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Stagecoach has cut carbon emissions from its businesses by 14% over the past five years as it continues efforts to tackle climate change and boost air quality, according to new data published today.
Between 2013-14 and 2018-19, the multi-modal transport group reduced its passenger fleet emissions by 7% and buildings emissions by 21%.
Overall, the business has slashed its annual carbon impact by more than 168,000 tonnes of CO2e a year since 2013-14. In the company's bus and coach operations alone, it has reduced its passenger fleet emissions by more than 78,100 tonnes of CO2e a year, with annual buildings emissions cut by over 7,250 tonnes of CO2e.
It follows a 30% reduction in Stagecoach’s carbon intensity in the previous five years and the achievement of stretching environmental targets 12 months ahead of schedule.
A range of multi-million-pound investments and company-wide sustainability projects have helped drive the environmental improvements.
These include the introduction of new greener buses and coaches, investment in eco-driver technology, training for bus drivers and engineering teams, measures to tackle bus idling, and use of state-of-the-art environmental management systems at the company's facilities.
Stagecoach, Britain's biggest bus and coach operator, has invested more than £1billion in 7,000 new greener vehicles in the past decade, more than any other operator in the UK. In May, the company announced an £80m investment in a further 350 cleaner vehicles for 2019-20.
For several years, Stagecoach has been the biggest operator of hybrid electric vehicles in Britain. The latest Euro VI buses emit fewer emissions overall than a Euro 6 car, as well as having up to 20 times the carrying capacity.
Early next year, Stagecoach will introduce into service one of the biggest orders of new electric buses in Europe. Around 50 zero emission e-buses,-part-financed by the UK Government’s Green Bus Fund, will go into service in Manchester and Caerphilly in South Wales, supported by new charging infrastructure. It follows new electric buses introduced by Stagecoach on park and ride services in Guildford earlier this year.
Stagecoach is progressing the development of a new sustainability strategy for 2020 and beyond in partnership with the Carbon Trust. The strategy will include plans around fleet investment, buildings measures and other initiatives, as well as stretching targets to drive further improved performance.
Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, said: "Climate change and poor local air quality are two of the biggest challenges our planet faces today. Governments, businesses and individuals all need to play their part in meeting that challenge head on.
"We welcome the stretching targets being set by government to address these environmental problems, but the reality is that are unachievable without a major switch from polluting private transport to sustainable public transport.
"Our greener and smarter public transport services are a vital part of the solution. Not only do they help support the economy and keep communities connected, they can help cut congestion and deliver cleaner air.
"We have made huge strides over the past decade in becoming a more sustainable business as well as making a positive social and economic impact for our country. But we need to do more and we look forward to finalising our sustainability strategy for 2020 and beyond."
Surface transport is the single largest producer of carbon emissions and the only sector where these are growing. In the UK, the government has introduced a “net zero” target for GHG emissions by 2050 Buses and coaches are responsible for just 6% of pollution from road transport, compared with 41% from diesel cars and 30% from diesel vans.
Research by Greener Journeys, a UK campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices, suggests that everyone switching from car to bus for just one journey a month would mean one billion fewer car journeys and would save two million tonnes of CO2 every year in the UK.
In addition to cutting its carbon impact, Stagecoach has achieved significant reductions in water consumption in the past year. Water consumption at its bus and coach operations across the UK was reduced by 22% between 2017-18 and 2018-19, with a cut of 47% at its tram operations over the same period.
Reductions have been achieved through installing urinal cistern controls at bus and rail depots, using lower flush toilets and push taps, and extending recycling at wash facilities. The introduction of automated meter readers has also help identify and address leaks from the water supply system.
More than 90% of waste handled by Stagecoach, including a significant volume generated by customers using public transport services, continues to be diverted from landfill. Stagecoach companies are working with waste management specialists to improve segregation at operational facilities and offices, and raising awareness of the issues with employees and customers.
As well as meeting and exceeding its regulatory obligations, Stagecoach is also focused on reducing business travel; developing green travel plans and incentives for our people, customers and other organisations; working with other companies and organisations to improve sustainability in the supply chain; improving the accessibility of its public transport services; and managing biodiversity issues.
This article first appeared on www.focustransport.org
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