Investment in anaerobic digestion (AD) has played a leading role in the reduction. Eighteen of the company’s major sewage treatment works now generate electricity from AD.

Yorkshire Water’s sewage treatment works at Naburn in York and Blackburn Meadows in Sheffield each generate more than a third of their energy from renewables.

Yorkshire Water energy and recycling manager Erica Lack said: “To achieve a reduction of more than 4% in carbon emissions within the last three years demonstrates we are serious about improving the environmental performance of the business.

“Water and wastewater treatment is a hugely energy-intensive process, but thanks to advances in technology and lots of hard work from colleagues across the business, we are making major reductions in operational emissions.”

AD works by converting human sludge into biogas, which is used to produce electricity.

Yorkshire Water has also invested in wind turbines and hydro-turbines to generate green power.

The company aims to generate 12% of its total energy needs from renewable sources in 2016/17, which will help reduce its annual electricity costs of around £50m. 

Investing in renewables has helped Yorkshire Water reduce its carbon emissions by a total of 15% since 2008.

In September, the firm was given the green light for its proposed £72m new state-of the-art sludge treatment and AD facility at its Knostrop works in the centre of Leeds. When completed in 2019, the new facility will provide 55% of the site’s energy needs, and contribute to the region’s target to recycle 94 per cent of its sludge by 2020.

Lois Vallely

This article first appeared on edie’s sister title, Utility Week

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