Water company gets a big tick for being serious about sewage

The North East’s leading water company has won another award to add to its green credentials for making power from poo and using reed beds for treatment.

Northumbrian Water Group has received a ‘Big Tick’ in the Sustainable Products and Services category at the prestigious Responsible Business Awards 2014, run by Business in the Community.

The firm is the first waste water company in the UK to produce renewable energy from 100% of the sludge remaining after sewage treatment – literally producing power from poo.

Pioneering plants have been built at Tees Port and at Howdon on Tyneside in a £70m dual investment that will annually save millions of pounds in gas and electricity operating costs and help the company to significantly cut its carbon footprint by 20%.

Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive for Northumbrian Water Group, said: “We’re serious about being the greenest water company, being recognised as industry leader and leading by example.

“We’re delighted to achieve a Big Tick for our innovative approaches to becoming more efficient and effective, such as being the first to make power from poo and also using reed beds for water treatment rather than energy and chemicals.
“Sustainability is at the heart of our vision and we’re proud to be leading the industry in seeking innovative new ways of working.”

Northumbrian Water Group also achieved two Big Tick Reaccreditations for its 2012 big ticks in the Environmental Leadership and Workwell categories.

The company has been reaccredited this year for demonstrating the continuing positive impact of its award winning initiatives, including finding greener working alternatives and its health and wellbeing programme.

The firm will be presented with its Big Tick and Reaccreditation certificates at the North East Responsible Business Awards Gala Dinner on Wednesday June 25 at Gosforth Park Marriott, Newcastle.

Commenting, Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “All year round, responsible businesses across the UK are contributing towards more resilient communities, stimulating local economies, creating diverse, skilled and healthy workforces and addressing skills shortages - yet these activities rarely get attention.

“The Responsible Business Awards shine a much needed spotlight on the powerful impact of business. Each of the companies recognised are playing their part to build a new contract between business and society and a more sustainable future for us all. I congratulate Northumbrian Water Group for its Big Tick and Big Tick Reaccreditations, which are a powerful symbol of business doing more to bring about change.”

For further information about the impact and background to the 2014 successful Award stories, visit www.bitc.org.uk/awardstories.

For media information about Northumbrian Water contact: Janine Scott, 0191 301 6713 or janine.scott@nwl.co.uk

For information about Business in the Community or the Responsible Business Awards contact: Ochuko Adekoya, 020 7566 8758 ochuko.adekoya@bitc.org.uk

About Northumbrian Water Group
Northumbrian Water Group provides water and sewerage services in the North East of England under the brand name Northumbrian Water and water services in the south east under the brand name Essex & Suffolk Water. It serves 2.7 million people in the north with water and sewerage services and 1.8 million people in the south with water services.

About Business in the Community
Business in the Community is a business-led charity committed to shaping a new contract between business and society.
We have over 30 years’ experience forging better relationships between business and society, driven by a unique collaboration of business leaders. We stimulate action by challenging and supporting thousands of businesses to create a fairer society and a more sustainable future - through our local, national and international campaigns.

Business in the Community is one of The Prince’s Charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which The Prince of Wales is president. www.bitc.org.uk

The Responsible Business Awards
Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards are designed for business by business. Rigorously assessed by business peers from all sectors, the Awards encourage and celebrate businesses that are helping secure a fairer society and a more sustainable future for us all.

In numbers:
In 2014 Business in the Community received 413 entries for the responsible business awards, awarded 159 new Big Ticks, and re-accredited 82 previous Big Tick programmes. 60 Companies have been shortlisted for a chance to be crowned overall winner in their category.

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