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Contributing to national and local economies

Public transport is vital to building a strong and sustainable economy. Our services have continued to ensure that millions of people are able to get to work and access key services. Over the past year Go-Ahead has made a significant contribution to the UK economy through the 29,000 people we employ, the £222.4m generated by our rail operations for the government, and £24.8m paid in corporation tax. We are also pleased to have introduced the voluntary Living Wage as a minimum, irrespective of age, across the entire Group.

Being part of the local community underpins Go-Ahead’s devolved management approach and enables our bus and rail companies to be more responsive to the different needs that different passengers have.

We have long-standing partnerships with community organisations in the areas where our companies provide transport services. Our operating companies make a big contribution to their local communities and have built mutually beneficial relationships over time; such as the ten-year partnership between rail company Southern and the Sussex Community Rail Partnership or Go South Coast’s Alzheimer Society’s dementia friends initiative credentials gained over the past several years.

Activities such as these demonstrate the importance of measuring the impact of our community activities across the Group so we can further develop our community investment programmes.

Making our community investment matter

Our community investment strategy has three elements:

• At a corporate level Go-Ahead supports two international but UK-based charities that have a transport focus and therefore have strong links to our business: Railway Children and Transaid

• Our operating companies support more local initiatives that reflect the concerns and priorities of the communities they serve

• Individuals or groups of employees can also raise money for causes with which they have a personal link. These are supported by individual operating companies on an ad hoc basis by company initiatives like fund matching or sponsorships

As one of the UK’s leading transport companies we have chosen organisations that work in the transport sector as our nominated corporate charities. We think it is important that there is resonance between the work that we do and our charity partners. We review our working partnership on an ongoing basis to ensure the relationship is beneficial for both parts. This connection helps employees and other stakeholders to understand why it is these particular charities receive our support.

Our relationship with the charities is in line with our general business philosophy. The devolved approach we take with our operating companies is echoed in the fact that they are empowered to choose charities that are relevant to the priorities in their local area and the activities they take part in are locally-made decisions.

Greenhouse gas emissions

We report on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and the UK Government’s Environmental Reporting Guidance methodologies together with the emissions conversion factors from DEFRA/ DECC GHG conversion factors for Company Reporting 2015. In line with this guidance, we have reported the emissions sources* that are required. These sources fall within businesses included in our consolidated financial statements.

Emissions are expressed in terms of equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2e). Our relative performance metric is kilogrammes of CO2e emissions per passenger journey.

Overall, CO2 emissions in absolute terms have increased as a result of business acquisitions but CO2 emissions per passenger journey have decreased largely due to improved efficiency in the use of traction electricity.

* Emissions from air conditioning equipment in our premises and vehicles are not included in this analysis due to the difficulty in obtaining this data .These emissions account for less than 0.5% of our total GHG emissions and are therefore not considered material

 

2015/16

2014/15

2013/14

Scope 1

 

CO2e tonnes (‘000)

 

CO2e tonnes (‘000)

 

CO2e tonnes (‘000)

Passenger journeys (m)

1,297.23

 

1,241.20

 

1,152.6

 

Gas (buses) kwhs (m)

6.3

 

6.9

1.3

7.3

 

Gas (premises) kwhs (m)

51.0

9.4

54.5

10

42.3

9.2

Bus diesel (10% bio-diesel blend) ptrs (m)

130.3

340.2

127.6

329.8

128.1

333.4

Rail diesel ptrs (m)

18.6

55.1

18.4

53.5

17.7

51.8

Scope 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traction electricity kwhs1 (m)

1,368.9

564.1

1,169.3

540.4

1,002.1

495.3

Site electricity kwhs (m)

104.8

43.2

100.3

39.4

85.1

42.1

Electric buses kwhs (m)

0.07

0.03

n/a

n/a

 

 

Scope 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electricity — transmission and distribution losses within the grid

 

54.9

 

44.6

 

47.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sub total

 

1,066.93

 

1019.0

 

978.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside of scopes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biogenic content of bio-diesel2

 

7.9

 

11.0

 

8.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

1074.83

 

1030.00

 

986.8

1. Traction electricity consumption data relates to the period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016. This provides the most accurate figure for consumption. 

