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Net Zero is widely recognised as the best way to limit climate change by balancing out the amount of emissions that go into the atmosphere with the amount that are removed from the atmosphere. This can be achieved through a combination of emission reduction and emission removal. ​

Net Zero is a goal that many countries all around the world have agreed on, and we need to reach it by 2050 if we want to keep global warming to well below 2 °C and ideally to 1.5°C. It's a big goal, but we're committed to doing our part to make it happen! ​

By working together, we can help mitigate the effects of climate change and keep our planet healthy for future generations.​

Our Net Zero plan

In 2019 we joined other water companies in setting ourselves the goal of becoming Net Zero for our operational emissions by 2030. We're also playing our part in reaching UK Net Zero by 2050. We've developed a Net Zero plan to set out how we will achieve our ambitions.

The four key pillars

Adopting a Net Zero Culture

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We'll develop and embed a net zero culture within our business which puts carbon at the heart of the choices we make. We'll make sure our staff have the training and knowledge they need to help us reduce emissions, reach our net zero goals and the role they play in doing this. We trust our teams and empower them to get creative and find new ways to cut carbon in everything we do - from the projects we work on to how they travel for business. We'll even team up with our suppliers to help them reduce their own emissions. Because here at Affinity Water, everyone has a role to play in making a greener world a reality.

Applying the Carbon Management Hierarchy

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We'll apply a carbon management hierarchy in our decision-making around our journey to net zero. We'll prioritise activities which avoid or reduce emissions. This will minimise our need to offset only those emissions which cannot otherwise be eliminated.

Here's our hierarchy, from the most favoured option to the least:

  • Avoid - Avoid carbon intensive actions
  • Reduce - Undertake activities with improved efficiency, reuse and reductions
  • Replace - Replace high carbon activities or energy sources with low carbon solutions
  • Offset - Offset emissions that can't be eliminated by the above

Investing in Nature Based Solutions

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We take our role as environmental stewards seriously, and that's why we're all about investing in nature-based projects. By restoring rivers and enhancing habitats, we can create more resilient river systems. We've also teamed up with farmers to promote regenerative farming practices and improve soil health. These projects have multiple benefits, including the potential to capture carbon and reduce emissions.

We know that understanding, quantifying and verifying the carbon benefits of these projects is still a work in progress. We're committed to keeping up with the latest science and guidance to help maximize the opportunities to deliver carbon benefits alongside wider environmental benefits. Together, we can make a real difference!

Working with others

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We can't reach net zero on our own. To be successful we need to work closely with our customers, suppliers, and wider stakeholders. We'll engage with these groups so that we can best work together to reach net zero.


  • Creating our own renewable energy by installing solar panels at some of our sites​
  • Sourcing our grid electricity from green sources​


  • Reduce the need to travel where appropriate and make use of more sustainable modes where possible​
  • Replace our petrol and diesel fleet vehicles with zero-emission alternatives

Energy efficiency

  • Replacing our assets such as pumps with more energy-efficient ones ​
  • Optimising our operations, using new technology and tools to help us understand how we can do this​
  • Exploring alternatives to using fossil fuels in our generators​

Carbon literacy

  • To ensure our employees have the right knowledge and opportunity to support our journey to Net Zero we are developing and investing in an ongoing programme of training and activities ​

Strategy & Governance

  • Shape and develop internal governance structures and processes which facilitate effective climate risk management and empower staff to take action ​
  • Improve the quality, regularity, and breadth of our climate risk disclosures to increase transparency to our stakeholders​

Asset Management

  • Apply the principles of PAS 2080 (standard for managing carbon in building and infrastructure) to our asset management approach to ensure opportunities are taken​

Nature based solutions

  • Continuing to support farmers to deliver regenerative farming practices such as cover crops. In the future, we aim to develop partnerships within voluntary carbon markets to support fair apportionment and trading of these benefits. ​
  • Working with partners in academia to understand the potential of our river restoration projects to deliver carbon benefits and how we might maximise this. ​
  • Assessing the potential carbon benefits of biodiversity improvement projects, we deliver on land we own​​
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