Urban Utilities commits to net-zero by 2032

Urban Utilities has committed itself to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by the time Brisbane hosts the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As part of the commitment, the utility plans to further improve energy efficiency as well as increasing its renewable energy use and investing in beneficial local offset projects.

Integrated solutions executive leader of Urban Utilities, Chris Bulloch, stated that achieving net-zero by 2032 is an essential aspect in ensuring a healthy, liveable and sustainable future for southeast QLD.

“We’re committed to shaping liveability and enriching quality of life in our growing region now and into the future,” said Bulloch. “The United Nations’ recent landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlighted the urgent need for all industries to act quickly to help mitigate climate change.

“We understand communities all around the world expect organisations like ours to contribute to tackling this global issue and we’re proud to play our part.”

Likewise Glen Taylor, principal utilities strategist for Urban Utilities, noted that the utility already has a strong track record in reducing its carbon footprint.

“Wastewater treatment is traditionally an energy intensive process, particularly as our region grows and demand for our services increases, so we’re always looking at new and better ways to improve our energy efficiency,” said Taylor. “We’ve recently introduced the Australian-first Anammox biological treatment process at Brisbane’s largest wastewater treatment plant which has reduced our energy use.”

“We’re also embracing cost-effective renewable power by generating our own clean energy from wastewater and by installing solar panels in key regional plants.”

In the past decade, Urban Utilities has generated more than 125,000 megawatt per hour (MWh) from cogeneration and more than 2,500 MWh from solar. This is enough energy to power more 27,000 homes for an entire year.

Since the utility was formed in 2010 it has doubled the amount of clean power it’s producing each year from wastewater and will continue to increase its use of renewable energy to 100 per cent by 2032.

Urban Utilities plans to invest in local offset projects by rehabilitating up to 5,000 hectares of land in its service region as part of the roadmap to net-zero.

“We’ve already seen great success in reforestation, following our establishment of a dedicated koala habitat in Helidon in the Lockyer Valley to support native wildlife,” said Bulloch. “Our forest of 1,600 blue gums is sustainably irrigated with recycled water from the nearby Helidon wastewater treatment plant.”

Urban Utilities is proud to be part of a growing community of utilities around the world leading the way toward a clear and decarbonised future.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our time and our plan to ensure a sustainable future for both our people and our planet is clear,” said Bulloch.

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