Global water technology company, Xylem has called on water sector leaders and organizations to join a global sustainability push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to water systems and water management. The encouragement comes after last month’s announcement that Xylem had formalized its commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its value chain before 2050*.
Attention to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the water sector is increasing in the run-up to COP26 – the UN Climate Change Conference – being held in November. Water use and management accounts for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, today. Xylem is collaborating with a consortium of partners including the UNFCCC High Level Climate Action Champions, CDP, Water UK, the US Water Alliance, the International Water Association, GIZ and others to help water utilities commit to reducing GHG emissions.
“Water and climate crises go hand-in-hand,” said Claudia Toussaint, Xylem’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “We are a sector of sustainability stewards, and approaches exist, today, to dramatically reduce emissions from water systems — especially using highly efficient, advanced digital technologies. Together, we can make a meaningful contribution to containing climate change. We hope every part of the sector joins us, so we’re all part of the solution.”
“The science of climate change is clear and the evidence hard to ignore. The time for business-as-usual approaches to managing water is over. Applying new approaches to managing water, we could make significant reductions of water’s GHG footprint,” said Cate Lamb, CDP’s Global Director for Water Security, and the UNFCCC COP26 High Level Action Champions Lead for Water. “Today, many of these solutions remain largely untapped, but we are seeing growing momentum. We hope to see more and more players across the water value chain set ambitious targets to reduce their emissions. This commitment from Xylem is mirrored by utilities and other water operators stepping up in the water sector’s ‘Race to Zero.’”
The United Kingdom’s water sector, through the industry group Water UK, recently published a sector-wide ‘route map’ to demonstrate how utilities across the country will achieve net zero on operational emissions by 2030.
The Race to Zero is a global campaign, under the banner of the UNFCCC, rallying support from businesses, cities, and regions to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and promote sustainable growth.
The water sector’s Race to Zero is an international collaboration of partners promoting the vision of delivering net zero water service for the world’s homes and businesses. The campaign is encouraging water utilities, worldwide, to commit to their own net-zero targets. Utilities and water sector companies that have made net-zero commitments will be highlighted at the Water & Climate Pavilion at next month’s COP26 meetings, in Glasgow.
*Last month, Xylem announced commitments to Science-Based Target aligned to a 1.5oC reduction by 2030 (Scope 1, 2 and 3) and Net Zero emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) before 2050.