Scottish Water unveils plan to hit net zero carbon by 2040


Scottish Water has published its plan to fuel its entire supply system with renewable energy by 2040. And it has pledged to go beyond net zero carbon by reducing or eliminating all emissions associated with its activity, not just those it produces directly,


Its Net Zero Emissions Routemap includes commitments to:

  • operate all of its assets, including 239 water treatment works and 1,827 waste water treatment works across Scotland, using renewable power;

  • to replace its entire fleet of 1600 vehicles to zero-emissions vehicles and to halve its 25m km-a-year mileage; and

  • reduce the carbon intensity of its £700m-a-year investment by 75%, with a similar reduction in its supply chain, “by adopting zero-emissions design and using low- carbon construction materials.”

Scottish Water chief executive, Douglas Millican pictured), said: “This routemap is about doing everything possible to minimise the emissions associated with our activities, irrespective of where they are generated, and maximise the positive contribution we can make.  We will work with all parties involved in our investment programme to secure radical carbon reductions in our construction activities.”


He added: “Replacing our ageing assets will require significantly increased annual investment. We know customers don’t want us to put off necessary investment to protect the environment and maintain the high levels of service they currently receive.”


Chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Terry A’Hearn, said: “By outlining how it will fulfill its ambition to go beyond what the law requires in reducing its use of our planet’s ecological resources and services, Scottish Water’s Net Zero Emissions Routemap has the potential to be an example of a drive towards One Planet Prosperity in action. SEPA will continue to support Scottish Water to find and take opportunities to comply with regulatory requirements – and to go beyond compliance in ways that enhance the environment, minimise resource use and maximise long-term social and economic benefits.”


  • Scottish Water recently completed a £450,000 project to install more than 1,300 solar panels at it water treatment works at Loch Ashie, five miles south-west of Inverness. The scheme was delivered by Scottish Water’s commercial subsidiary, Scottish Water Horizons. It will provide a third of the energy needed at the site and will be the company’s first renewable generation project to include charging points for electric vehicles – a planned feature of future projects.