Stagecoach environmental impact continues to drop

Stagecoach has announced a major reduction in its corporate environmental impact as it works to develop a sustainability strategy for 2020 and beyond in partnership with the Carbon Trust.

The group’s coach and bus operations have reduced their passenger fleet emissions by more than 78,100 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2E) per year since 2013-14. Annual buildings emissions were cut by over 7,250 tonnes of CO2E.

Both follow a 30% reduction in Stagecoach’s carbon intensity in the previous five years. It has also achieved what the group calls “stretching environmental targets” 12 months ahead of schedule.

Its new sustainability strategy will include plans based around fleet replacement, buildings measures and other initiatives, as well as additional tough targets to drive further improved performance.

Stagecoach has aided its environmental impact by investing more than £1bn in 7,000 new vehicles in the last decade. For several years it has been the biggest operator of diesel-electric hybrid vehicles in Britain.

Next year, it will introduce around 50 zero-emission battery-electric buses in Caerphilly and Manchester, which follow others that entered service in Guildford earlier this year.

In addition to cutting its carbon impact, Stagecoach has also reduced its water consumption in the past 12 months. It dropped by 22% between 2017-18 and 2018-19 at the group’s UK Bus business. Additionally, more than 90% of waste handled by Stagecoach continues to be diverted from landfill.

CEO Martin Griffiths says that while the group is pushing itself to meet the challenges of climate change and poor air quality, targets set by the government are “unachievable without a major shift from polluting private transport.”

Coaches and buses are responsible for 6% of pollution from road transport, Stagecoach adds.