return on investment.

Find out more about how our specialist AMP8 team can support your organisation

Author: Amy Burns
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