Stagecoach group launches new five-year sustainability strategy

27 Jan 2015

  • Business sets targets for carbon, water and waste reduction in UK + North America
  • Plans follow 30% reduction in Group’s carbon intensity since 2007-08
  •  Investments in greener fuels, buildings improvements and recycling
  • Company pledges to work with stakeholders on “shared responsibility” for planet

Stagecoach Group today (27 January 2015) launched a new sustainability strategy with a plan to cut carbon emissions, reduce water consumption and improve recycling at its transport operations in the UK, mainland Europe and North America.

The transport group’s new five-year strategy, Shared responsibility, shared future, produced in partnership with the Carbon Trust, sets out a package of investments at the Group’s bus and rail businesses.

It follows a 30% reduction in Stagecoach Group’s carbon intensity since 2007-08 and the achievement of previous targets 12 months ahead of schedule.

In 2013-2014, Stagecoach had a total carbon footprint of 1,563,000 tCO2e, a water footprint of 835,000 m3, a waste footprint of 10,200 tonnes and a waste recycling rate of 77%

By April 2019, the Group is aiming to:

  • reduce buildings carbon emissions by 7%
  • cut like-for-like fleet transport carbon emissions by 2%
  •  lower water consumption by 9%
  • achieve a waste recycling rate of 83%

Stagecoach Group has already been awarded the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard for measuring, managing and reducing its global carbon footprint, becoming the first public transport operator to have its boundaries certified outside of Europe.

Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, said: “Sustainability is the responsibility of us all - as individual consumers, employees, businesses and government.

“Our towns and cities face the economic and environmental threat from rising congestion and worsening air pollution. Stagecoach and its bus and rail services are part of the solution, offering greener, smarter and better value travel.

“We are proud of our track-record and reputation of being a sustainable business and a force for good. But we need to do more and our plans for the next five years set further stretching targets for improvement. I believe that by working together we can turn our shared responsibility into a positive shared future.”

Stagecoach worked with the Carbon Trust on a programme of technical site surveys in the UK and North America and modelled the impact of initiatives across the Group’s buildings estate and fleet.

Around £1.3million of capital expenditure will be invested in measures to reduce the Group’s environmental resources footprint in its buildings alone. This will be focused on lighting; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and behaviour change and monitoring. It is expected to deliver cumulative cost savings of £4.7m by 2019.

The Group will continue with its annual bus and coach investment programme, which has seen £545m spent in the last seven years in making the state-of-the-art fleet even greener and more efficient.

Stagecoach is the largest end user of biodiesel in the UK. More than 3,500 of its vehicles in the UK run on biodiesel, with either a 30% or 100% bio content. Stagecoach is also the biggest operator of hybrid electric vehicles in Britain. The Group will investigate further options to switch to alternative fuels which reduce dependence on higher-carbon sources.

Other carbon reduction projects include:

  • Achieving further benefits from previous investment in eco-driver technology and training across the bus fleet and driver team in the UK
  • Building a business case in partnership with the company’s train leasing provider for investment in regenerative breaking on Class 455 units in the UK
  • Deployment of eco-driving and anti-idling programmes in the United States
  • Fleet optimisation measures and the introduction of driver efficiency tools in Canada.

Water and waste initiatives will be focused on:

  • Installing urinal cistern controls at our bus and rail depots
  • Using lower flush toilets and push taps
  • Extending recycling at train wash facilities
  • Improving waste segregation at our bus and rail depots and offices
  • Reducing office paper consumption at facilities

As well as meeting and exceeding its regulatory obligations, Stagecoach’s sustainability strategy also involves:

  • 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 bus and rail services
  • continuing awareness of biodiversity issues

A key part of the Group’s approach is the approach to sustainability is the ongoing review of its plans, performance and targets. It includes mechanisms to update targets to reflect the changing shape of the business, such as acquisitions, disposals and any new rail franchise wins. Some elements are also dependent on external factors and third parties.

Stagecoach Group’s Health, Safety and Environment Committee reports regularly to the company’s board of directors on the business’s performance. Policy information and annual performance data is provided on the Group’s website. Stagecoach also makes an annual submission to CDP, an organisation focused on carbon disclosure which collates environmental information and works with thousands of companies and investors to tackle climate change.