New report sets out Natural Capital Principles for the water industry

Posted: Friday 5th February 2021

Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, has worked with water companies, regulators and government bodies across the UK to create a set of Natural Capital Principles for the Water Industry, that enable the value of the natural environment to be taken into account in investment decision making.

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The Principles form part of a best practice guide for water companies and regulators, and outline how the adoption of natural capital tools can make investment decisions more sustainable. In particular, the Principles highlight the importance of well-evidenced Natural Capital Assessments to demonstrate the social, economic and environmental impact of decisions, whilst aligning with national policy.

The best practice guide’s creation was facilitated by the Water Industry Forum (WIF). Atkins also worked with members of Welsh Water and Ofwat to support the formation of the principles.

Richard Whale, Water Market Director at Atkins, said: “The importance of natural capital cannot be underestimated as our industry strives to play its part in tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, and helping the UK transition to a Net Zero future.”

“At Atkins, we thrive on this kind of project, and it was a real privilege to work with WIF, water companies and regulators to create a framework which puts natural capital at the heart of our engineering and asset management decision making.”

Peter Drake, Water Industry Forum’s Chief Executive said “The list of Principles are the result of a true collaborative effort by water companies, regulators and governments from across the UK working in partnership. A key factor in achieving this was the excellent work undertaken by Atkins in helping to run the process used to develop the Principles, and in drawing the Principles together and pilot testing them against practical applications of the Natural Capital approach.”

The project builds on Atkins’ portfolio of Natural Capital assessment, which includes the delivery of the flagship catchment management trial for Thames Water to reduce phosphorus losses from land to the River Evenlode.

The best practice guide to the Principles can be found in the Water Industry Forum report: Natural Capital Principles for the Water Industry.

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April 2021

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