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.