Water boss in climate change pledge

THE boss of the region's largest water company has called for “decisive action” to tackle climate change, and underlined its determination to achieve its own targets.

THE boss of the region's largest water company has called for “decisive action” to tackle climate change, and underlined its determination to achieve its own targets.

Anglian Water recently achieved a “Gold” rating in the East of England Environment Index, the UK's leading self-assessed corporate environmental benchmarking tool which is managed by Business in the Community (BITC).

And chief executive of Anglian Water Jonson Cox set out his commitment to leading the climate change debate in region as he addressed the company's third annual energy conference in Peterborough.

“Climate change is the biggest challenge we face, and our top priority is to help protect communities and customers from the worst of the potential impacts,” he said.

“As we continue to push at the boundaries of innovation and energy efficiency, all of our future plans and investments are subject to the rigour of climate proofing. Our new 'carbon calculator' will demonstrate the strength of that commitment and the priority we place on delivering success.”

Mr Cox said the company was “determined” to achieve the target of a 20% reduction in its carbon emissions by 2010.

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“Success depends on us working with communities and customers. As we look ahead at the prospect of hundreds of thousands of new homes being built in the East of England, together with the very real impacts of coastal erosion and a rise in sea levels, we are committed to taking action wherever and whenever we can,” he said.

The company was using “more renewable than ever before”, he added.

“Our carbon emissions are falling. We are reducing our business miles and car journeys and we are challenging those who do business with us to meet tough environmental targets too,” he said.

“Serious issues like this require decisive action. So this is a good time to re-double our efforts within the company, and to rally support from communities, businesses and customers. By working together, we are we are a formidable for good.”

n Anglian Water has also received a leading industry award for its in-house training and development scheme, Licence To Operate.

The company beat four other water companies to win the top accolade at the Utility Industry Achievement Awards presented by entertainer Rory Bremner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Judges were impressed by Anglian Water's strong commitment to staff development and described the Licence To Operate scheme as “industry leading.”

Project manager Rick Butler said: “Licence To Operate is a 'next generation' approach to employee training and development. It not only benefits employees due to clearer career paths as a result of the thorough role assessments, benchmarking and external certification that the new process involves, but also benefits our customers.

“They can be safe in the knowledge that we aim to ensure employees have all the capabilities required to fulfil their critical roles, not only today but into the future.

“It helps towards the retention of a confident, motivated and engaged workforce in a competitive skills market, and a workforce well-positioned to respond to changing legislation, regulation and environmental factors.”