First GBRf is helping to promote World Environment Day on June 5, the United Nations’ flagship environmental event that is celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Through First Group’s internal and external websites and publications the company is encouraging everyone to ‘Cut a Kilo of CO2’ on World Environment Day. UK rail freight uses less than one third of the fuel and thus produces less than one third of the CO2 through moving a similar mass of good in comparison with road, so switching from lorries to trains is a key message in First GBRf’s campaign.
Moving 1000 tons of coal or steel from North London to Manchester, a distance of 310km, by rail instead of by road would save over 40g/t. km of CO2, which equals the amount of CO2 produced by a typical two-bedroom house (from light and heating) for one whole year!
John Smith, Managing Director of First GBRf, said: “World Environment Day is a fantastic opportunity for those who normally move goods by road to seriously consider rail as a viable alternative.
“At First GBRf we see ourselves as part of the solution to the climate change problem. By providing a safe, reliable and cost effective alternative to road haulage, we hope to encourage even more people to reduce their business’ carbon footprint by using rail to deliver their goods. I hope that on June 5th people will not just try to ‘Cut out a Kilo of CO2’ but will also consider long term alternatives to their current transportation methods.”
First GBRf has a range of measures designed to ensure its trains operate more efficiently including encouraging its drivers to drive more efficiently and reduce unnecessary idling.
In addition, First GBRf will publish useful energy saving tips to its office staff to cut a kilo of CO2 on World Environment Day. These include:
· Using recycled paper as opposed to regular paper for printing and copying
· Switching off computer monitor at lunchtime for 45 minutes
· Switching off the lights in rooms not being used
· Turning down the office thermostat by just 0.5 0C
· Turning off the air conditioning and opening a window for 2 hours
Through FirstGroup’s internal campaign ‘Small Changes Big Difference’, First GBRf has been raising awareness of climate change amongst its employees for some time. This campaign highlights that a few small changes to individual behaviour can make a big difference to the company’s carbon footprint.
In 2007, FirstGroup, First GBRf’s parent company, published its industry leading Climate Change Strategy, which set out ambitious targets to reduce emissions from its UK Bus Division by 25% and Rail Division by 20% both by 2020. In the last year FirstGroup can point to a number of environmental achievements, which will help meet those targets:
· First has achieved a 3% reduction in energy usage in UK Bus and UK Rail compared to 2006/07.
· First has achieved a 6% increase in waste recycling in UK Bus compared to 2006/07.
· CO2 emissions from business travel has reduced by 11%.
· In April 2008 all First bus and train operating companies in England and Scotland became accredited to the ISO14001 environmental management system standard.
· In July 2008 First’s operations in the UK were accredited under the Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme (EEAS). This is a leading independent emission reduction award scheme that recognises organisations that can demonstrate energy savings through management commitment and investment in energy efficiency measures. FirstGroup is the first transport company to complete the accreditation since the scheme was extended to include transport emissions.
· Earlier this year, First revealed that is has begun trials in Bristol to run a bus powered by fuel made from waste cooking oil from local chip shops and restaurants.