National Express buses battle global warming
National Express' Matt Jukes polishing the alloys on a low-carbon Platinum
National Express West Midlands has been recognised for its industry-leading work in fighting global warming.
The bus operator has the largest fleet of low-carbon certified buses outside London. These vehicles played a big part in the Birmingham-based company’s recent Carbon Saver Gold Award.
Managing Director Peter Coates, said:
“I’m delighted that our multi-million pound investment in 190 cleaner, greener buses is making a real difference to the environment. This is the third time in a row we’ve won the Carbon Saver Gold Award. That demonstrates our impressive seven-year track record in continually reducing carbon emissions.”
Carbon from burning fossil fuels goes into greenhouse gases that damage the ozone layer. The ozone layer acts as a shield against harmful ultraviolet light hitting the earth, so damage to the ozone layer leads to global warming.
Colin Saward is Head of Engineering at National Express. He explains:
“To be certified low-carbon, buses have to meet strict government efficiency standards in real-life tests. So we really pushed the boundaries to get our engines pulling less weight. We worked closely with manufacturers, especially the Scottish bus maker Alexander Dennis, to get that weight down.
“We shaved the thickness of the glass in our windows down from 4 millimetres thick to 3 millimetres. The 96 Platinum buses we bought in 2016 all had alloy wheels. They don’t just look cool - four of those on a bus saves 80 kilos, the weight of an average man. And under the hood, all our new buses have stop-start technology and “smart accessories” that drain less power from the engine, so using less fuel.”
To win a Carbon Saver Gold Award, an independent assessor measures a company’s carbon footprint, a process which includes site visits to verify claims.
Glenn Wilkinson from Carbon Saver says:
“Achieving the Carbon Saver Standard demonstrates an organisation is taking real action on reducing their environmental impacts through carbon. The Award follows three years of measuring, managing and reducing carbon across the organisation.
“For National Express to win Carbon Saver Gold for the third time in a row has been a real team effort, involving staff from Property with a lot of support from finance and operational teams. Assessors found that National Express improved their score from 71% last year to 86% - that’s a substantial increase.”
National Express West Midlands’ impressively large low-carbon fleet is made up of:
- 96 ADL E400 MMC hi-spec Platinums, delivered in 2016
- 50 ADL E200 MMCs, delivered in 2015
- 5 Wright StreetDecks
- 18 Volvo B5/Wright Gemini hybrids
- 21 ADL 400 hybrids