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Environment and Sustainability
Low Carbon Travel
We connect people and provide customers with a rail service across the North of England and into Scotland – and we do so in the most environmentally friendly way possible. At TransPennine Express (TPE) we have already taken steps towards becoming greener, and we are on track to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent per vehicle kilometre by April 2023. Our Nova train fleet, which includes bi-mode and electric trains, helps reduce passengers’ carbon dioxide emissions by 77 per cent compared to travelling by an average car.
We are working to reduce carbon emissions further, as we are setting Science-Based Targets to align to the Paris Agreement and limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius and will reach net-zero carbon emissions before 2050.
We have a critical role in helping the UK achieve challenging de-carbonisation targets. As a responsible business, we have clear goals for managing and reducing our carbon emissions and environmental impact.
In recent years, as we have increased our services and our capacity on-board trains, we have been able to increase the journeys we provide, the number of trains we run and the total distance we carry our passengers.
Despite increasing our service, our carbon emissions have been reduced. This is partly thanks to our Nova 1 bi-mode trains, which use diesel when there are no wires but can run on electricity when running under wires. We run on many partially electrified routes, which means we can make part of these journeys using electricity, which has a lower carbon impact than diesel.
What we are measured on:
Our Energy and Environmental Management Systems are certified to ISO 50001 and ISO 14001. Our energy use can be broken down into “traction” and “non-traction”. Traction refers to the energy consumed to drive our trains, which is our main operation. Non-traction includes the energy to light, power and heat our stations and offices.
We have increased our recycling rates from 36 per cent to 64 per cent in recent years. We have a target to increase our recycling to 65 per cent this year (2022). To achieve this, we are working with station tenants, cleaners and colleagues, and we are reintroducing manual segregation at our most prominent waste generating location. Any waste that we can’t recycle is sent to Energy from Waste to generate electricity. In addition, we continue to send zero waste to landfills.
We have long standing water meters at five of our stations. In addition, we have recently added smart meters to all except one of our remaining stations, which enable us to monitor consumption and quickly identify and fix leaks.
Our total Scope 1 and 2 carbon footprint in 2020/2021 financial year was 273,707 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent). Eighty eight per cent of our emissions come from diesel consumed by our trains and a further 10 per cent from our electric trains.
Our traction energy and diesel consumption are metered and provided by Network Rail and the depots where we refuel the trains. Groundwork independently verifies our carbon footprint. Pre-pandemic, our carbon footprint has reduced by 12 per cent or 13,000 CO2e since our baseline financial year 2015/2016. Our carbon per passenger-km has also decreased during this time by 13 per cent.
Environmental Performance 2022
Art installation at Hull Paragon- Marking Global Recycling Day
In March 2022, TransPennine Express (TPE) and local artist Andy Pea teamed up to unveil a sculpture made entirely of recycled materials at Hull Paragon Station ahead of Global Recycling Day.
The temporary artwork was displayed at the station for one day only. It featured hundreds of water bottles, cups, cardboard, newspapers and other pieces of plastic waste – all collected from some of TPE’s trains and Hull Paragon station.
TPE commissioned Andy to create the sculpture, an impressionist view of one of our trains, to mark Global Recycling Day and highlight our continued efforts to become greener and reduce our carbon footprint.
Local children from Adelaide Primary School also contributed to the artwork by collecting items that could be recycled and created their sketches of how the sculpture could look, which Andy took as inspiration for his final creation.
TPE commissioned this temporary sculpture to show its commitment to recycling – one of the critical parts of our sustainability strategy. In 2021 we managed to collect and recycle more than 200 tonnes of recyclable waste.
Find out more about our commitment to becoming greener here.
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