Corporate Responsibility

Becoming more sustainable.

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We’re on a journey to becoming a more sustainable business. Sustainability is an increasingly important consideration as we seek to strike a balance between the level of service we provide to our customers, our impact on the environment and communities, the level of customer bills and future investment in the business. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made in the last year and continue to work hard to deliver the desired results for our customers and the environment.

Business plan outcomes.

Over the last 12 months we have engaged our stakeholders. Their views have helped us develop our new strategy, which marks a new chapter for Thames Water:

  • Be ‘Here for you’ – create lifelong customer advocates
  • Use technology to turn customer insight into action
  • Invest in resilient, proactively maintained digitised assets
  • Protecting the environment
  • A collaborative and capable team, dedicated to serving customers
We monitor our business and operational performance carefully against our 2015-20 business plan outcomes, using a number of key performance indicators (KPIs). Our KPIs are monitored by our board of directors and senior management on a monthly basis and are used to help us make effective decisions. Take a look at our Annual Report and Annual Performance Report 2017/18.  

Our sustainability policy.

To help us achieve these outcomes all our business activities are underpinned by our nine sustainability themes. This report provides an update on our progress across our nine sustainability themes and emerging sustainability and corporate responsibility response. Our commitment to becoming more sustainable is visible in our sustainability policy. Members of our executive team have responsibility for specific parts of our sustainability programme, with overall direction on sustainability matters provided by our external affairs and sustainability director, Richard Aylard.


We take our approach to becoming more sustainable seriously and this is reflected in our business plan which is agreed by our board, executive team and regulators. Every day we look after over 15 million customers – each with individual needs – and every single one of them is important to us. It’s our duty to make sure they receive a good quality product and service.

We regularly review the relative importance of issues material to our business, our customers, other stakeholders and the outside world. By focusing on these issues and reporting progress on how we are addressing them, we aim to become a more sustainable business.

Customer engagement underpins everything we do and our business plan for 2020-2025 (PR19 - Price Review 19), is focused on delivering the right outcomes for customers and the environment. As we look to develop our strategy and long-term plans, we’ve engaged with nearly a million customers to understand what their needs are and what they want from us. We know, for example, affordability and security of their water supply are some of the things that matter most. And this is informing our business plan, and our Water Resources Management Plan. We submitted our draft business plan to our regulator Ofwat on 3 September 2018 and published it on our website here.  

We cover the material issues and risks in our Annual Report and Annual Performance Report 2017/18 which focuses on the most significant subjects agreed with Ofwat and our customers.

External Sustainability Benchmarking.

As well as our regulatory and financial submissions our Environmental, Social and Governance performance is independently benchmarked to provide insights for investors into our sustainability performance. Last year, we were recognised for our commitment to sustainability by the influential Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark for Infrastructure (GRESB) survey.

The GRESB awards are a way of assessing the sustainability of infrastructure assets in terms of environmental, social and governance performance. We’re proud to have been be recognised as a 2017 Infrastructure Asset Sector Leader for our commitment to managing our sustainability performance. We improved on the previous year’s performance, finishing top globally in the ‘water resources’ category, and fourth globally for infrastructure across all the 160 businesses that took part. We also achieved Prime status in the course of the 2018 ISS-oekom Corporate Rating.