Scottish water firm cuts carbon emissions by 50% in a year

10/05/2023
Jo Dow (Chief Executive of Business Stream)

AN ENVIRONMENTALLY-focused water retailer has achieved a green milestone – cutting its carbon emissions by half in just one year.

Scottish-headquartered Business Stream achieved the 50% reduction by rolling out a series of carefully-planned measures to deliver environmental savings and continuing to retain many of the positive behaviours that had been adopted during lockdown.

The result, measured from April 2022 to April 2023, exceeded the retailer’s promise to cut emissions by 20% during the 12-month period.

Jo Dow, Chief Executive of Business Stream, said: “In addition to supporting our customers to achieve their sustainability goals, we also have a responsibility to reduce our own environmental impact.

“Over the past two years we’ve taken proactive steps to significantly lower our carbon emissions – contributing to our goal of achieving net zero by 2030.

“We’re delighted with the progress we’ve made but we also recognise that there’s more to do in order to continue to deliver environmental savings. Work is now underway to identify the additional steps we need to take to reduce our footprint further”.

Business Stream is the largest operator in Scotland’s non-domestic water market and its 350-strong workforce have played a crucial role in helping deliver its environmental targets.

Colleagues have embraced Business Stream’s Climate Conscious Travel Policy, which was launched during the past year, alongside an electric vehicle salary sacrifice scheme, encouraging colleagues to make responsible travel choices.

The water retailer has also implemented a number of other measures to reduce emissions, including replacing its diesel fleet with electric vehicles and investing in new, more energy efficient air conditioning units.

Originally created in 2006 to offer best in class water services to businesses in Scotland, Business Stream later acquired the non-household customer base of Southern Water ahead of the planned opening of the English retail water market.

That market change in 2017 paved the way for 1.2 million businesses and public bodies in England to be able to choose their water supplier. In 2019 Business Stream acquired the customer base of Yorkshire Water Business Services (YWBS) and Three-Sixty, doubling its market share.

Business Stream has its HQ in Edinburgh, as well as bases in Worthing, West Sussex and in Bradford, West Yorkshire. It’s guided by its ambitious vision to make a positive difference (MAPD) to its customers, its people, the environment and local communities.

Since launching that vision in 2019, the retailer has introduced more than 30 initiatives, including its 20% water efficiency pledge to help customers reduce water usage. It has also invested in a tree-planting programme which has delivered an additional 10,000 trees in Scotland.

Several of its MAPD initiatives have contributed to its latest reduction in carbon emissions. While the company achieved a 25% reduction in 2021-22, the impressive 2022-23 figure, which has been externally verified, is a significant step toward Business Stream becoming net zero by 2030 – well ahead of the Scottish Government’s 2045 target.

In recognition of its efforts, the retailer was awarded a Gold rating by global sustainability assessors, EcoVadis, in November 2022, placing it within the top 5% of companies measured across four key sustainability areas – the environment, sustainable procurement, labour and working conditions and ethics.

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