Achilles Experiences: Anglian Water reduces carbon footprint in its supply chain with Carbon Reduce (formally CEMARS)

Article by Achilles

Anglian Water is the largest water and water recycling company in England and Wales by geographic area. It has over 4,000 employees and supplies water and water recycling services to more than six million domestic and business customers. Although their population has grown by 20% in the last 20 years, Anglian Water still provides the same amount of water today as they did in 1990 – almost 1.2 billion litres every day. They achieved this by minimizing leaks and encouraging more waterwise customers.


As the world’s population grows and the climate changes, Anglian Water faces increased challenges in its business. ‘The good news is that a high percentage of firms clearly understand the need and benefits of carbon reduction. Carbon reduction is something more and more utilities companies are starting to consider,’ says David Riley, Carbon Manager at Anglian Water. In fact, with a majority of UK utilities firms starting to question their business’ and their suppliers’ approach to carbon, Anglian Water set itself a carbon goal of halving emissions in assets it built between 2010 and 2015.

‘We looked at emissions from extracting raw materials, transportation, fabrication and construction of infrastructure assets we build, as well as the operational carbon to run it all – to get a holistic view of our impact,’ explained David.

Anglian water logoProcess

‘The first step is leadership – the board, investors and directors creating the vision to release the value of low carbon solutions. There has to be a clear business driver if we reduce carbon we reduce cost, bills and inefficiencies,’ says David. The firm joined Carbon Reduce, (formally CEMARS®) (Carbon & Energy Measurement and Reduction Scheme), run by Achilles to benchmark, monitor and reduce its operational emissions, and those of its suppliers.

David commented, ‘It is absolutely vital to get the supply chain involved. As a standalone organisation you can achieve so much but until you engage the supply chain you achieve much more significant reductions. Not only that, but we want to work with leading suppliers who are looking at their own emissions.’

“It is absolutely vital to get the supply chain involved. As a standalone organisation you can achieve so much but until you engage the supply chain, you achieve much more significant reductions. Not only that, but we want to work with leading suppliers who are looking at their own.”

David Riley, Carbon Manager, Anglian Water


Carbon Reduce has been a vital partner for Anglian Water in overseeing a further reduction of emissions of its carbon footprint. And the benefits don’t just end there:

Leading by example. Anglian Water is one of just 22 companies to achieve Carbon Reduce accreditation for five consecutive years. The firm has had to submit historical data dating back to 2007-2008.

Involving its supply chain. Part of Anglian Water’s success is that they asked suppliers to help to deliver carbon reductions and made this part of their procurement process. They set proper targets and challenged the supply chain. In fact, 46 of their main suppliers joined the Carbon Reduce programme – 40 of which are actively still involved in Carbon Reduce. This comprises engineering, construction, pumping, water treatment and solutions companies.

By encouraging its main suppliers to follow the same process as them, Anglian Water saw a further decrease of 111,000 tonnes of emissions.

Being innovative. ‘Carbon Reduce is certified to an ISO standard which has more credibility globally – which is appealing for investors outside the UK. It is not an easy standard to get but I knew it would be a good fit for us when I saw the quality of the auditor who asked things way beyond the previous audits we had. Involving our supply chain early in the design process and challenging them to deliver low carbon low cost solutions has driven innovation,’ explains David.

“It’s important that we give proper targets to the supply chain to deliver against. What you find is that a small number of suppliers have a very significant contribution to overall emissions. Working together with simple, direct communication and targets, they are more than happy to help.”

David Riley, Carbon Manager, Anglian Water

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