Yorkshire Water's vehicles 'could be powered with poo' if it means hitting ambitious carbon neutral target

Yorkshire Water says it is prepared to power its lorries with poo if it means meeting highly ambitious new targets to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Yorkshire Water this week set out its five main tactics for becoming carbon neutral by 2030

The company this week unveiled the steps it is taking to reach net zero by the end of the decade, detailing various ways it is actively looking at slashing its emissions.

Plans involve increasing the company's green fuel sources such as converting sewage at its plants into electricity, to storing more carbon in the land and switching its vehicle fleet to electric.

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It may even look to use human waste from its sewage plants to power its larger vehicles if hydrogen alternatives do not work, the company said.

Yorkshire Water this week set out its five main tactics for becoming carbon neutral by 2030

Manager of carbon neutrality at Yorkshire Water Pete Stevens, said climate change was one of the biggest crises facing the human race and remained a huge crisis for Yorkshire.

"We are looking at nature-based solutions to cutting our emissions," he told The Yorkshire Post.

"This means things like using plant beds more carefully for areas such as water treatment, instead of concrete-based solutions like pumps and motors that generally use a lot more energy.

"The current ways of treating water require a lot of air, so we're looking at ways we can reduce that to make it more efficient."

Gorpley reservoir near Todmorden, where Yorkshire Water is looking to plant more trees to reduce flood risk across the Calder Valley

All UK water companies - who combined account for one per cent of the country's emissions - have made a joint commitment to reach carbon net zero by 2030, and Yorkshire Water this week set out its five main tactics for becoming a more sustainable provider.

Those involve becoming more resilient to the impacts of climate change, reducing its electricity use by 28 per cent, reducing carbon emissions, increasing carbon storage through methods like tree planting and peatland restoration and forming partnerships with other organisations.

Yorkshire Water is currently the second largest landowners in the region, and is looking at ways of using the reservoirs and swathes of surrounding forest and moorland to trap emissions or use to cut their energy consumption.

The company is aiming to for a minimum of 30 per cent of all electricity use to come from onsite renewables by the end of the decade, and for 50 per cent of its vehicle fleet to become electric by 2025 (it is currently aiming for 10 per cent by the end of this year).

"It is not going to be easy," said Mr Stevens.

"A proportion of our vehicle fleet is already electric, but we've got to go much further and there isn't a low carbon solution our larger vehicles yet. We are trialling hydrogen vehicles for this, which has been successful but this is not yet fully developed and is quite expensive.

"We're hoping that the vehicle industry finds different solutions – we could even look at powering vehicles with the waste from sewage plants."

Yorkshire Water said it planned to publish regular reports into how its plan to de-carbonise was going.

"We plan to be as transparent as possible because it's a tough target," Mr Stevens added.

"This is not 'greenwashing' – it will be an open and honest approach."

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