UK water company pledges zero pollution, no accidents and halving carbon

Feb. 15, 2011 -- Anglian Water, the UK's largest water company, will set out details of a radical sustainability platform that puts water at the heart of wider efforts to tackle climate change...

Feb 15th, 2011

• Anglian Water calls for radical change of approach to tackle impacts of climate change

Feb. 15, 2011 -- Anglian Water, the UK's largest water company, will today set out details of a radical sustainability platform -- backed by over 100 business commitments -- which together promise to transform the company and put water at the heart of wider efforts to tackle climate change.

Peter Simpson, Managing Director of Anglian Water, will tell MPs at a private reception in Westminster that the company is building its future around the new programme. Entitled "Love Every Drop", it commits the business to a far-reaching set of over 100 sustainability commitments pledging to eliminate waste, accidents and pollution and halve carbon use by 2015.

This is the most ambitious move yet by any water company to address the challenges of climate change. It comes as the government is reviewing utilities regulation and preparing a White Paper on the future of the water industry, and follows a timely report for the government's chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, which made it clear (see note 5) that a more joined-up response is needed.

"We want to be part of the national and international response to meeting this huge challenge -- leading by example with ideas, resources and positive action -- but we've come to realise we can't any longer purely engineer our way out of the problem," Mr Simpson will tell MPs today. "A radical change of approach is necessary, and that's what is at the heart of our Love Every Drop manifesto."

"This is all about re-defining the role of a water company in the 21st century, going far beyond achieving our regulatory targets, and aspiring to do a whole lot better,‛ he adds. ‚Putting water at the heart of a whole new way of living is a call to action. We want to take a lead and work with other bodies to drive behavioral change in households, businesses, communities and local environments."

Anglian Water is taking a lead on sustainability in part because, as the UK water company covering the largest and driest part of the country, it is most exposed to the challenges of climate change and population growth.

The new platform is outlined in a manifesto with detailed commitments from now to 2015. Grouped in key areas -- notably around the business, communities and the wider environment -- these commitments cover every aspect of water use.

Water use is typically measured on the basis of direct consumption, which averages around 145 litres per person per day in the Anglian Water region. However, Anglian Water hopes to use Love Every Drop to raise awareness of how lifestyle dramatically increases this (to 4,600 litres) once the water used in other products is taken into account -- products which often come from much drier parts of the world. It takes, for instance, 11,000 litres of water to produce a pair of jeans, 16,000 litres to product 1kg of beef and 70 litres to produce just a single apple.

For more information on Love Every Drop please visit the website at: http://www.anglianwater.co.uk/loveeverydrop

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