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Journey to a carbon neutral fleet

Pete Stevens, manager of carbon neutrality at Yorkshire Water talks about the company's switch to carbon neutral transport.

Climate change is a major risk to the water industry and to water supply itself. Water companies rely on a stable climate to allow them to manage and deliver clean water to customers, as well as treat wastewater and release it back into the environment.

At Yorkshire Water we look after clean and wastewater for the largest area in the UK and, as an organisation, we are considering ways in which we can reduce our own environmental impact, including making a commitment to be carbon net zero by 2030.

One of the ways we’re is doing that is by taking advantage of innovations in vehicle technology, communications systems and management techniques in order to develop a transport and fleet function that is sustainable and adaptable to the demands of AMP7 and into AMP8, together with fundamental improvements in health and safety for employees and customers.

We recently announced the conversion of a tanker to run on hydrogen, which is a first for the water industry. Converting the 7.5-tonne clean water tanker and removing its reliance on diesel will reduce its carbon consumption by 33%. It will refuel at ITM Power’s hydrogen filling station at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Catcliffe, where wind power is converted highly efficiently to hydrogen.

Emissions from vehicles via the consumption of diesel and petrol are significant – we are working to form a strategy that ensures a reduction in emissions in line with our net zero commitment.

Net-zero carbon

Options for low and zero emission vehicles mean we can deliver the same level of service to our customers, while reducing emissions and air pollution. Progress has already been made to trial electric vehicles and introducing our first hydrogen tanker. We’re putting the next steps in place on our journey to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

As a major purchaser of vehicles in Yorkshire, we are leading the way in the adoption of newer, cleaner technologies and innovation into its fleet vehicles. The company coordinates business travel, deliveries, and services across the region and has implemented increased driver training to improve safety, efficiency, save fuel and reduce emissions. By introducing greener vehicles and improving use, we will help to improve air quality and reduce congestion across Yorkshire.

Our progress will take place in four stages. In stage one, the stage we’re currently in, we are collecting data in order to optimise our existing fleet. We will also be preparing for large scale conversion to electric vehicles and running additional trials of hydrogen vehicles. To date, we have introduced 23 electric vehicles with a charging network across our sites, encouraged and enabled video meeting software in order to reduce travel between sites and completed additional safe driving training to key roles.

Last year we achieved an 80% reduction in operational emissions compared to 2005. In the later stages of our journey, we will introduce significant changes to our fleet in order to reduce our emissions and continue the roll out of electric vehicles across the company. By 2030 we will be emitting zero carbon emissions.

Topic: Sustainability & social value
Tags: climate change , air pollution , hydrogen , pollution , Yorkshire Water , Innovation , technology

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