Sustainable development is the balancing of economic, environmental and social issues to ensure that we can meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and we’re working hard to transform the rail network so that it becomes truly sustainable and fit for future generations.
To help us achieve this we’re being guided by the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act and its seven well-being goals which were written to make people think carefully about the long-term impact of their decisions, whilst working in a more collaborative way and taking a more joined-up approach. The Act’s ultimate goal is to create a Wales that we all want to live in, both now and in the future.
What are we doing to limit our environment impact?
We know how important it is that we all play our part in protecting our environment from any damage and degradation and so have designed our Environmental Management System in line with the Green Dragon Environmental Standard. This provides us with the necessary framework to prevent adverse environmental impacts, promote continual environmental improvement within our business and also support communities in Wales as the Standard is run by Groundwork, a community-based charity who use the income generated from this work to contribute to their charitable vision of Changing Places Changing Lives.
Just some of the other things we’re doing to play our part include:
- Procuring 100% of our energy from renewable sources (with 50% of these sources based in Wales);
- Investing in low-carbon technologies such as solar panels;
- Trialling a hot drink cup recycling scheme at Swansea station; and
- Integrating the railway with active travel networks which we hope will encourage people to make positive travel choices such as walking, cycling or using public transport as an alternative to driving.
To further support these changes, we’re making a significant investment in the Wales and Borders rail service and South Wales Metro, including building a new fleet of greener trains and taking ownership of the Core Valleys Lines which will allow us to electrify this part of the network to further reduce our reliance on diesel trains. We recognise that this work may impact upon biodiversity and so we’ve written a Biodiversity Action Plan that outlines our strategies to protect and restore natural habitats around our service areas.
If you’d like to learn more you can read our full Sustainable Development Plan.
I’m delighted that we’ve been able to procure a supplier that can guarantee that at least 50% of our electric requirements are sourced from within Wales. We also have plans to begin installing our own solar panels over the next two years and I’m confident we can continue to do even more to help tackle the Climate Emergency and support Welsh suppliers.
Sustainability and Environment Manager