Thames lists progress in green, social and governance measures to up transparency

Thames Water has published its first Environmental, Social and Governance Statement, as part of its bid to boost its legitimacy with customers and stakeholders.

The statement brings together key metrics to provide an overview of performance in an accessible, transparent format. It includes three years of data and provides source references. Specifically, the report covers:

  • Environmental performance, including on leakage, pollution, energy generation and biodiversity.

  • Social performance, including on affordability and customer issues, workforce issues, supply chain issues, community matters and corporate social responsibility.

  • Governance, including corporate structure, board issues, executive incentives, resilience and risk.

Chief executive Steve Robertson said: “We’ve entered a new chapter at Thames Water, one where increasing openness and transparency is embedded into the way we operate, and we’re going above statutory requirements with the publication of our first Environmental, Social and Governance Statement.”

Thames Water further pointed out it has been recognised for its commitment to sustainability in global review, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark for Infrastructure. It finished top in the ‘water and sewerage’ category and seventh for infrastructure across all 280 world businesses that took part in the evaluation.

In the ESG statement, the company also noted it has been going through a period of “unprecedented change” including over the last two years:

  • a 51% change in its shareholder base;

  • a new independent chairman and a 60% change to the executive team including a new chief executive and financial chief;

  • a restructure of its business and supply chain partnerships;

  • a major governance review;

  • a re-plan of the business; and

  • a strategic overhaul.

Chief financial officer, Brandon Rennet, said: “We’re simplifying our structure. Closing our Cayman Islands subsidiaries is a significant step in this process and we expect this to be completed during the current financial year.

“We recognise that in the past our reports have been light on some of the detail that our stakeholders, and some of our customers, want to understand.

We are focused on improving our reporting so that it is moving towards being considered best-practice, using clear and concise communications with less jargon to help users understand how the business works and how we interact with the supply chain. This Environment, Social and Governance Statement is part of this process.”