"Given the scale of the challenge facing the environment, we are now setting stretching new targets."
Eurostar, the high-speed train rail operator between the UK and mainland Europe, has set itself a new 10-point plan which it hopes to further incorporate sustainability into its business and operations. The new plan, includes using alternatives to fossil fuel energy for all train journeys across our markets by 2030, a reduction of 5% of train energy by 2020, a reduction of plastic usage and paper ticketing by 50 percent over the next two years. To kick start this journey it has already eliminated the use of plastic straws on board and in business lounges, which builds on a growing anti-straw campaign in the UK. Cutting all waste is also important to the company’s transition to sustainable practices; it plans to increase recycling rates and continue diverting all waste from landfill.
The new targets build on its Tread Lightly programme, in operation since 2007, designed to reduce its carbon footprint and support the Paris climate change agreement. The company has already made progress to changing the way it operates having already reduced its carbon emissions by 32 percent over the past eight years. It has also cut waste by 50 percent over the same period.
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: “Given the scale of the challenge facing the environment, we are now setting stretching new targets. High speed rail plays a pivotal role in encouraging the switch to more sustainable modes of transport and we are committed to increasing our energy efficiency and reducing our waste across the business”
In accordance with the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement and the Science Based Target Initiative Eurostar are committed to a significant reduction in our corporate emissions by 2020, supporting the drive to limit global warming to below 2 degrees celsius and creating a low carbon future.
So what are those ten commitments Eurostar have made?
1. We will make a reduction of 5% of train energy by 2020. Train energy represents the majority of the power we take from the national grids to operate our services.
2. We will reduce train energy by using energy meters on-board our e320 trains and delivering an energy efficient driving programme to all our train drivers by 2020.
3. We will eliminate the use of fossil fuels as energy for all of our train journeys across our markets by 2030.
4. We will invest in renewable energy at our UK depot, our biggest industrial facility with a substantial footprint, by installing banks of solar panels.
Simon Lejeune, Head of Operations,and Robert McNeil-Wilson, Head of Engineering both of Eurostar are confirmed speakers at SmartRail 2018, two days in Amsterdam in April dedicated to bringing together leading experts to discuss the challenges faced by the industry and the solutions.
Reducing plastic and waste
5. At our stations, we will continue to prevent waste from going to landfill and will work with our partners to achieve more segregation of waste and increase rates of recycling.
6. We are committed to reducing waste on board, working with our catering suppliers to reduce waste at source and using best industry practice to find innovative alternatives to traditional packaging.
7. We have set up a working group focused on reducing the usage of plastic with the clear remit of finding new alternatives to plastic. Our aim is to reduce our consumption of plastic by 50% by 2020.
8. Over the last ten years we have significantly reduced the amount of paper we use by thousands of tons. Using digital technology we aim to eliminate paper ticketing with a reduction of 50% by 2020.
Commitment to sustainability
9. We are committed to exchanging all the vehicles we own for electric alternatives by 2020. In the meantime, we will work with our suppliers to accelerate the switch of their vehicles.
10. We are determined to improve our sustainable food credentials further by up-grading our 2-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association for our on-board and business lounge food and drink to a 3-star rating by 2020.
SmartRail World is currently investigating what rail and metro companies are doing to improve their sustainability practices, in particular in relation to recycling on-board waste. If you would like to talk to us about this topic, or contribute, please e-mail Dave Songer - Dave@SmartRailWorld.com
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