As SAMS’ first corporate member and first water retailer supporter, Water Plus is helping SAMS further their brand-new studies into blue carbon storage, which has the long-term aim of creating a science-based system for verifying the effectiveness of seaweed in marine carbon capture, alongside delivering nature-based solutions in coastal environments.
Water Plus, which has a base in Scotland and one in England, is also supporting awareness-raising activities with communities in the surrounding area and wider UK.
This recent support of SAMS is part of the action Water Plus is taking under its Cleaner Climate Promise, announced in March 2022, which includes supporting other charity, community and environmental projects, such as re-introducing native oysters into UK coastal waters to improve the health of marine eco-systems.
SAMS Director Prof Nicholas Owens said: “It’s fantastic Water Plus has chosen SAMS as one of its growing portfolio of environmental charity partners. Our work studying the seas and understanding the marine environment’s role in climate change has never been more crucial and time-critical – only by truly understanding the power of the ocean can we create a stronger and healthier planet for us all. We’re also looking forward to using Water Plus’s voice to raise awareness and encourage positive environmental action amongst communities and businesses in Scotland and the UK.”
SAMS has been delivering independent marine science since 1884 and continues working for healthy and sustainably managed seas and oceans through world-class marine research, education and engagement with society.
Water Plus works with organisations large and small, including the public sector along with multi-sites across England and Scotland and is the largest water retailer in the UK. The company, which won nine awards for its work in 2022 with organisations and its employees and a UK Customer Satisfaction Award in March 2023, is taking additional steps to encourage more action by organisations to reduce impacts on the environment.
Andy Hughes, Chief Executive of water retailer Water Plus, said: “Along with supporting pioneering projects and research to help habitats and support the natural environment, we’re committed to making sustainability and minimising our environmental impact core to our business, our people and our customers.
“Our work in 2023, we hope, will raise awareness further about how we all interact with water, how we can approach this through our relationship with natural resources in the future – and encourage consideration around more options to help our planet. Along with our technical water services, that are helping cut water waste and increase efficiencies for organisations in Scotland and England, we’re helping restore oyster levels in the UK, to help habitats and boost biodiversity, amongst the additional action we’re taking.”
Water Plus, which provides water and wastewater services including billing, customer service, meter reading, account management and technical water services for sites in England and Scotland, is the first official Corporate Member to support The Scottish Association for Marine Science, in a new approach launched by SAMS this year.
The work in 2023, follows Water Plus supporting the restoration of peatland in Scotland in 2021, preventing 400 tonnes of carbon being released**, helping towards the UK’s Net Zero target.
A large tree-planting initiative is also continuing during 2023 and the planting season in 2024 after Water Plus, which has an office location in Glasgow and one in Staffordshire, started increasing green coverage across England and Scotland in 2020.
Suggestions for UK planting sites can be made by emailing [email protected] .
Brief details on how planting would benefit the area should be included in emails, which should have the subject heading #NominateforTrees. Water Plus will review all suggestions.
Water Plus won two National Sustainability Awards in October 2022, including one for Water Reduction, and four Green Apple Environment Awards, including a Gold for Water Management, in November 2022 for its work with organisations to cut water waste and building awareness to increase water efficiency measures and approaches across sites.
Renewable energy projects were supported by Water Plus in 2022, including hydro power and a solar panel farm, which have prevented 500 tonnes of emissions.
Water Plus is also ranked in the top 25% of companies across the world for its approach around Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The EcoVadis sustainability rating looks at the integration of CSR principles in an organisation and focuses on 21 issues, which are grouped into 4 themes: Environment (ENV), Labour Practices & Human Rights (LAB), Fair Business Practices (FBP), and Sustainable Procurement (SUP). 2022 was the fifth year running the water retailer has secured an EcoVadis rating.
Through its engagement with organisations around water use and continually gaining efficiency, Water Plus has increased its market performance on meter reading-related activity, putting it in the top 3 of companies in their industry, in England.
More on tree-planting and action being taken by Water Plus is here: www.water-plus.co.uk/about-us/corporate-social-responsibility-sustainability/ .
No other water retailer is working with SAMS, making Water Plus the first to do this and support unique research and knowledge generation to help the environment.
*Blue Carbon is the term for carbon captured by and in the world’s oceans, including coastal and marine ecosystems.
**More details on the restored UK peatland, that will prevent 400 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions being released and is located in Scotland, at: www.water-plus.co.uk/about-us/corporate-social-responsibility-sustainability/ .