United Utilities ESG EventSource: RNS
United Utilities Group PLC
15 September 2021
UNITED UTILITIES ESG EVENT
United Utilities is today giving a presentation to investors and analysts demonstrating how we are delivering on our long-standing commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.
No new material on current trading performance will be provided as part of this event.
Phil Aspin, Chief Financial Officer, said:
"Our strategy to deliver long-term sustainable improvements in the service we provide is clear and enduring. Our approach to ESG is central to this strategy, driving us to deliver our services in an environmentally sustainable, economically beneficial and socially responsible manner.
"Our work puts us at the heart of the communities in which we operate and the support we provide to customers who are struggling to pay their bills has never been more important than through the Covid-19 pandemic. We believe passionately in using our investment programme to help keep the North West economy moving, generating jobs and providing stimulus for the development of skills so vital as we emerge from the worst effects of the pandemic.
"We are protecting and improving the environment, including the quality of the water we return to our rivers and coastlines. We have a duty to respond to climate change, which is why we have invested to make our services more resilient to changes in weather patterns and we will continue to invest significantly. We are delivering against our six carbon pledges, supporting our ambition to be net zero by 2030.
"We adhere to the highest levels of governance, accountability and transparency and consistently demonstrate that we are a company our stakeholders can trust.
"Today's event will provide more detail on how our approach delivers better outcomes for customers and the environment, drives efficiency and allows us to retain and attract the best talent by delivering on issues that matter to our employees. This enables us to provide the best possible service to customers and ensures we are well placed to continue to create long-term, sustainable value for all stakeholders."
For further information on the day, please contact:
Gaynor Kenyon - Corporate Affairs Director
+44 (0) 7753 622 282
Robert Lee - Head of Investor Relations
+44 (0) 7500 087 704
Graeme Wilson - Tulchan Communications
+44 (0) 2073 534 200
Presentation webcast and conference call details
We will be hosting a webcast presentation at 9.00am on Wednesday 15 September 2021, which can be accessed via the following link:
The presentation can also be accessed via a live listen only call facility by dialling:
UK toll: +44 (0)20 39362999
The presentation slides will be available on our website shortly before the presentation commences at the following link:
Following conclusion of the presentation a recording of the presentation will be available from our website.
ESG has been at the heart of our overall strategy for a long time - and will continue to be a fundamental priority in the years ahead. We have a deep and long standing relationship with the environment in which we operate and the communities we serve. This enduring connection has been the foundation stone of our strong track record of performance. But we know there is more to do and by delivering our plans, we will ensure we continue to improve for the benefit of all our stakeholders.
PROTECTING AND ENHANCING THE ENVIRONMENT
Leading environmental performance
· Continuing to protect and enhance the environment with an AMP7 investment programme of more than £2 billion
· Industry leading 4* environmental performance and 'green' across all areas - the only listed company to achieve this
· Delivering frontier performance on how we manage pollution with no serious pollution incidents for two consecutive years and a 31% reduction overall
Catchment approach delivering efficiency and environmental improvements
· Long track record of innovating and leading the sector in how we manage catchments
· Applying our innovative Systems Thinking approach to catchment management and working with partners
· Agreed significant flexible catchment permit that formalises the balancing of operations throughout a catchment, delivering significant efficiencies versus traditional approaches
Managing risk - climate change and population growth
· Invested additional £250 million of outperformance in AMP6 to enhance resilience
· Maintained high levels of service through extreme weather events demonstrating sector leading resilience
· £100 million investment in Dynamic Network Management programme to enable more proactive management of the sewer network to reduce sewer flooding
· Taking a significant role in developing solutions to tackle national issue of water resources
Securing a low carbon future
· Delivering our six carbon pledges consistent with achieving net zero by 2030
· First company in the sector to have science-based targets approved, including supply chain (scope 3) emissions targets
· Exceeded carbon targets for 2020, reducing emissions by 73%
· 100% of electricity from renewable sources by October 2021
· We are the largest corporate UK land owner and are taking advantage of this to protect and grow carbon storage in large areas of woodland and peatland, planting 1 million trees and restoring 1,000 hectares of peatland
Working at the heart of communities
· Proactively engaging with communities and stakeholders to ensure support for the efficient delivery of our capital projects
· Invest in community partnerships to tackle issues more effectively
· One of the region's largest employers, enhancing skills and social mobility through initiatives such as KickStart, apprentice and graduate recruitment, and our Social Mobility Summit
· Developed a deep understanding of the diversity of customers we serve meaning we are well placed to support them on issues of affordability and vulnerability
· Helping 200,000 customers with affordability support
· Enhanced digital capability improving service and reducing cost
· 1 million customers engaging with us digitally
· Earning a reward against both C-MeX and D-MeX for performance in 2020/21
Investing in colleagues
· 89% employee engagement and significantly above the UK High Performance Norm
· Investing in skills recognising that as a digital utility, our required skillset is evolving
· In the top 1% for Diversity and Inclusion Leadership out of 15,000 European Businesses
RESPONSIBLE FINANCING AND GOVERNANCE
Securing attractive funding based on strong ESG credentials
· The work we do to protect and enhance the environment allows us to raise funding via our Sustainable Finance Framework
· Credit investors have been keen to engage with our ESG agenda
· £300 million debut sustainable bond issued in January 2021 outperforming regulatory assumptions by around 150 basis points
Pensions' position is an example of ESG in practice - mitigating risk and delivering value
· Worked collaboratively with pension trustees over a 10 year period to mitigate risk within acceptable affordability envelope
· Fully funded pension schemes on a low dependency basis
· Pensions Scheme Act 2021 gives greater powers to the Pensions Regulator that we do not expect to impact us given our already strong position
Early adopters of best practice corporate governance
· World Class on Dow Jones, the leading water utility in Sustainalytics ESG Risk Rating assessment and A- CDP climate change rating recognising leadership level
· Adopt most up to date standards of best practice, frequently leading the way for the sector and adopting early
· Recognised as a leader across a broad range of ESG indices
· Driving sustainability in our supply chain
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This financial report contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the operations, performance and financial condition of the group. By their nature, these statements involve uncertainty since future events and circumstances can cause results and developments to differ materially from those anticipated. The forward-looking statements reflect knowledge and information available at the date of preparation of this financial report and the company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Nothing in this financial report should be construed as a profit forecast.
Certain regulatory performance data contained in this financial report is subject to regulatory audit.
Classification - ESG event