One of our key goals to achieve Excellence in our environmental performance is to ensure external standards are maintained.
In 2016, this goal was achieved through the enhancement and extension of our existing ISO/BS energy and environmental accreditations. Significant achievements were made by ALSA, with international certifications renewed in the EU eco-management and audit scheme (‘EMAS’). This is a premium management instrument to evaluate, report and improve environmental performance.
We also maintained the ISO 14064 standard, a GHG emissions integrated programme aimed at measuring, quantifying and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, along with both ISO 14001:2004 and 50001:2011 management standards.
Our operations in the US saw successes in the NSTA (National School Transportation Association) Green Fleet Certification programme. This is an environmental stewardship award recognising school bus operators for their efforts to reduce their fleet emissions by over 90%, and accelerate the adoption of newer engine and emission reduction technologies.
Endorsed by the USA Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus USA programme, Platinum and Gold certification levels were awarded to Durham School Services in Ottumwa, Iowa and Indianapolis, Indiana, and to Stock Transportation in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Carbon Saver Standard performance
During the year all our UK divisions achieved the Carbon Saver Gold Standard for the third time. We achieved an increase of 15% in our performance score two years ago. This achievement is testament to our seven-year programme of reducing carbon emissions through a continued commitment in driving sustainability, cutting our energy costs and adopting carbon emissions reduction measures in both fleet and site operations.
In 2016, we were awarded a performance band level B from the Global Water Disclosure Program. This was the first time the Group has reported to the Water Disclosure Progam, and is the only public transport company in CDP’s Industrial category. This programme requires us to identify our water risks and opportunities, providing greater transparency.
Measurement and transparency
In 2016, we made a significant improvement in data collection and target setting, with all divisions adopting a Group-wide web-based sustainability reporting system for our GHG accounting system.
We use the resulting data to guide our energy and fuel reduction activities. These are centered on:
- behaviour change by drivers, resulting in improved miles per gallon figures
- investment in Solar photovoltaics and smart metering technologies at our site locations
- investment in new low carbon fleet, including hydrogen fuel-based vehicles, and retrofitting of new technologies to existing fleet to improve efficiency
We continue to re-define our environment reporting processes across the Group, providing greater visibility and ownership. These have helped attain a number of environmental awards, and in achieving Carbon Reporting (CDP) and Commitment to Climate Change via Science Based Targets.
In 2016, for the third year running, we improved our ranking in the global Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). We achieved a Climate Change Performance Band level B, an improvement on last year (level C). This achievement signals we are a company that continues to embed climate change into our corporate business strategy.
Commitment to climate Change Action via Science Based Targets
In 2015, we made two business-focused Climate Change Action Commitments – the only listed public transport company globally to do so:
- Reporting climate change-related information in our mainstream reports
- Adoption of science – based emissions reduction targets
We continue to adopt Group-wide emissions targets in line with climate science and we can now better plan our longer-term goals 2030 to 2050; our intensity (eg tCO2e per million passenger km) and absolute target metrics. Completing a heat map which will acknowledge all of our Scope 3 emissions (supply chain) our targets will then be verified in accordance with the Science Based Targets initiative’s Call to Action criteria by April 2017.