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Self-Supply Set to Transform Water Procurement

Ofwat has granted water self-supply licences (WSSLs) to John Lewis PLC and Kellogg’s in a move that will see self-supply operable in two new commercial sectors: retail and food manufacturing. It follows the success of self-supply as a cost-effective, efficient and sustainable approach to water management and procurement across other sectors, most notably in hospitality to date.

John Lewis – with Waitrose & Partners sites also included under the licence as an associated company – is the first retailer to embrace the innovative self-supply approach. The move supports the company’s wider corporate responsibility agenda and builds on its success in carbon reduction and waste management. Water efficiency is now a major focus in John Lewis’s strategy to 2028, with targets aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UK’s 2050 emissions targets.

Meanwhile, Kellogg’s has taken the lead for the food manufacturing industry, successful in its application for a WSSL for the company’s Manchester site, its largest manufacturing operation in Europe. Kellogg’s cites water reduction as a key pillar of its global 2020 sustainability commitments; setting a target to drive down water usage by 15% against a 2015 baseline. With the Manchester plant being such a large operation, any reductions that can be made here will have a significant effect on reaching this goal.

Now that they have licences to self-supply, both John Lewis and Kellogg’s will have the opportunity to benefit from unrivaled visibility and greater control over their water consumption, trade effluent discharge and costs; paying wholesale prices (saving water retail supplier margins), directly influencing the development of the water marketplace with full voting rights membership of MOSL; and participating in Self-Supply User Forums to advance best practice.

Waterscan is proud to be acting as managing agent for both companies, taking on the role and responsibilities for the water retail functions, providing technical support and working collaboratively to find further water efficiency savings.

Managing Director Neil Pendle, commented: “We’re delighted with Ofwat’s decision on the granting of these two new self-supply licences. It signals an ongoing commitment to innovation and collaboration across the water marketplace on behalf of the regulator. Furthermore, to the wider business community it sends out a strong message that, no matter which sector you operate in, you can put water at the centre of your organisation’s sustainability and resilience agenda here in the UK.”

Since market opening, Ofwat has granted self-supply licences to eleven organisations partnering with Waterscan: John Lewis and Kellogg’s join existing licensees Greene King, Whitbread, Marston’s, Heineken UK, Stonegate Pub Company, Coca Cola European Partners, Elis Group, BT and Blackpool Council.