United Utilities Water Plc

Warrington, United Kingdomwww.unitedutilities.com/
Invested through
  • Triodos Sterling Bond Impact Fund
Asset ClassesCorporate bonds
Impact strategyImpact Equities and Bonds
Bloomberg tickerUU/ LN
ISIN codeGB00B39J2M42
Industry groupUtilities
Aligned with SDGs

United Utilities (UU) is the largest listed water company in the United Kingdom. The company manages the regulated water and wastewater network in the North West England. The combined area has about 7 million people. And the population is expected to grow significantly in the coming 25 years. UU serves around 3 million of them.

The company is also involved in property management. The company offers a range of value-added services, such as leak detection and repair, waste digestion and wastewater system optimization, on-site engineering and water efficiency advisory services, as well as CCTV and drainage, emergency and contingency water supply, network rehabilitation, network modelling, environmental- and standpipe services. UU currently employs around 5,300 employees and actively supports 17,500 jobs.

Investment rationale

United Utilities (UU) operates in the wettest region of the United Kingdom. The average rainfall is 830mm higher than the average UK rainfall each year. 30% of land is National Park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The area where UU operates has long coastal lines, protected rural areas and dense urban areas. Meanwhile, UU operates in 41% of the most deprived areas in the UK; 47% of household have less than £100 savings to cope with unexpected bills; and 18% of households are affected by water poverty (20% higher than the national average).

Flood and drought have become more prevalent across UU's operating regions. To adapt to such climate change, UU has adopted a Systems Thinking approach, which will enable the company to forecast weather conditions and prepare for different scenarios. Climate data is embedded in 1,000 scenarios in UU's Water Resource Management Plan (WRMP) to understand how the company can create the right supply and demand balance against significant uncertainty for the next 25 years.

As for its contribution to climate change mitigation, United Utilities aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 60% from the 2005/06 baseline by 2035. In addition, UU pledges to meet its science-based emissions target (scope 1&2) with a further 42% by 2030 and 100% reduction by 2050 (from its new 2019/20 baseline). The company also aims to restore 1000 hectares of peat by 2030, and plant 1 million trees to create 550ha woodland by 2030.