Sustainable energy

A key initiative in our sustainability journey is to embrace a decarbonised future.

Working towards a more sustainable future

Hunter Water is exposed to the impacts of climate change, with many of our low-lying sites and equipment likely to be among the first impacted by rising waters and more frequent and severe storm events in our region.

To achieve action on climate change and maintain affordable services for our customers, we have set our carbon reduction target to be net zero by 2035.

Our carbon emissions

Our operations emit around 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, which is equivalent to almost 18,000 passenger vehicles being driven for a year. We’re committed to providing sustainable services for our customers and communities, and this compels us to play our part in mitigating these likely impacts and adapting to those impacts already locked in.

Our social licence to operate is grounded in our ability to understand and mitigate social and environmental risks within our organisation and operations. Our community has told us that reducing our carbon emissions is important to them.

Understanding our carbon footprint

Understanding our carbon footprint is the first step to reducing our emissions. Take a look at this handy infographic, which explains how our carbon emissions are categorised.

Our target

To achieve action on climate change and maintain affordable services for our customers, we have a carbon reduction target to be net zero by 2035.

We will reach net zero emissions by 2035 by reducing our direct (scope 1) emissions and indirect electricity-related (scope 2) emissions and offsetting residual emissions. We have also set an interim target of an 80 per cent net reduction by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. 

In our willingness to pay survey, 78 per cent of our customers said they were willing to pay a little extra to reduce our carbon emissions. We'll review our target as we move forward to ensure it remains affordable within the context of our broader investment program.

What we’re doing

Climate change presents a significant challenge, and there are a number of actions we can take to help mitigate its impacts. While we believe we have an affordable plan to achieve our net zero target by 2035, we will continue to talk with our customers and communities to ensure we respond in the most appropriate way.

To reduce our carbon emissions, we are:

  1. Investing more than $15 million to install renewable energy generation systems at treatment plants and pump stations across our network.
  2. Increasing the amount of biogas generated from biosolids and using this renewable energy source to help power our treatment plants.
  3. Working with the University of Queensland and Water Research Australia to explore ways to reduce emissions from sludge lagoons.
  4. Reducing operational energy consumption through energy-efficient pumping and aeration systems.
  5. Transitioning our purchased electricity to renewable.
  6. Investigating a more sustainable, lower emissions fleet of vehicles.

Renewable energy project

We’re investing more than $15 million to install renewable energy systems at treatment plants and pump stations across our network.

Climate change action

We need to be resilient to change and deliver solutions that can deal with future uncertainty so that we can continue to deliver safe and reliable water services to our communities.