Responsible Business of the Year

Anglian Water was named Business in the Community’s Responsible Business of the Year 2017.

The award recognises companies that put social and environmental concerns at the heart of their strategy, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and embedding it in the culture of their entire business and supply chain.


We received the accolade for our innovative approach to tackling social and environmental challenges, and for demonstrating our commitment to driving sustainable business through innovation and collaboration.

Since winning the award we have worked to show how businesses in the UK can create a positive legacy in the most disadvantaged communities.

As part of winning the prestigious award we committed to share our learning through guides to three of our most successful collaborative projects.

These are:

Community Regeneration in Wisbech, community-regeneration-in-wisbech.pdf  a market town in the Cambridgeshire fens that we, alongside our Alliance partners, have been working in to make a lasting difference for over five years. The town faces a number of challenges but also has huge potential for growth and development. By concentrating our efforts in a single town, we believe that we can make a significant impact to people’s lives.

A Guide to Innovation from our Shop Window – Unique to the water industry, our Innovation Shop Window is leading the way in driving a culture of open innovation and collaboration across the business and our supply chain. Based in and around the town of Newmarket in Suffolk, it provides a place to showcase the combined effect of existing and future innovation.

Water Resources East (WRE), a collaborative, multi-sector approach to water resource planning in the East of England. It brings together water companies, regulators, farmers, landowners and conservationists to develop a sustainable, joined up and long term plan for managing the East of England’s shared water.

We hope these guides will help other organisations learn from our experiences and create their own successful projects.

What else have we done as part of winning Responsible Business of the Year?

Below are just a few examples of things we have done as part of our commitment to Responsible Business of the Year. Take a look here to see our year in more detail.

Sterling Green Bond launch, July 2017 – In July 2017, we made financial history by issuing the first ever public utility sector Sterling (GBP) Green Bond. The sustainability focus at the heart of our business means all of our capital expenditure qualifies as being eligible expenditure for the Green Bond.  The Bond of £250 million will finance a range of activities that support our Love Every Drop sustainability strategy. 

Plastic Pledge, June 2018 – We became the first water company to announce a radical commitment to rid the East of England of plastic waste by 2030. The pledge will tackle all plastic waste which isn’t reusable, recyclable or compostable. We will work together with manufacturers and retailers across the region to find ways to reduce the amount of plastics getting into the environment.

Anglian Water Training Centre launched at the College of West Anglia, Wisbech, June 2018 – We worked in partnership with our Alliance partners and the College of West Anglia to launch a new training centre at the Wisbech campus. The £250,000 centre is part of the wider Wisbech 2020 Vision and will be used for technical training and skills development, enabling students to gain valuable and practical skills as well as achieving nationally recognised qualifications.

Norwich Refill launched October 2017 – We teamed up with City to Sea to launch an exciting initiative in Norwich promoting free tap water refills for people on the move. Refill is a positive, practical and fun tap-water initiative that aims to save you money while also saving our environment. The initiative works by participating cafes, pubs and community buildings simply putting stickers in their windows welcoming people in to refill their water bottles for free, ultimately reducing single use plastic usage.

Wellbeing SME conference, December 2017 – In December 2017 we hosted the first East of England Wellbeing Conference specifically focused on bringing large companies and SMEs together to share their experiences on how to embed wellbeing in businesses of all sizes.

Sustainable Travel Initiative launched November 2017 – As a responsible business we know it is important to encourage employees travelling on business to do so as sustainably as possibly and provide them with the necessary support to be able to do that. So, in November 2017 we established a Sustainable Travel Group that will look at the challenges and opportunities, both current and future, to reduce our costs and impact on the environment, our exposure to road risk and enhance employee wellbeing.

Catchment Management Declaration, May 2018 – We were one of a number of organisations that came together to create the Catchment Management Declaration to gather commitment and action for a mulitsector approach to catchment management. Over 60 organisations including businesses such as Marks & Spencer, Coca Cola and The National Trust signed up to the declaration. It will form the basis of a newly energised multi-sector approach to protecting our rivers, reservoirs, lakes, wetlands and aquifers for the benefit of the people, wildlife and businesses that rely on them.

What’s next?

On 3rd July 2018 we handed over the ‘Responsible Business of the Year’ baton to Lloyds Banking Group at the Responsible Business Awards Gala Dinner at the Royal Albert Hall. But that doesn’t mean our work stops there. We committed to creating a legacy and will continue to work in our local communities and environment to create positive change as a responsible business.