Network Rail have published their Environmental Sustainability Strategy. The document illustrates how they plan to play their part in Britain’s green economic recovery over the next 30 years.
The report includes four key priorities:
- A low-emission railway
- A dependable railway service that is resilient to climate change
- Minimal waste and sustainable use of materials
- Improved biodiversity of plants and wildlife
Network Rail CEO, Andrew Haines, begins the report saying: “I want to see rail powering Britain’s green economic recovery as we build back better from Coronavirus. That is why this strategy matters to me and to everyone at Network Rail.
“It’s a guide to how we should think, plan and manage the way our railway is run. Some of the steps on this journey are ones we can take now. Others will develop over time. They will lead us towards a railway which cuts its emissions to a minimum, prepares for climate change, protects and strengthens lineside habitats and limits the impact of the waste and plastic pollution we create.
“This strategy is not an addition to the goals we have set for the organisation. Nor is it just a piece of dutiful good housekeeping. To me it is central to the way we work. Delivery will be led by our routes and regions, but thinking, planning and operating in an environmentally sustainable way must become part of the DNA of Network Rail as a whole. Acting sustainably should not be a bolt-on but part of what putting passengers first is all about.
“Our current position carries with it an opportunity and a risk. The opportunity for rail is that with the right strategy, investment and personal commitment we can help bear the burden of reducing the environmental impact of transport in Britain. By becoming more sustainable and taking a bigger share of transport use, rail will help the country meet its carbon goals and clean its air.”
Within the repot, Network Rail say their goal is to serve the nation with the cleanest, greenest mass transport, put passengers first, help passengers and freight users to make green choices and help local communities and be a good neighbour.
In response to strategy being published, David Clarke, Technical Director at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “Rail travel is already a low carbon mode of transport, but there is always more the industry can do to make our railways greener, to adapt to the growing threat of climate change, improve air quality, reduce the amount of materials we use and protect and encourage new ecosystems and habitats for wildlife.
“Network Rail’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy sets out a clear path for making our railways even more environmentally-friendly, and it is a plan that rail suppliers are keen to support. Rail businesses across the country have the skills, innovative thinking and drive to minimise the network’s impact on the planet. Getting started now will also stimulate an economic recovery following the Coronavirus pandemic, creating jobs and investment across the UK, ultimately delivering a high-performing, sustainable transport system for the future.”
To read the full report, click here.