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Environment

Our solutions put us at the heart of a greener, cleaner future for our communities.

Key achievements

  • Achievement of triple certification to the Carbon Trust Standard for reducing carbon emissions, water use and waste across our UK operations in late 2014
  • 2.4% reduction in our absolute carbon emissions against our 2010/11 baseline, currently at 2,675,664 tonnes of CO2(e)
  • 23% reduction in energy consumption in our buildings in the UK
  • Continued improvement in our Carbon Disclosure Project score, which has increased by 43% since 2012 and is well above our industry’s average.

Progress against targets

What we said we’d do

Reduce carbon emissions in line with our climate change strategy

Performance against longer term carbon reduction targets for individual divisions (per passenger or vehicle kilometre against a 2010/11 baseline) has been mixed. UK Rail is slightly behind target overall, with performance varying across the rail division. First Transit is slightly behind target, due to changes in the fleet mix requested by customers, whilst UK Bus, First Student and Greyhound are making good progress. We will set new targets within our climate change strategy in 2016.

Reduce energy usage in buildings (where we pay directly for the energy we use) by 1% in the UK and 2%* in our top 100 North American properties (top by consumption)

UK target achieved (23% reduction).

North American target achieved (4.9% reduction in energy consumption in our top 100 properties in North America in 2014*).

* In the 2014 calendar year due to data availability.

Complete at least 75% of our annual UK Bus mileage using vehicles fitted with engines at Euro 3 standard or higher

Target achieved (81.6% of UK Bus mileage was completed using vehicles fitted with engines at Euro 3 standard or higher).

Increase non-hazardous waste recycling by 5% in the UK and by 2%* in North America, and reduce waste arising by 2% in North America, and 1% in First ScotRail

  • In the UK there was no material year on year change in our reported waste recycling rates, standing at 57.35% in 2014/15 (2013/14: 57.32). The waste figures we reported last year were estimated using assumptions supplied by our waste contractor, but for 2014/15 we are now able to report waste based on actual weights removed from our sites, which gives us a more accurate baseline to monitor improvements in future. We are please to report that we have reduced the overall volume of waste generated by 10.8% compared with last year in the UK
  • Recycling target achieved in North America: Waste recycling increased by 3.9 percentage points this year to 29.0% (2013:25.1%)
  • In First ScotRail, waste volume increased by 5.24%. The increase in waste was caused by the increase in passenger numbers due to big events, such as the Commonwealth Games last year
  • In North America, we saw a waste volumes increase by 9.66%, which is directly proportional to the increase in the number and size of locations we operated from last year.

Reduce water usage by 6% in UK Rail

Water usage in our UK Rail depots increased by 66,196 m3 (26.5%) compared to 2013/14. The increase was due in part to a major burst at Inverness depot wash plant at end of January 2015. This was an underground burst, which has now been rectified. It accounted for 13.9% of the overall year on year increase. Water use also increased due to a slight (3.3%) increase in the number of vehicles being washed in the UK Rail division. More work will be done to look at our water use in UK Rail, and we will report further in our next report.

Achieve the Carbon Trust Standard for our UK operations

In late 2014, we successfully achieved triple certification to the Carbon Trust Standard for reducing carbon emissions, water use and waste across our UK operations. The certification recognises our efforts to reduce our impacts year on year through greater efficiencies in energy and fuel use, improving waste disposal, the fitting of water-saving controls, a programme of leak repairs, and rainwater harvesting.