Awards Spotlight: Northern Rail

1st June 2020


Web p32 new trains 45 view landscape

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Transport ,
  • Sustainability ,
  • Engagement

Author

Luisa Brotas

Kyle MacNeill, environment business partner and David Gray, head of energy and environment at Northern Rail tell us about winning the award for Best Workplace Development

How many of your staff took environmental training, and over what time period?

The training programme took place over two years and involved the delivery of training to more than 5,000 staff members. This included everyone from the managing director to the frontline colleagues who deal with customers and work to maintain our trains.

Did you have any challenges particular to training staff running a railway?

A lot! Facilitating the delivery of an extensive training programme to a wide number of roles throughout the north of England was a challenge in itself, but fitting this in while maintaining our daily operational train performance proved to be the most challenging aspect. We had to roll out training while having minimal negative impact on our operation and no negative impact on our customers.

“Individuals have the knowledge, skills, tools and sense of empowerment to make sustainability improvements“

How was the training linked to the IEMA skills matrix and was this useful?

We were early adopters of the All Jobs Greener programme, which makes colleagues more aware of the role they play in sustainability, and consisted of a three-stage approach: leading with environmental sustainability, aimed at our director team and senior leaders; managing with environmental sustainability, aimed at our management team; and working with environmental sustainability, aimed at the rest of our workforce.

All directors and executive managers were to be trained in six months. IEMA has since changed the All Jobs Greener approach to Sustainability Skills, which we have also used. These amendments have improved our delivery further as exams are undertaken electronically, removing burdens on the trainers.

Have you seen improvement in environment and sustainability outcomes?

Yes. There's certainly been more engagement from the business. In order to embed the learning and see improvement, it has been necessary to follow up at a local level with management and frontline staff. Improvements include an increase in recycled waste through the new standardised approach to waste across the business. In addition, there has been greater identification and repairing of water leaks at numerous locations.

What benefits has the company and staff themselves gained through the training, going forward?

Individuals have the knowledge, skills, tools and sense of empowerment to make sustainability improvements in their day-to-day work. For the business, it is a very powerful statement to make that we have trained every member of staff on environmental sustainability, at a time when pressure is growing to reduce our impact on global carbon emissions and improve air quality. We can now say that every single person in our business can play a part in reducing these impacts.

How did it feel to win, and what did you think of the awards ceremony?

A feeling of gratitude that we were being recognised for the hard work we put in and the positive difference we had started to make to the business. Being the first winner announced made the rest of the event even more enjoyable. The venue was excellent, with the presenters both engaging and doing what they needed to do in a timely manner.


Highlights

  • Over a period of 24 months, ARN delivered at least one level of the training to all staff
  • 400 managers have gone through a certificated two-day IEMA course
  • More than 5,000 frontline staff have been trained.

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

SBTi clarifies that ‘no change has been made’ to its stance on offsetting

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

Senior consultant, EcoAct

3rd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close