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We connect people and provide customers with a rail service across the North of England and into Scotland – and we do so by delivering a low-carbon travel option for our customer journeys. We are constantly improving our environmental performance. In 2022/23 we achieved a 17 per cent reduction in carbon emissions per vehicle kilometre compared to our baseline year of 2019/20. 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.
Through our Carbon and Air pillar of our Sustainability Strategy, we are working to reduce our carbon impact further. This year we are setting Science-Based Targets aligned with the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and we will take action through our decarbonisation roadmap to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
We have a critical role in helping the UK achieve challenging decarbonisation targets. As a responsible train operator, we have clear goals for managing and reducing our carbon 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 services, our carbon emissions per mile have been reduced through increased electric miles. Our Nova 1 bi-mode trains use diesel when there are no wires but can run on electricity when running electrified lines. We run on many partially electrified routes, which means we can make part of these journeys using electricity, which has a significantly lower carbon impact than diesel, and through the Transpennine Route Upgrade, we will be able to run on even more electric miles in the future.
What we are measured on:
Our Energy and Environmental Management Systems continue to be 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.
Our recycling rate has dropped from 65% to 58% during the financial year, with this rate correlating to the external impacts of market changes within the waste sector, seeing more of our waste directed to energy recovery processes because of the energy crisis. However, we continue to segregate waste on-site at Hull Paragon Station, and continue to send zero waste to landfill.
We have begun a programme of works at our managed stations to replace traditional mixer taps and flushes with water-saving equivalents, as well as installing water-saving devices in cisterns. These improvements were rolled out to 7 of our stations, with an anticipated saving of 727,965 litres of water per year.
Our scope one and two carbon footprint in 2022/2023 financial year was 61,478 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent). 89 per cent of our scope one and two emissions comes from diesel consumed by our trains and a further 10 per cent from our electric trains.
In 2022/2023, we also measured our scope three carbon impact to assess our total carbon footprint in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which shows that 32 per cent of our total carbon impact is from scope one emissions (the fuel we consume); 4 per cent is from scope two emissions (electricity we consume); and 64 per cent of our emissions comes from scope three (indirect emissions that occur from our value chain both upstream and downstream).
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 annual scope one and two carbon footprint.
In line with setting Science-Based Targets we have restated our baseline year to 2019/20 and since then we have achieved at least a thirty per cent reduction in our scope one and two carbon footprint.
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