Publication date: July 17, 2021
With its fleet of 5,000 vehicles, the company’s goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045
“Public transportation is part of the solution to climate change. This strategy outlines how we will become a net zero emissions company by 2045“.
This sentence summarizes one of the key strategic pillars of Go-Ahead, an international transport group and one of the UK’s leading public transport providers.
Achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 goes instead to converting the entire fleet of 5,000 buses in the UK to zero-emissions vehicles by 2035. This would represent a 75% reduction in transport operator emissions. More: If the targets are met, they will happen five years earlier than the UK government sets.
In a press release, the group identified its challenging goals as the most ambitious in the sector, and states that they will be achieved through a combination of investment in carbon-neutral technology, the control of waste and a significant increase in material reuse and recycling.
Furthermore, changes to the Go-Ahead business will be accompanied by initiatives that encourage active travel,”The company is now calling on the government to encourage a change from car use to walking, cycling and public transport‘ says the text.
At the heart of Go-Ahead’s strategy will be a complete shift in technology from diesel power to zero-carbon transportation – including electric power and hydrogen.
Standards on Go-Ahead’s decarbonization track include many measures, starting with converting its entire fleet of 5,000 UK buses to zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.
The group also promises a decarbonized rail fleet by 2035. Yes, because in addition to operating bus services across the UK, as well as Ireland and Singapore, Go-Ahead is also active in operating UK rail, where it is responsible for over 30 % of all passenger train trips. Internationally, the company operates railway contracts in Norway and Germany.
By 2025, the company will seek to improve air quality through a 17% reduction in carbon monoxide emissions, a 49% reduction in hydrocarbons, a 63% reduction in nitrogen oxides and a 55% reduction in particulate matter.
Another point highlighted by the transport operator is to have a 25% reduction in water use by 2025”By significantly reducing leakage, along with responsible management in all operations. “
Completing the list of references that form the strategic pillars of Go-Ahead is a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of all its facilities by 2035, overall waste reduction and 60% of waste recycling by 2025.
O CEO do Go-Ahead Group, David Brown, destaca: “Climate change is the number one challenge facing society, and to meet it, we must make drastic changes to the way we travel. If we are serious about protecting the health of our planet, companies like ours must show leadership“.
David Brown Completa: “Our plan on climate change is ambitious but achievable, and aligns with international goals to limit any increase in global temperature to 1.5°C. We will do our part by decarbonizing our business and investing in environmentally sustainable technologies. We hope our commitment will coincide with a broader change in public transportation policy, encouraging people to walk or cycle whenever possible, and use buses and trains as an alternative, but only use the car when absolutely necessary.“.
In its statement, distributed this week, Go-Ahead said it is committed to investing in ground-breaking technology with environmental goals. “The group operates Britain’s first filtered buses, which remove air pollution as they roam the streets of Southampton. Buses with GPS technology automatically switch to zero carbon mode when they enter Brighton city centre, and we are testing solar panels on buses in Britain and Singapore.”.
This summer, Go-Ahead expects to deploy “bus-to-grid” power at its Northumberland Park depot in north London. Bus to Grid (or Bus2Grid) is a smart technology that provides bi-directional charging capable of feeding into the electrical grid. The energy stored in the electric vehicle’s battery is sent to the grid, recharging it when demand is low and putting energy into the grid when it’s high.
This project, in partnership with SSE Enterprise, BYD, University of Leeds and UK Power Networks, will turn the bus station into a virtual power station, with electric bus batteries capable of powering the grid at peak times.
Northumberland Park is the largest electric bus station in Europe. The initial test will use batteries from 28 double-decker buses, capable of returning more than a megawatt of power to the grid.
Alexandre Pelegy, journalist specializing in transportation
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