Yarra Valley Water has adopted a new five-year Climate Resilience Plan, detailing practical policies for reduced carbon emissions and reaffirming a commitment from the utility to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025.
Since launching its first Climate Resilience Plan in 2018, Yarra Valley Water has become one of the first water utilities in the world to sign the global Pledge to Net Zero. It is also a signatory to the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign.
The new plan includes provisions for the adoption of a zero-emissions vehicle fleet and an investigation into the potential for Yarra Valley Water to produce green hydrogen using recycled water from the Aurora sewage treatment plant.
The utility has already implemented solar power and food waste-to-energy infrastructure to replace carbon-intensive alternatives.
Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said the utility had already committed to the goal, but now has the roadmap to achieve it.
“Today marks an important step in our commitment to leading for our environmental future – a key pillar of our 2030 Strategy,” Mr McCafferty said.
“We’ve seen first-hand the devastating impact that our changing climate can have, such as severe storms, bushfires and floods.
“With the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events on the rise, it’s clear that we need to keep building our resilience and adapt to the risks we face.”
Mr McCafferty said game-changing projects, including plans for green hydrogen production and an electric fleet will help Yarra Valley Water achieve its goals.
“This plan builds on progress that we’ve already made. We’ve implemented solar power systems and a food waste-to-energy facility that have replaced other carbon-intensive energy sources, and we have further renewable initiatives in the pipeline,” he said.
Yarra Valley Water Chair, Sue O’Connor, said the water industry is uniquely positioned to mitigate its impact on the environment.
“One of the greatest challenges facing the Victorian water sector is climate change,” said Ms O’Connor.
“Water corporations must juggle both a rising average temperature and a drying climate.
“Through this plan, we’re committed to taking real action now to minimise our carbon footprint, go beyond zero carbon and prepare our infrastructure and services for the impacts of climate change.
“We recognise that we can’t do this alone – our partnerships within the water industry, the community and beyond are a key aspect of putting this plan into action.”
Yarra Valley Water’s Climate Resilience Plan is available in full at: yvw.com.au/ClimateResilience.