Our purpose, strategic priorities and core values

Our purpose

Our purpose is to provide great water for a stronger, greener and healthier North West.

  • We deliver an essential service, help customers in vulnerable situations, invest in local communities, and support jobs and the economy, giving the North West resilience in a changing world.

  • We protect and enhance urban and rural environments, and adapt to the challenges of climate change, allowing people, wildlife and nature to thrive, making the North West a better place to live now and for the future.

  • We provide great quality drinking water and safely remove and recycle used water for more than seven million customers, while taking care of the beautiful landscapes in the North West every day.

Our strategic priorities

Our strategy to enable delivery of our purpose has six priorities, which permeate everything we do:

  • We have a strong track record in minimising pollution, and continue to protect bathing waters across the North West. River health in the UK has grown in public interest in recent years. The industrial legacy and high rainfall in our region means we have a bigger task than many to deliver the significant reduction in spills from storm overflows required by the Environment Act 2021. This will form a significant component of our investment in AMP8, with £3.1 billion dedicated to it in our business plan, and we are accelerating part of this investment, with good progress already made.

  • We are committed to protecting nature and biodiversity, and reducing water consumption. We have a net zero transition plan underpinned by our six carbon pledges and ambitious science-based targets. We generate clean energy from bioresources and through partners. We are looking at how we can make the best use of our land to deliver a greener future, be that through our pledges to create woodland and restore peatland, or increasing our renewable energy generation capacity.

  • We strive to continually improve our service for customers – improving water quality, minimising interruptions, fixing leaks and reducing the risk of sewer flooding. Engagement helps us understand what matters most to customers – the stretching targets in our AMP8 business plan reflect views based on extensive engagement and this is reflected in strong levels of customer acceptability. Great service also means helping customers with affordability and vulnerability support, and keeping their data secure.

  • We invest in our colleagues’ training and development, and are dedicated to maintaining high levels of health, safety and wellbeing. We want to attract, develop and engage great talent across the organisation, we support and encourage a diverse and inclusive culture, and we want colleagues to be empowered to contribute to making things better.

  • We continuously challenge ourselves to improve cost efficiency in a sustainable way, so we can keep customer bills as low as possible in the long term without compromising on service or resilience. We look to minimise whole-life cost and deliver the best value solutions, using innovation to find better ways of working, raising efficient financing and managing risk prudently, leveraging partnerships and driving value in our supply chain, capitalising on digital and automation opportunities, and removing areas of duplication or waste.

  • We work closely with communities across the North West and we invest in those communities as well as opening our land for access and recreation. We actively engage and make use of partnerships to drive value for communities, such as our participation in the Love Windermere initiative. We produced individual business plans for each of the North West’s five counties, recognising their unique and diverse needs and challenges, and we have mobilised our teams into county delivery squads to help manage these relationships and ensure we can deliver our planned improvements for each county with minimal disruption.

Our core values

Our core values demonstrate the way we work, and we want to ensure these are clear and easy for all our colleagues to apply to every situation. They reflect the things we believe are most important to help us deliver our purpose of providing great water for a stronger, greener and healthier North West.

  • First and foremost, as a responsible business, we want our people to always focus on doing the right thing. This means always putting safety first, delivering for the benefit of our stakeholders, championing fairness, acting with courage and integrity, and speaking up if they come across anything that doesn’t feel right. This is vital for building and maintaining trust with the public and our stakeholders, and for delivering our purpose: doing the right thing for the natural environment helps us to create a greener North West; and doing the right thing for customers, communities, colleagues and suppliers helps us to build a stronger and healthier North West.

  • We are focused on supporting each other and working as a team to make things happen, taking accountability and putting progress over perfection. We want to celebrate successes, for individuals and for the company, and learn when we don’t get things right first time.

    This can already be seen across the business. We enable and foster new ways of working through our Innovation Lab process. We are able to act quickly and capitalise on pockets of efficient financing opportunity. We have also made decisions to accelerate investment where we can deliver improvements for customers and the environment faster.

  • Ultimately, everything we do is about improving things and creating a better tomorrow for everyone. We want to be better as a company, and this means encouraging our colleagues to live this value as well – being curious, ambitious, and solution-focused, seeking out new and innovative ways to deliver our services more efficiently and effectively. We want to ensure we are learning from the best people that are available to us, which is why we embrace equity, diversity and inclusion, collaboration and partnership opportunities, nature-based solutions, and other innovation and best practice ideas from across our sector, other industries, and the wider world.