Our purpose, strategic priorities and core values

Our purpose

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

Our purpose drives us to deliver our services in an environmentally sustainable, economically beneficial, and socially responsible manner and create sustainable long-term value for all. Active engagement and strong constructive relationships help us understand and respond to the things that matter most to our stakeholders.

  • 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 water that people love to drink, safely remove and recycle used water, whilst taking care of 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 are a sector leader in minimising pollution, and continue to protect bathing waters across the North West. River health in the UK has received a lot of public interest. The legacy industrial nature and high rainfall in our region means we have a bigger task than many to deliver the significant reduction in storm overflow activations required by the Environment Act 2021. This will form a significant component of our 2025–30 business plan, and we are accelerating investment with good progress already made.

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

  • We invest in our colleagues’ training and development, and maintain 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.

  • Delivering great service means continually improving our ways of working across the whole business. Improving water quality, minimising interruptions, leakage and sewer flooding, and supporting customers with affordability and vulnerability. Engagement helps us understand what matters most to customers and we act on their feedback. This can be seen in the way we redesigned our bills based on customer research, and the early investment we are making to improve customer and environmental performance faster.

  • 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 Systems Thinking and innovation to find better ways of working, leveraging partnerships and driving value in our supply chain, capitalising on digital and automation opportunities, and removing areas of duplication or waste.

  • Our work means we are working closely within communities across the North West and we want to ensure we are visible and trusted. We actively engage and make use of partnerships to drive value for communities, such as our Love Windermere initiative. With a lot to deliver in the years ahead, we have appointed regional stakeholder managers for each of the five counties to help manage these relationships and ensure we can deliver our planned improvements 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 speaking up if they come across anything that doesn’t feel right. This is vital for building and maintaining trust with the public and all our stakeholders, and for delivering our purpose.

  • 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.

  • 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. We want our people to be 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 diversity and inclusion, collaboration and partnership opportunities, innovation and best practice ideas from other companies, other industries, and the wider world.