Article
Wood’s ENVision is helping deliver carbon neutrality for Northumbrian Water
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Mithula Jeyabalasingam
Engineering Manager, Digital Integration & Innovation
James Innes
Technical Lead and Product Manager for Wood’s Insights Platform (WIP)

The need for a net-zero, resilient and globally sustainable water sector, delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, is reaching a critical moment. Shareholders, stakeholders and investors are demanding transparency on both current performance and progress made in reduction strategies. ​

In the UK, the water sector is the fourth most energy-intensive industry, directly contributing around five million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions each year. It’s also the first sector in the UK, and one of the first major sectors in the world, to commit to a carbon zero future by 2030. Currently, the UK water industry’s carbon emissions are the equivalent of over one million petrol-powered passenger vehicles driven in a year. This includes process emissions from complex water treatment methods, electricity usage and transport fuel.

Many organisations are already making significant progress in reducing energy consumption and emissions. One such organisation that recognises its part in the global fight ahead, is Northumbrian Water (NW). NW is ISO14064-1 accredited for their GHG emissions since 2019 and are going the extra mile to deliver insight and operational change  to achieve net-zero carbon emission by 2027, three years ahead of the PIC ambition and in doing so will be the first water company in England to meet this ambition.

Wood is partnering with Northumbrian Water in identifying innovative approaches to enhance NW’s leading position in the water industry in decarbonising water operations and illuminating its operational approach with our data-driven sustainability solutions. Focusing on NW’s operations in Essex & Suffolk, to reconcile its carbon taxes with real-time emissions data, and match output with associated costs, Wood connected data points in NW’s ERP system, which helps identify causes for jumps in carbon emission.

Our solution, ENVision, allows NW to easily visualise and monitor​ its carbon footprint at 15-minute intervals, this will enable them in the future to identify the optimum throughput and the impact of emergency and planned shut-downs.

We are supporting NW with guidance  on the use of dashboards and the data contained within ENVision to help discover and provide input to emissions and cost-saving initiatives. Additionally, equipment status during operations across various sites can be tracked and the associated emissions can be calculated. Operating teams within NWG may respond to events differently resulting in several operational strategies and by using this data NWG can examine how operations are executed and devise best practices.

Built on an Azure backbone, ENVision enables real-time insight into emissions and carbon releases by streamlining and automating diverse data sets. The platform provides an auditable and accurate view of emissions from any asset, organisation or city. ​It can also work with other key data sources, such as productivity or finance, in order set strategic, measurable goals, with a realistic roadmap for delivery. Not only can ENVision create more accurate cost calculations,  it can also deliver warnings and accurate analytics to help make better operations and procurement decisions around chemicals usage, maintenance investments and upgrades across the water industry .

From dynamic modelling and simulation to smart asset management and innovative nature-based solutions, Wood is combining cutting edge technologies with experience across the sector to transform water and wastewater management.

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