Northern Ireland Water is the provider of Northern Ireland’s most essential service. It is dedicated to providing the community it serves with water and wastewater services which meet regulatory requirements at the lowest sustainable cost.
In carrying out our business we contribute to, and rely upon, the quality of the natural environment and we strive to protect it by working in an environmentally responsible manner, demonstrating high standards of environmental care and operational performance.This policy statement outlines the environmental objectives to which we are committed as part of a wider commitment to sustainability. Northern Ireland Water’s Board and Executive Committee will continue to develop and execute this policy and will make the necessary resources available to ensure its realisation. We aim to continually improve our environmental performance. Our Environmental Advisory Group (EAG) will ensure the implementation of this policy and its communication to all our employees and those working on our behalf.
In particular we will:
1. Continue to operate an Environmental Management System, integrated with our business activities, which endeavours to prevent environmental pollution.
2. Identify relevant new Environmental Legislation through our Environmental Advisory Group and incorporate the requirements of this legislation in our Regulatory Register and EMS where appropriate.
3. Seek to continually improve our environmental performance and demonstrate this through the attainment of targets and objectives which require reductions in our environmental impacts. We will report annually on our progress in meeting these targets.
4. Ensure that all our employees and those who work on our behalf are aware of and have appropriate training in the environmental aspects of our activities.
Land Management5. Continue to develop productive partnerships with our key stakeholders to encourage a greater understanding of and promote environmental issues.
6. Reflect the importance of NI Water’s environmental stewardship through the work of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee and seek to engage and work with the local community.
7. Manage our landholdings and natural resources in a sustainable manner to protect and enhance water quality and permit public access where appropriate.
8. Recognise the importance of encouraging biodiversity, managing our landholdings responsibly and protecting designated areas. We will take reasonable steps, consistent with the proper exercise of our functions, to further the conservation and enhance the biodiversity within our landholdings.
9. Explore opportunities for adopting a more sustainable approach to drinking water treatment through innovative catchment management solutions which will be carried out through the NI Water SCAMPNI project.
10. Ensure that environmental issues are taken into account at an early stage in the planning of new Capital Projects and the delivery of maintenance programmes. Carry out environmental impact assessments where requested by the planning service.
11. Recognise the need to support sustainable development and establish appropriate performance targets based on measurable sustainability indicators.
12. Seek to facilitate the use of lands owned by NI Water to generate renewable energy where it is cost effective to do so.
13. Continue our substantial Capital Investment Programme to work towards full compliance with all relevant environmental legislation, regulatory obligations and standards. We will publish annually the environmental performance statistics on these activities.
14. Seek to use environmentally responsible suppliers of goods and services, working with them to secure delivery of our environmental objectives through the supply chain.
15. Reduce the amount of waste we produce through promotion of the waste hierarchy. We will fulfil our obligations as signatories to the WRAP objectives, halving waste to landfill and utilities agreements and will contribute towards these national targets.
16. Coordinate the climate change related work to be carried out within the company through a Climate Change Forum (CCF). The CCF will set the strategy and policy for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
17. As part of the programme for Government greenhouse gas emissions reduction target we will strive to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. These are due to the use of energy and fuel, and from operational process.
18. Increase the percentage of our energy derived from renewable energy sources. This includes a commitment to continue to seek and deliver investment in renewable energy generating equipment.
19. Actively participate in the U.K Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficient Scheme (CRCEES)
20. Adapt to the effects of climate change on our water resources and drainage infrastructure. As part of this we will set challenging leakage targets, and facilitate the use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDs)
21. Continue to promote environmental awareness through our education programmes and delivery of our “Bag it and Bin it” and Water Efficiency campaigns.
22. NI Water will seek to further enhance the knowledge and skill of our staff towards improving environmental performance through membership of industry groups such as Water U.K and the U.K Water Industry Research organisation.
These commitments will be incorporated into our business practices and we will adopt appropriate environmental objectives and targets to progress their achievement. We will encourage companies throughout our supply chain to implement this, or an equivalent policy. Northern Ireland Water welcomes views on this policy which should be forwarded to the Safety Health and Environment Team at NI Water.
Chief Executive Officer