Essex and Suffolk Water report aims to measure business’ wider impact

Heidi Mottram, chief executive officer at Suffolk and Essex water.

Heidi Mottram, chief executive officer at Suffolk and Essex water. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

The parent company of Essex & Suffolk Water has published an innovative report aimed at demonstrating the organisation’s influence and impact on the wider economy, environment and society.

Northumbrian Water Group’s (NWG) ‘Our Contribution’ report, puts human, environmental and social indicators alongside financial indicators to provide “a far more integrated picture” of its performance.

NWG provides water and sewerage services to 2.7 million people in the north east of England under the brand name Northumbrian Water, and water services to 1.8 million people in the south east under the brand name Essex & Suffolk Water.

NWG’s chief executive officer Heidi Mottram, said: “I believe it has never been more important for businesses to look beyond their immediate performance, impacts and finances, and to recognise their total impact and contribution to the wider economy, environment and society.

“The nature of our business means that we have a massive influence and dependency on the natural environment, the economy and the communities we serve. We embrace this responsibility and recognise that sustainable growth is critical to our business resilience and continued success.”

Interesting findings from the document include an estimate of the ‘ripple effect’ of Essex & Suffolk Water’s activities, which takes in factors such as the spending power of employees and the value of contracts with local suppliers. The company estimates that for every £100 million of investment and expenditure in the Essex and Suffolk region, approximately £28 million could be generated as a result of the ‘ripple’ effect, amounting to a potential £255 million over the next five-year period.

Central to the report are five capitals that NWG relies on as a business for its goods and services – financial capital, manufactured capital, natural capital, human and intellectual capital and social capital. NWG used PwC’s Total Impact Measurement and Management (TIMM) framework to measure indicators.

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Ms Mottram added: “We need to make business decisions based on the impacts of all our capitals, so that we can continue to provide a first class service to our customers, protect and enhance the environment and make a positive contribution to society.”