Towards net zero carbon emissions


We're reducing our greenhouse gas impacts to address the challenges of climate change, helping protect the environment and preserve Melbourne’s liveability for future generations.

Melbourne Water’s pledge

Graph of Melbourne Water's carbon emissions - 84% is from sewage treatment and transfer
Melbourne Water's greenhouse emissions profile 2016/17

We are committed to reducing our carbon emissions to net zero* by 2030.

This will be achieved in two stages:

  • a 50% reduction of current emissions by 2025
  • a further reduction to net zero by 2030

*Being net zero means the net greenhouse gas emissions associated with Melbourne Water’s activities are equal to zero

The Victorian water sector in its entirety is the single largest proportion of total State Government carbon emissions. Melbourne Water accounts for 51% of this output.

Within Melbourne Water, the biggest use of energy is associated with sewage transfer and treatment, producing 84% of total emissions. By comparison, the water supply system uses a relatively low amount of energy: contributing only 15% of emissions.

Carbon reduction initiatives

Our commitment to carbon reduction has already begun through established practices as well as planned initiatives.

Solar panels at the Eastern Treatment Plant
Solar panels at the Eastern Treatment Plant

These include:

  • transitioning to a zero-emissions vehicle fleet within 10 years
  • capturing methane-rich biogas by covering the anaerobic lagoons at the Western Treatment Plant – this source of renewable energy already meets all the plant’s energy needs
  • generating hydroelectricity through our water transfer system, which already produces nearly 70,000 megawatt hours per year – enough to power more than 14,000 homes
  • gathering global water experts together for an Emission Impossible workshop, in order to identify solutions to reduce fugitive emissions from wastewater treatment plants.
Last updated:
30 July 2020