Greater Anglia reduces carbon emissions for a second year

Published on: Monday, 18 October 2021
Last updated: Tuesday, 19 October 2021

A Greater Anglia train crosses Chappel viaduct
Above: A Greater Anglia train crosses Chappel viaduct Credit: Greater Anglia

Travelling by rail is now even greener after figures revealed that Greater Anglia reduced its carbon for a second year running.

The train operator commissioned environmental consultancy WSP to assess its environmental impact which revealed that in 2020/21 financial year Greater Anglia reduced its overall Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 11%.

This is in addition to the 11% reduction in 2019/20., meaning that the company has reduced CO2 emissions by 21% over the last two years.

The reduction means that in 2020/21, approximately 11,512 equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change, has been prevented from being released into the atmosphere.

This is the equivalent of the emissions produced by 1386 homes’ annual electricity usage and would take 190,000 tree seedlings growing for 10 years to remove this much CO2 from the atmosphere.

The reduction in emissions is in part thanks to the continued ‘greening’ of the National Grid which now uses more renewable sources to generate electricity, and this in turn powers Greater Anglia’s electric trains, depots and stations.

It also reflects that there were fewer trains running during the pandemic, so less electricity was used.

Greater Anglia’s Environment & Energy Manager, Stephanie Evans, said, “The programme to decarbonise the National Grid by using renewable energy sources has helped us to achieve this reduction in our emissions we’ve seen again this year.

"Overall, carbon emissions caused by running the trains accounts for around 93% of our total emissions, so small improvements in fleet energy efficiency or a move towards energy efficient driving can also really help us to reduce our overall emissions.

“Our new trains are designed to be more efficient and are built to higher emissions standards compared to our old ones which will help to make rail travel in East Anglia an even more environmentally friendly option.

“Understanding our environmental performance and impact will help us to become even more sustainable and help us to plan where we need to get to in the future as the industry works towards net zero.”

Greater Anglia is joining the rest of the industry in a ‘We Mean Green’ campaign which highlights:

• A single train removes up to 500 cars off our roads

• Every freight train removes on average 76 lorries from our roads

• Leaving your car at home and taking the train cuts carbon emissions by two thirds

In a report published earlier this month, the Rail Delivery Group estimated that a 20% shift from rail to road would lead to an extra one million tonnes of CO2 emissions and 300 million hours stuck in traffic jams per year.

People can visit to try the train operator’s new Carbon Calculator and find out how they can reduce their carbon footprint by switching to rail.