Last week, Yorkshire Water won the prestigious Finance for the Future Award for the company’s innovative Six Capitals sustainability accounting approach.

Read more about the awards here, and about Yorkshire Water’s approach here.

Last week’s Financial Times Water Summit was “a unique event on the global financial and water calendars. Targeted at CEOs and CFOs of companies that depend on water as an input in their products, processes, and/or supply chains as well as banks and investors and global financial institutions, the summit looks at water from a corporate perspective”.

WWF UK, who were also behind the Summit, were there to share ideas on how to assess investment portfolios so as to transform risks into opportunities. Read the WWF blog here.

Taking a less Panglossian view is a thesis from the University of Greenwich, which “aims to critically evaluate the privatised water & sewage industry in England. We find that the public-owned sector in Scotland delivers the service just as efficiently, albeit at a lower cost to consumers. Our econometric analysis suggests that the 40% increase in real household bills since privatisation was mainly driven by continuously growing interest payments on debt, contrary to the regulator attributing them to growing costs and investments. Finally, we show that the accelerating debt levels are primarily the result of disproportionate dividend pay-outs, which exceeded the privatised companies’ cash balances in all but one year since 1989. We conclude that the way the industry operates may no longer be sustainable and seems to disadvantage consumers greatly without their knowledge, as there is a fog of misleading statements by the companies and the regulator”.

Read the whole thing here.

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