Urban Utilities has announced its commitment to reaching net zero carbon emissions by the time Brisbane hosts the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games through improving energy efficiency, increasing its renewable energy use, and investing in beneficial local offset projects.

Urban Utilities Integrated Solutions Executive Leader, Chris Bulloch, said achieving net zero by 2032 was an essential part of ensuring a healthy, liveable and sustainable future for South East Queensland. 

“We’re committed to shaping liveability and enriching quality of life in our growing region now and into the future,” Mr Bulloch said.  

“The United Nations’ recent landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlighted the urgent need for all industries to act quickly to help mitigate climate change. 

“We understand communities all around the world expect organisations like ours to contribute to tackling this global issue and we’re proud to play our part.” 

Urban Utilities Principal Utilities Strategist, Glen Taylor, said the state’s largest utility already had a strong track record in reducing its carbon footprint.  

“Wastewater treatment is traditionally an energy intensive process, particularly as our region grows and demand for our services increases, so we’re always looking at new and better ways to improve our energy efficiency.

“We’ve recently introduced the Australian-first Anammox biological treatment process at Brisbane’s largest wastewater treatment plant which has reduced our energy use.  

“We’re also embracing cost-effective renewable power by generating our own clean energy from wastewater and by installing solar panels in key regional plants,” Mr Taylor said. 

In the past decade, Urban Utilities has generated more than 125,000MWh from cogeneration and more than 2,500MWh from solar – enough energy to power more than 27,000 homes for a year.

“Since we were formed in 2010, we’ve doubled the amount of clean power we’re producing each year from wastewater and we will increase our use of renewable energy to 100 per cent by 2032,” Mr Taylor said. 

Mr Bulloch said Urban Utilities was also planning to invest in local offset projects by rehabilitating up to 5,000 hectares of land in its service region as part of its roadmap to net zero. 

“We’ve already seen great success in reforestation, following our establishment of a dedicated koala habitat in Helidon in the Lockyer Valley to support native wildlife,” Mr Bulloch said. 

“Our forest of 1,600 blue gums is sustainably irrigated with recycled water from the nearby Helidon wastewater treatment plant. 

“It’s important to us to ensure our local offset projects benefit both our environment and our local communities as we continue our journey to net zero,” Mr Bulloch said. 

Mr Bulloch said Urban Utilities was proud to be part of a growing community of utilities around the world leading the way towards a decarbonised future. 

“Climate change is the defining issue of our time and our plan to ensure a sustainable future for both our people and our planet is clear,” Mr Bulloch said. 

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