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Supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have been developed to make the world more sustainable by 2030 in challenges as diverse as ending poverty to tackling climate change. Thames Water supports the aspirations of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SDGs can only be achieved if Governments, Businesses, civil society and citizens work together. The United Nations has produced 17 SDGs and 169 targets that describe the road map of ambitions to build a more sustainable future by 2030. The challenge is how can Thames Water best contribute to the delivery of the SDGs?
We have decided to focus on four specific Sustainable Development Goals where we think we can make a real contribution related to our expertise and main area of operation - delivering water and sanitation to around 25% of the population of England and Wales.
The four specific goals that we can positively contribute towards are:
Clean Water and Sanitation
We provide safe water and sanitation to 15 million customers 24/7/365. Every day we supply over 2.6 billion litres of safe clean drinking water and treat around 4.6 billion litres of sewage. Outside of the UK we are working with WaterAid to help deliver its vision of a world where everyone, everywhere has access to safe water and sanitation.
Affordable and Clean Energy
We are working to increase the amount of renewable energy we generate and thereby contribute to increasing the share of renewable energy to the UK and global mix. In 2016/17 we generated 267 GWh of our own electricity needs from renewable sources including biogas, wind power and solar panels - enough renewable electricity to power 86,000 homes.
Responsible Consumption and Production
We are working to become more efficient, reduce waste and increase how much we recycle and re-use. For example we put 100% of the sewage sludge we treat to beneficial use either producing biogas to generate renewable electricity or apply it to farmland as natural fertiliser.
We are working to increase our capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change and mitigate our contribution to its causes. We have assessed the potential impact on our ability to provide our customers with water and wastewater services and published a report of our findings and our plans to respond. We have created Europe’s largest floating solar panel array generating enough electricity to power 86,000 homes.
Supporting the SDGs is not an additional task for our business - it is part of what we do every day.