NORTHUMBRIAN Water has become the first water company to achieve the Good Business Charter (GBC) accreditation.

The Good Business Charter, supported by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC), is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that encourages and recognises responsible business practices.

The North-East water company is the only water utility currently accredited by the GBC, which awards ethical businesses by measuring their behaviour over 10 key components including real living wage, fairer hours and contracts, employee well-being, employee representation, diversity and inclusion, environmental responsibility, paying fair tax, commitment to customers, ethical sourcing, and prompt payment.

“We are absolutely delighted to be recognised by the Good Business Charter, an achievement which is testament to the efforts our teams put in to help us reflect our values as we provide a service people couldn’t live without", said Northumbrian Water's chief executive Heidi Mottram.

“We care passionately for our customers, our communities, our employees and our environment and we’re proud of our commitment to put responsible and ethical working practices at the heart of everything we do.”

The firm has set itself some ambitious targets and hopes to become carbon neutral by 2027; to eliminate water poverty in its operating areas by 2030 and to help prevent the equivalent of 4 billion plastic bottles ending up as waste by 2030.

Jenny Herrera, CEO of Good Business Charter, added: “We are so pleased to welcome Northumbrian Water to our rapidly growing community of accredited organisations.

“As such a leader in responsible business behaviour, it’s great to have them join the GBC and we hope that they seek to inspire many other businesses to follow suit.”

Earlier this year, the company was named the most ethical water company in the world for the tenth time in the World’s Most Ethical Company List.