Stagecoach introduces greener fuel for Scottish buses

26 October 2012  •  Source: Stagecoach

Transport operator Stagecoach plans to further reduce its CO2e emissions after introducing cleaner, greener fuel on almost 1,000 vehicles in its Scottish bus fleet.

The Perth-based Group has introduced a new mix of fuel to 530 buses and coaches across its East Scotland business and to almost 400 vehicles at Stagecoach West Scotland. The new B30 fuel system uses a specially blended mix of 30% biofuel and 70% standard diesel and will reduce impact of both companies on the environment.

Stagecoach buses in both East and West Scotland previously used a mix of 5% biofuel and 95% diesel. The new system is expected to significantly reduce the companies’ carbon footprint by cutting CO2e emissions from the vehicles by up to 22%*.

The introduction of the B30 fuel blend has been achieved in partnership with Motherwell-based Argent Energy, which manufactures biofuel from waste products. Argent Energy and Stagecoach have worked together on a number of projects, including the launch of the UK’s first ever bio-buses in Kilmarnock in 2007, a fleet of nine buses which continue to operate using 100% biofuel.

Stagecoach Regional Director for Scotland Sam Greer said: “We are constantly striving to make our business more sustainable and we believe the introduction of this greener biofuel will make a real difference to our carbon footprint as a company.

“Public transport can play a key role in reducing climate change and new technology, such as the use of biofuel and improved environmental monitoring systems, is crucial if we are to get people to switch from the car on to our greener smarter bus services.”

Stagecoach is currently in the third year of a five-year plan to reduce its own carbon footprint as a business. However, the Group has been taking action for a number of years to cut carbon emissions at its buildings and vehicles and the results show that the company is making good progress.

Stagecoach Group reduced carbon emissions relative to the turnover of its UK businesses by 5.6% in the two years to 30 April 2011 as a result of a package of measures designed to make the Group more sustainable. This reduction followed a 5.7% carbon efficiency improvement in the three years to 30 April 2009**.

And the Group is continuing to further reduce the impact of its operations on the environment as well as encouraging greater use of public transport to reduce pollution and congestion in towns and cities. Stagecoach is committed to offering motorists a greener, smarter and better value travel option through its network of affordable and high quality bus, coach and rail services.

Stagecoach Group announced earlier this year that it has retained the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard after taking tough action on carbon reduction. The Group has shown a significant improvement in carbon efficiency over the two year certification period, since its initial certification was awarded, and during the same period the company also cut its emissions on an absolute basis in the UK overall.

In 2010, Stagecoach launched Revolution in the Way We Travel, a five-year plan to reduce further the carbon emissions from its transport operations in the UK and North America. Stagecoach Group is targeting an overall reduction of 8% in CO2e emissions from buildings and a cut of 3% in CO2e emissions from annual fleet transport by April 2014. Specific stretching targets have been set for each of its bus and rail businesses, supported by an £11million green investment programme.

Stagecoach initiatives underway in the UK include:

  • investing in a hi-tech eco-driving system, which is expected to reduce fuel consumption at the Group’s bus division by 4%. The scheme also offers employees the chance to earn “green points” that are converted into financial benefits from a potential £900,000 annual bonus pot.
  • becoming the UK bus industry’s leading investor in new hybrid electric buses, which deliver a 30% reduction in carbon emissions compared to standard vehicles. The Group has ordered more than 200 hybrid electric buses for its operations across the UK.
  • increasing the number of vehicles running on biofuel, as well as testing other sustainable recycled biofuels.
  • installing a new ‘intelligent’ lighting system, which uses movement sensors to determine the amount of light required, at a number of bus depots and railway stations across the UK.
  • improving energy management systems at offices and depots to reduce carbon emissions from buildings.
  • investing £2.2 million at South West Trains in a major regenerative braking project to save energy on more than 200 trains.
  • using an innovative fuel additive on East Midlands Trains, which has demonstrated a 4.4% improvement in fuel economy.
  • introducing an innovative energy-saving engine standby system to reduce carbon emissions from idling trains.

Stagecoach reports annually on its carbon emissions through its corporate website, www.stagecoach.com, and also provides information on its global carbon footprint to the Carbon Disclosure Project, the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emissions database.

Stagecoach has won a number of awards for its environmental initiatives. The company won the Sustainability Award at the 2012 Scotland plc Awards and, in October last year, Stagecoach, along with Alexander Dennis Ltd., won the Green Award at the 2011 Route One Operator Excellence Awards for the introduction of hybrid-electric vehicles. The Group also won the Environment Award at the 2011 UK Bus Awards and, in July 2011, Stagecoach was Highly Commended as Company of the Year at the inaugural BusinessGreen Leaders Awards.

For further information about Stagecoach Group visit www.stagecoach.com

*The calculation for savings uses the official figures from the EU Renewable Energy Directive, Annex V; and the Department for Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation. According to these figures, the use of 100% biodiesel compared to standard fuel reduces CO2e emissions by 88%. When the calculation is applied to the 30% biodiesel blend that Stagecoach is using, the CO2e emissions reduction is 22%.

** The reductions quoted are based on the Carbon Trust approved relative measure of tonnes CO2eq/£ turnover. This measure reflects the fact that the scale and geographic footprint of the business can change as its commercial and contracted services develop.

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