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United Utilities


United Utilities is the North West’s water company.

Sustainable Supply Chain

United Utilities is responsible for water and wastewater services in the North West of England. Our purpose is to provide great water and more for the North West.

We deliver 200 million litres of water a day to more than 3 million homes and businesses in the North West, as well as treating all the wastewater which disappears around the U-bend.

We hold a licence to provide water and sewage services in North West England.These services are carefully regulated – with the water regulator, Ofwat, reviewing our price limits every five years.We deliver significant performance improvements across this period to ensure we work towards our vision of being the best UK water and wastewater company.

Sustainability and Supply Chain

We invested around £4 billion over 2015–20, to improve the water and waste water infrastructure and the environment across the North West, covering:

  • Over 42,000 kilometres of water pipes, from Cumbria to Cheshire
  • Over 78,000 kilometres of sewers
  • 566 wastewater treatment works
  • 86 water treatment works
  • Over 56,000 hectares of catchment land

Our programme of investment for AMP7 sees us investing around a further £3 billion over 2020–25. For us to continue to improve for our customers, we must rely on leveraging skills and capacity from supply chain partnerships, innovative solutions and delivering more for less.

Why a Partner?

As a FTSE 100 company with a 5,000 plus strong workforce and a major, multi-billion pound investment programme, the way we act as a business has a profound influence on the social, economic and environmental well-being of our region.

We are determined to play our part in a sustainable and more prosperous North West through a socially and environmentally responsible approach to our day-to-day activities, and by helping the communities we serve.

Our strategic themes define the way we operate in order to deliver our purpose and work towards our vision, and our core values provide the cultural framework within which we operate:

Strategic Themes:

  • The best service to customers
  • At the lowest sustainable cost
  • In a responsible manner

Our core values:

  • Customer focused – Customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we aim to provide a great and resilient service at the most efficient cost.
  • Innovative – We continually look for new ways to make our services better, safer, faster and cheaper.
  • Trustworthy – We make promises knowingly and keep them, behaving responsibly towards all of our stakeholders.

We, in turn, expect suppliers to uphold high environmental and ethical standards – the tenets of which are described in our Responsible Sourcing Principles.

Supply Chain Learning

We’ve been working with the school since we became a partner in 2016 and we have selected the following learning for our supply chain which relate to our Responsible Sourcing Principles.