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Stagecoach joins “Race to Zero” initiative with commitment to set stretching science-based carbon reduction targets

Stagecoach today (29 September 2021) announced that it has joined the United Nations-backed Race to Zero initiative with a commitment to set stretching science-based carbon reduction targets.

Britain’s biggest bus and coach operator has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, the world’s largest and fastest-growing group of companies that are helping to halve global emissions by 2030.

The initiative is designed to provide a clearly defined pathway for companies to reduce their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in line with what is necessary to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Stagecoach has committed to the highest level of ambition in both the short and long-term by aligning its ambition with keeping global warming to 1.5°C and reaching science-based net-zero emissions by 2050.

The company will now submit its carbon reduction plans for independent ratification by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as part of its roadmap to become a carbon neutral business by 2050.

Stagecoach – which last month published its new sustainability strategy, Driving Net Zero: Better Places to Live and Work – will also advocate for policy measures by government to deliver a net-zero emissions economy.

Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to have committed to the Race to Zero initiative and to set stretching carbon reduction targets that are in line with climate science. We have a very clear ambition to help meet the biggest challenge of our times, and around transport there is an opportunity for us all to make a huge difference.

“Most importantly, we have identified detailed plans to future proof our business and deliver our net zero ambition. But it will take the collective efforts of governments across the globe, consistent pro-public transport policies and changes by everyone in how we live and travel if we are to make this a reality.”

Stagecoach is aiming to decarbonise its business by around 70% by 2035* as well as targeting a zero emissions bus fleet across the UK by that date. The roadmap to becoming a fully carbon neutral business will see investment in new zero-emissions fleets, such as electric buses, and other green technologies over the next 15 years.

As part of Stagecoach’s aim to reduce the impact of the company’s operations on the planet, it also has in place initiatives to cut waste, boost recycling and conserve water.

Key Stagecoach environmental targets include:

  • Purchasing only 100% renewable energy for Stagecoach buildings and fleet
  • Aligning energy management systems with the international standard ISO50001 by 2027
  • 95% of waste diverted from landfill by 2026 and 98% by 2031
  • Reducing resource use by further digitalising systems
  • Progressing a climate adaptation programme to risk assess and protect facilities

It follows a 14% reduction in Stagecoach carbon emissions between 2014 and 2019, supported by investments in LED lighting, intelligent building heating control systems and renewables. The company’s ambition is to go further and faster, as the UK looks to use the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021 to help drive a green recovery.