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Energy and climate change

We use significant quantities of fuel to power our fleets, and energy for heating and lighting our facilities. All of this produces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a major contributor to climate change. We continue to reduce the environmental impact of our services through innovation and investment in energy efficiency and low carbon technology.

Our approach

We closely monitor our direct and indirect impact on the environment, allowing us to identify where we can make efficiency savings and share best practice across the Group. By tracking our carbon footprint, we can be clear on where opportunities lie, helping us to create robust targets for the future. With our previous climate change strategy having now concluded, we will be reviewing and relaunching a new plan during 2016/17. 

Our new strategy will

  • ensure we remain competitive with other transport modes in terms of both cost and carbon
  • improve the efficiency of our services to reduce cost and associated carbon emissions
  • attract more people to our services and match capacity to passenger demand.

Emissions from our vehicles (both road and rail) constitute around 96% of our organisational carbon footprint and are therefore the focus of our strategy. We are delivering carbon reduction through:

  • significant investment in our fleets
  • staying at the forefront of research and innovation in low carbon vehicles and fuels
  • the use of software systems and behaviour change programmes
  • best practice management systems and processes.

Our work on fleet emissions is supported by a carbon reduction programme linked to energy use in buildings and across our supply chain.

We measure and target performance on our organisational carbon footprint and monitor our normalised carbon footprint per £1m of revenue. We also target reductions in carbon emissions per passenger km or vehicle km (as relevant) within our fleets.

Our carbon footprint in 2015/16

Since 2014/15, our absolute carbon emissions have decreased by 2.5% to 2,409,462 tonnes CO2(e). Investment in low-carbon technologies and consolidation of our estate around more modern, efficient facilities, such as First Glasgow's Caledonia bus depot, have underpinned this improvement. Similarly, investment in our alternative fuel bus fleet and focus on efficient driving techniques in both our road and rail divisions has led to a scope 1 emissions reduction of 2.4% against 2014/15 levels. Scope 3 emissions have increased by 15.5% in 2015/16 in comparison with the previous year. Temporary closure of the TPE rail route following Storm Desmond in December 2015 resulted in the need to provide taxi and bus replacement services for an extended period of time, resulting in this increase.