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Spotlight Rail Awards: Are You A Net Zero Pioneer? 

3 min

c. Jeremy Segrott, Flickr
As the rail industry aims to upgrade the existing track while building new developments fit for the future, improve safety and reach net zero objectives, there is one clear connection. The collaboration between Network Rail and the supply chain will help meet environmental goals quickly.

Back in 2020, Network Rail became the first railway organisation to set ambitious science-based plans to cut carbon emissions and help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

In a previous announcement by Network Rail, Chief Executive Andrew Haines explained: “Rail is already the cleanest and greenest mode of transporting large numbers of people and goods, but we’re committed to cutting our carbon footprint even further.” 

“That’s why we’ve set carbon reduction targets backed by science rather than simply ones we think are easy to achieve. We are the first railway in the world to set targets that will help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, and this shows our commitment to change.”

Network Rail And The Supply Chain Making Significant Progress

Fast-forwarding two years, Network Rail is already making progress in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. A trial to move its road fleet – such as the vans needed in rail maintenance work – to electric vehicles is happening now. All of the energy used to power its stations, depots and offices comes from renewable sources.

In addition, the company is looking at how it can use its land to generate renewable electricity and support biodiversity, whilst an extensive community tree planting scheme is also underway.

Around two-thirds of the railway’s emissions are generated by suppliers and working on elements within its control. The organisation is keen to work with its more comprehensive supply chain, such as manufacturing and construction companies, to help them set their targets.

Spotlight Rail Awards Are Here To Celebrate These Successes

Spotlight Rail Awards is the best place for the supply chain to celebrate how they are helping Network Rail achieve their climate targets. To see a complete list of categories, click here. 

Within the Environmental Sustainability Strategy, published by Network Rail, four core priorities were announced. Firstly, they want to deliver a low-emission railway to encourage modal shift and improve transport emissions in the UK. Secondly, they want to provide a reliable railway service that is resilient to climate change. 

Moving on, they want to improve the biodiversity of plants and wildlife and finally, they want to have minimal waste and sustainable use of materials.  

The report also added: “Our commitment to wider sustainable development goals, including social value, are also very important to us. There are social benefits to everything we do, and we are committed to supporting our local communities.”

The report sets out exactly how they measure these priorities and can be found here. IF you are meetings these core priorities, then there is no better place to showcase this than at our Spotlight Rail Awards, held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel on 30 March 2023.