Pioneering projects in Esholt and Bradford Moor have helped to clinch an improved responsible business rating from Business in the Community for Bradford-based Yorkshire Water.

Business in the Community established the Corporate Responsibility Index in 2002, providing participating businesses with a rating to reflect their progress on responsibility and sustainability.

Yorkshire Water has seen its rating rise to 93 per cent compared with 90 per cent last year, reflecting the investment being made by the utility company to ensure it is acting as a responsible business.

Anne Reed, Yorkshire Water corporate responsibility, education and volunteering adviser, said: “Seeing our score increase is a great result and this reflects some of the projects being carried out which will benefit our customers across the region.

“Our customers told us that they want us to take very good care of the environment.

“It’s our vision too and we will continue to deliver a more sustainable water and waste water service for our five million customers.”

Yorkshire Water launched an innovative trial in Bradford to reduce blockages and create renewable energy simultaneously by encouraging residents to pour cooking oils into ‘fat vats’ rather than into their sink.

It has also completed a £30 million project to install the UK’s first BioThelys sludge treatment plant at Esholt, making the site energy self-sufficient and reducing the company’s carbon footprint by creating renewable energy from human waste and effluent.

The company has also created a bypass channel for fish around the Rodley weir, making it easy for fish to travel around the weir and providing far better access to a new stretch of river habitat for Yorkshire’s freshwater wildlife.

Yorkshire Water said it marked a major step in helping the continued recovery of the river, with salmon and trout returning.

Stephen Howard, Business in the Community chief executive, said: “The 2014 CR Index shows us that companies are making real progress to integrate responsibility throughout their operations.

“We know that companies are now increasingly discussing Corporate Responsibility at board level, transforming company culture through embedding Corporate Responsibility into training, and unlocking innovative products and services by looking ahead to the long-term challenges and opportunities of responsible business.

“Crucially, this shift is being driven by a tranche of responsible leaders that understand the new contract now required between business and society to drive change.”