Our ambition is to be the world’s greenest mass transit operator
Aim (the NX Difference)
To deliver our ambition we target:
- industry leadership on the shift to zero emission vehicles
- UK bus to be solely zero emission by 2030
- UK coach to be solely zero emission by 2035
- Progressing our zero emission plans for ALSA and North America
Approach (the NX Promise)
A year ago we reset our Vision and Purpose which made clear our ambition to lead modal shift from cars to multi-modal services on clean and green vehicles. That remains our ambition and as we set out on pages 12-13 of the 2020 Annual Report, this is fundamental to post-pandemic recovery and a safe, green and prosperous future.We track our broader progress against our environmental plans using six environmental KPIs – three UN Sectoral Decarbonisation Approach (SDA) ‘science-based’ targets relating to total and traction carbon emissions and energy usage, and three ‘non-science-based’ targets relating to building-specific carbon emissions, water usage and non-hazardous waste to landfill volumes. These KPIs target improvement against the Group’s baseline performance in 2018 over a seven-year performance period from 2019 to 2025.
Progress during the year
Reduced mobility during the pandemic highlighted the vast improvement in air quality that can be made by removing large numbers of vehicles from the roads and also highlighted how people still need to connect with their work, leisure, family and friends. It highlighted the importance of the Group’s Vision and purpose of leading a modal shift away from cars to high quality mass transit and confirmed that our environmental ambitions must remain a key priority as we offer a solution to the otherwise competing demands of air quality and mobility.
During 2020, we took our next steps towards achieving a zero emission fleet. In the UK, we took delivery of our first 29 double-deck electric vehicles (EVs) and placed an order for 20 hydrogen-powered buses, in partnership with Birmingham City Council, to trial their use in normal service. In North America, we started our first electric school bus trial in White Plains, NY. The trial is helping us assess their operational capabilities and inform discussions with other school boards which are keen to improve their environmental footprint. Our North America shuttle operation has also introduced EVs to serve some of its contract customers. ALSA has introduced EVs in Bilbao and Madrid, and is launching trials in Almeria and Oviedo. These first steps we have taken across the divisions are providing valuable learning which is helping to shape our future operational and procurement plans.
Our progress against our environmental targets is set out in our environmental performance. This includes our report on our GHG emissions. Whilst the Group’s total carbon emissions in absolute terms dropped significantly in 2020 due to the reduction in operations due to the pandemic, they increased when measured on a per passenger kilometre basis due to significantly reduced load factors. We expect to progress further against these measures in 2021 and 2022 once Covid-19 related restrictions change.
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