Alongside the launch of Spring’s first innovation challenge, which centres on reducing operational emissions from water and wastewater treatment, Spring recently established an Achieving Net Zero Carbon community. This community has been designed to lead discussion, share thought leadership, and drive collaboration on key net-zero carbon challenges within the water sector.

Today we are thrilled to announce three accomplished sector leaders who will be co-leading the Achieving Net Zero Carbon Spring community:

  • Ben Burggraaf – Head of Energy at Welsh Water and Board Member at Energy Managers Association, who is currently leading the net-zero strategy at Welsh Water;
  • Samuel Hughes – Senior Associate Director at Jacobs, who leads Jacobs’ portfolio of service development and sales in energy, bioresources and net-zero carbon in the UK water sector; and
  • Andrew Tyler – Scotland Hydro Nation Chair at University of Stirling, who is currently leading research and innovation in the Scottish water sector to deliver on net zero.

When we asked our Net-Zero Carbon Co-Leads about their collective vision for this new community, they shared the following objectives:

  • “Build a multidisciplinary and cross-sector community that can co-develop and implement solutions at pace.”- Andrew Tyler
  • “Drive carbon literacy and re-shape customer perception, which currently mainly associates carbon emission with the energy sector.” – Ben Burggraaf
  • “Create a material difference in climate mitigation and adaptation in the UK water sector.” – Samuel Hughes

Another theme that emerged was that new enablers and ways of working will be needed to achieve the desired aims stated in the 2050 Water Innovation Strategy. These include:

  • Creating stronger relationships with customers and running public awareness campaigns;
  • Collaborating with local councils and communities to invest in nature-based solutions and boost natural capital;
  • Empowering the water community towards carbon literacy;
  • Measuring and controlling carbon emissions at all stages of the water supply chain;
  • Developing novel regulatory mechanisms and innovations to support net-zero solution implementation; and
  • Conducting baseline characterisation on emissions.

This community – led by representatives of water companies, supply chain and academia – will exist to mobilise a diverse group of water stakeholders and move them one step closer to delivering a net zero water sector.

Reflecting on the community’s remit, Co-Lead Andrew Tyler said “We can provide some – higher resolution – definitions of where to focus and priorities to help pull a wider community together.”

Similarly, Ben Burggraaf remarked “Through this community, I hope we can go beyond the innovation challenges and provide support to the wider challenges members are facing. Sharing best practices of what others are doing in other sectors to address the concerned topic would be a great start.”

You can share your own best practices and learn from those of others on the road to net-zero here!