Eurostar to cut CO2 emissions by 25%

17th June 2011

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High-speed rail operator Eurostar has pledged to reduce the carbon footprint of its entire operations by a quarter by 2015.

The company’s promise encompasses not only the emissions of its back offices, but those of its suppliers, its staff on their way to work and its investments.

In making the announcement, Eurostar’s chief executive Nicolas Petrovic openly admitted the firm isn’t yet sure of how large its carbon footprint is, but has committed to the 25% target believing that ambition will drive action.

The rail operator took the same approach when it launched its environmental strategy, Tread Lightly, in 2007. At the time, the company pledged to reduce the CO2 emissions for each customer journey by 25% in four years, but actually met the target in 2009 and is now working to a 35% cut by 2012.

Through Tread Lightly the firm has cut the amount of waste it sends to landfill from 40% to 1.2% and raised the amount of waste being recycled from 20% to 60%.

“We are proud of all we have achieved through Tread Lightly and have learned a tremendous amount since we launched four years ago,” said Petrovic.

“Listening to feedback from our customers and stakeholders has convinced us that we can go further and take Tread Lightly to the next level.”

Eurostar has started work on measuring its carbon footprint, with environment manager Luke Ervine confirming that the company has a good understanding of its scope 1 and 2 emissions, and is now concentrating on gathering accurate data for its scope 3 emissions.

“We are taking a magnifying glass to our operation and challenging ourselves to look at our entire carbon footprint,” confirmed Petrovic.

Alongside its commitment to lower emissions, Eurostar aims to cease sending any waste to landfill and to increase the number of passengers using onward rail connections to five million each year.

To further its aim of encouraging the public to use low-carbon transport, Eurostar also announced its sponsorship of a new Ashden Award for sustainable travel from 2012.

The firm is providing a £20,000 prize for the award which will recognise the most sustainable local travel initiatives in the UK, France and Belgium.

The news was announced at the Ashden Awards ceremony last night (16 June 2011) which saw the Centre for Alternative Technology in Powys, Severn Wye Energy Agency and Midlands Wood Fuel among the winners.


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