2. The biogenic content of bio-diesel is considered outside scope as there is no conversion factor for our baseline year. Emissions from this source are reported for 2015/16 but are excluded from the calculation of our relative performance metric as comparative data is not available. We define our organisational reporting boundary by applying the financial control approach with a materiality threshold set at 5%.

 

2015/16

2014/15

2013/14

Kgs CO2 per passenger journey

 

0.82

 

0.84

 

0.85

Kg CO2 per passenger journey only includes scopes 1–3 CO2.

Carbon Trust Standard triple accreditation

Go-Ahead has become the first transport group to receive the triple award accreditation from the Carbon Trust for achievements in carbon, water and waste reduction.

We have a reputation as a leading organisation when it comes to environmental responsibility and sustainability. We believe that our approach can give us competitive advantage as well as saving money and reducing our impact on the environment.

In 2008, we became the first public transport company in the UK to be officially certified by the Carbon Trust Standard for carbon after taking action on climate change. We were also the first in the sector to be recertified in 2011.

Watch our video to find out more about Go-Ahead initiatives to reduce carbon emmissions, water and waste:

Download Video: MP4

Go-Learn education programme

Go-Learn is Go-Ahead’s online education programme aimed at helping children and young people improve their knowledge of public transport to become confident and informed travellers.

The material assists youngsters aged from four to 14 to develop skills and confidence for independent travel. Mapped against the National Curriculum, the resources can be used by parents and teachers to support literacy, numeracy, citizenship and elements of personal, social and health education.

Sarah Clayton, head teacher at St Joseph’s school in Brighton said: "Equipping young people with the skills they need to use public transport safely and responsibly should be on every school’s agenda.  The Go-Learn materials give teachers a range of useful tools which will get young people thinking about how bus and trains work and will really capture their interest."

Go-Learn complements the work already carried out by Go-Ahead's bus and rail companies, many of which work with local schools. Plymouth Citybus’s ‘Dennis Dart’ programme is well established in many of the city’s primary schools promoting road safety and encouraging safe bus use. Similarly, train operator GTR uses locally-branded Go-Learn material with its Thameslink and Southern routes, as do bus companies Brighton & Hove and Metrobus.

Driving energy further

Driving Energy Further is Go-Ahead’s industry-leading carbon reduction programme which began in 2008. Since then, tough targets combined with sustained action is making a real difference to our impact on the environment.

The campaign’s main objective has been to improve the energy efficiency of our bus and rail operations and reduce site energy.

There are three core areas of focus:

  • rail fuel efficiency
  • bus fuel efficiency
  • site energy

We have invested £7m in technology to help improve our energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, which has resulted in cost savings of around £10m per annum.

The main component of the programme's success is strong employee engagement across all operating companies. Go-Ahead London runs an annual competition based on the ’greenest’ bus driver, Oxford Bus Company holds an annual ‘Environmental Day’ for staff and the local community, and all companies have environment and energy 'champions’ who look at finding ways to reduce their business’s carbon footprint.  

Community investment

Our community investment strategy has three elements:

  • at a corporate level Go-Ahead supports two international but UK-based charities that have strong links to our business: Railway Children and Transaid
  • our operating companies support more local initiatives that reflect the concerns and priorities of the communities they serve
  • individuals or groups of employees can also raise money for causes with which they have a personal link. These are supported (for example by sponsorship) by individual operating companies on an ad hoc basis

We have chosen national organisations as our nominated corporate charities. We think it is important that there is resonance between the work that we do and our charity partners. This connection helps employees and other stakeholders to understand why it is these particular charities which receive our support.

Our relationship with the charities is in line with our general business philosophy. The devolved approach we take with our operating companies is echoed in the fact that they are empowered to choose charities that are relevant to the priorities in their local area. 

On-train metering

Installing on-train meters on Southern’s trains now means that the company can be more accurate when forecasting the electricity it consumes and budgeting to cover the cost of that energy.

Prior to installing the meters, Southern – like the majority of electric train operating  companies – would be charged by Network Rail for estimated energy consumption based on modelled rates. Every year estimated and actual consumption would be reconciled and any outstanding costs paid or money returned.

On-train meters also enable Southern to identify more efficient ways of driving. Drivers are instructed to 'coast' on particular sections of the network - using the train’s own momentum to reduce electricity consumption. This energy-efficient driving contributes towards Go-Ahead's continual aim of cutting carbon emissions and reducing costs.