We’re taking action on climate change to protect the natural resources that sustain us – so Melbourne remains a great place to live: today, tomorrow and for generations to come.
A safe, clean and healthy environment is essential to our way of life: from the water we drink to the air we breathe. But climate change has begun to affect our water supply, sewerage and drainage systems.
The water industry is the single largest contributor to the state government’s total greenhouse emissions. And while we’re already adapting our operations for a changing climate, we know there’s more to be done.
That’s why at Melbourne Water we pledge to halve our emissions by 2025 and reduce them to net zero by 2030.
We also commit to sourcing 100% of our electricity from renewables by 2025.
Our pledge aligns with the water sector’s emissions reduction obligations (359.41 KB, PDF), as well as our support for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals – specifically Goal 13, Climate Action. It’s another way we’re working towards a sustainable future for the communities we serve.
How we’re taking action
It takes a lot of energy to get water to your tap and remove and treat your sewage. This results in two main types of greenhouse gas emissions, that we address differently:
- Direct (Scope 1) – mostly released through sewage treatment, such as methane and nitrous oxide.
- Indirect (Scope 2) – generated from electricity derived from fossil fuels.
Net zero doesn’t mean we won’t be producing any emissions. It means we will remove as much greenhouse gas from the atmosphere as we produce. To make up for emissions that can’t be reduced, we’ll invest in carbon offsets.
Addressing direct emissions
Sewage transfer and treatment is an energy-intensive process. It’s responsible for about 85% of our total emissions – including direct emissions, which we’re working to reduce at the source.
Addressing indirect emissions
We’re actively reducing our Scope 2 emissions by increasing our use of renewable energy. By 2025, 100% of our electricity will be from renewable sources.
To overcome challenges of this scale, we know we must work closely with other water organisations – both here in Australia and overseas. That’s why we’ve formed an international alliance with water companies Aarhus Vand (Denmark) and Severn Trent (UK).
Together, we have a vision to reduce carbon emissions by 1 million tonnes. By joining forces, we'll co-create innovations and technologies to make wastewater treatment greener. We will begin to establish new international standards for measuring and reporting emissions, as the industry looks towards a carbon neutral future – better for Melbourne and our planet.