Stagecoach outlines net zero ambitions for Scotland’s Climate Week

Electric buses in West Scotland Stagecoach

Stagecoach has outlined its net zero plans in Scotland to mark Scotland’s Climate Week event, held 13 – 19 September.

That roadmap includes £21.4m investment into 46 zero-emission buses introduced in Aberdeen, Perth and Kilmarnock this year as part of the Scottish Government’s Ultra Low Emission Bus scheme. It comes shortly after the introduction of six zero-emission buses for rural communities along the Irvine Valley to Kilmarnock, operated under partnership with SP Energy Networks.

That investment will deliver an estimated annual reduction of 67,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent from its fleet of 1,200 buses in Scotland in less than 15 years, Stagecoach claims.

In addition to a retrofit programme that has seen over a third of buses in Scotland retrofitted with Euro VI or newer exhaust systems, Stagecoach says it continues to work with the manufacturing sector on how clean technologies might be applicable to coaches on routes not suited to battery-electric operation.

Existing work with coach includes five Scottish Citylink coaches in East Scotland that have been fitted with solar panels. They provide solar energy to power on-board equipment. Stagecoach estimates this will save 7,500 litres of fuel and 20 tonnes of CO2.

Other elements of Stagecoach’s decarbonisation strategy include cutting waste, conserving water and boosting recycling. 11 depots across Scotland have been fitted with energy management systems to reduce gas and oil consumption. The company says it will meet international standard ISO 50001 and will procure all electricity from 100% renewable sources by April 2022.

“There has never been a more important time to take action to address the climate emergency and play a part in helping Scotland deliver on its net zero ambitions,” says Regional Director for Stagecoach in Scotland Sam Greer. “Our plans start with improving the sustainability of our own business. But we can also leverage the power of public transport focus on our plans to create a greener, smarter, safer, healthier and fairer Scotland.

“Making net zero a reality – and quickly – is about more than just switching technologies. We also need to change how we travel, moving people away from cars to walking, cycling and wheeling, and public transport.

“This needs strong and brave leadership from national and regional governments to create incentives to reward the right choices. We also need to make sure the country’s transport infrastructure is prioritised for people, such as bus passengers, whose are contributing to a cleaner and healthier country.”

The company’s targets and commitments are part of the its sustainability strategy Driving Net Zero: Better Places to Live and Workpublished earlier this year.