Go-Ahead pledges to source one third of all its supply chain from boosting local businesses
Bus and rail services play a critical role in keeping communities connected
Go-Ahead is supporting local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to remain viable and to grow during the pandemic and in the longer-term
Go-Ahead’s bus and rail companies have delivered £5 million worth of community investment through volunteering, donations and fundraising in the past five years
Go-Ahead’s commitment to its people, passengers and communities has been highlighted through the sustainability reports of its rail and bus companies, published today.
The reports highlight how companies have worked with local suppliers to build strong communities across the UK. This includes collaborating with breweries and gin distilleries to produce hand sanitiser, setting up contracts with small cleaning companies to support the enhanced cleaning taking place due to COVID-19 and working with tech companies to help speed up delay repay claims.
Go-Ahead has now announced that it will target a minimum of 33 per cent of spend it directly controls towards local businesses by 2023. Controllable spend refers to spending outside long-term contractual arrangements such as rolling stock leases or fuel - or spend that is required as part of the industry, such as rail track access charges.
Throughout the pandemic Go-Ahead companies have supported and served their communities in new ways, including amending bus timetables to align with NHS workers’ shift patterns, running shuttle services to essential hospitals and offering free rail travel to enable victims of domestic abuse to reach safe places.
Meanwhile, bus and rail colleagues’ have brought £1 million worth of social benefit to our towns and cities this year through donations, volunteering initiatives and fundraising activities – bringing our five-year total to £5 million.
Initiatives include Brighton & Hove bus colleagues volunteering 850 hours over 20 nights for its ‘Santa Bus’, Go North East setting up a bus distribution network to deliver essential items to NHS workers, and rail company GTR collecting over 800 meals for local food banks.
Katy Taylor, Go-Ahead’s Chief Strategy and Customer Officer, said:
“Public transport is critical for the health and wellbeing of our communities through environmental sustainability, economic recovery and maintaining vital links with employment, education and healthcare.”
“The sustainability reports published today reflect the critical work of our bus and rail companies in helping their local communities, as well delivering cleaner, greener and safer journeys to passengers. Setting a target for local procurement further demonstrates our commitment to the communities we serve.”
Other sustainability achievements highlighted in the reports include:
Achieving a 27 per cent reduction on our CO2e per vehicle since 2017
Introducing 172 low or zero emission buses across the UK this year
Being the largest electric bus operator in the UK, with over 180 vehicles
Launching the UK’s largest EV charging hub at Hatfield Station
Building Northumberland Park bus garage in Londo, with electric charging for both buses and other commercial vehicles
High customer satisfaction scores in GTR and Southeastern of 82% or 83%
Industry-leading customer satisfaction score in regional bus at 91%
Go-Ahead is one of the leading UK public transport operator companies. Our purpose is to be the local partner taking care of journeys that enhance the lives and wellbeing of our communities across the world. Employing around 30,000 people across our businesses, over 1.2 billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our rail and bus services every year. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include governments and local authorities. We are committed to contributing to tackling climate change, improving air quality and reducing social isolation, and aim to run a zero emission bus fleet by 2035.
Go-Ahead is one of the UK's largest bus operators. With a fleet of nearly 6,000 buses, we carry over two million passengers every day. We have a strong presence in London, with around 23 per cent market share, where we provide regulated services for Transport for London. Outside London, we principally serve high-density commuter markets, including the North East, Greater Manchester, East Yorkshire, East Anglia, South East and South West England. Internationally, we operate a bus contract in Singapore and two bus contracts in Ireland.
The rail division operates two franchises in the UK, three contracts in Germany and one in Norway. In the UK, Southeastern and GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) operate through our 65% owned subsidiary, Govia, which is 35% owned by Keolis. It is the largest rail operation in the UK, responsible for around 30 per cent of all UK passenger rail journeys through its rail franchises. In Germany and Norway, our contracts are run exclusively by Go-Ahead.