Virgin Trains lead the charge to sustainable transport
- May 03, 2009
Unlike many industries, rail has a clear role to play in sustainable transport. But we also have our impacts, from carbon emissions to air quality, and affordability to security. We’re doing everything we can to minimise the negative, and accentuate the positive.
Trains, of course, are what we do. Ultimately though, it’s not about the train, or even the journey, it’s about people. Why they travel and how they travel. That’s why, for us, sustainable development means creating:
• a positive experience
• that is environmentally sustainable
• and driven by people
Easier said than done…
It means driving sustainable development through our business, and engaging more actively with the communities that we connect.
It means changing the way we do some things, and being ambitious about it. It also means influencing some things we can’t directly change. We will be involved in the key debates.
We run trains, but we don’t make them. Nor do we produce the electricity that runs the network, which influences our carbon footprint . We need to be involved in the development of the infrastructure and the technology of a new generation of rolling stock.
Sustainability is about the long term, which is not only a challenge for businesses brought up on quarterly income targets and annual reports, but also for the franchise system and the timeframes on which it works.
The franchise for the UK West Coast line, which we currently run, is up for renewal in 2012. By which time sustainability criteria are likely to be more important than ever. That is something we support. It’s an important part of our future, an important part of Virgin Trains.
Where do we want to be?
We want to lead the charge to sustainable transport, and be seen to do so. We want to challenge assumptions, solve problems and deliver innovative solutions. A trip on Virgin Trains should be time well spent – productive, enjoyable, sustainable and available to all.
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