Virgin Trains is the first UK train company to be awarded the prestigious Kitemark stamp.
Let's go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let's go fly a kite
And send it soaring
... sorry being a huge Marry Poppins fan I couldn't resist.
Kitemarks are awarded by the British Standards Institute (BSI) for exemplary environmental practices, and Virgin Trains has been awarded TWO!
The Kitemark stamp is one of the world's most recognised symbols of quality and was given to Virgin Trains for its work in reducing energy consumption on trains and at stations.
To gain Kitemark accreditation, Virgin Trains had to demonstrate a robust processes for measuring their carbon reduction, as well as reduce their energy consumption by 2.5% year-on-year for the past three years. Virgin Trains far exceeded this target, by achieving a 19.6% reduction!
Virgin Trains achieved these reductions through a number of different initiatives, for example:
- regenerative braking, which return energy back to the Grid when the train brakes,
- an energy metering programme to monitor and track energy consumption,
- introducing timed auto-door-closing when trains stand at stations, to reduce the energy needed to heat/cool the interior,
- better control of onboard heating and lighting to avoid unnecessary waste
- locally-driven energy saving plans at stations which includes installing lighting sensors, optimising heat timings and thermostats, reducing water use through flush toilets and encouraging campaigns among users of buildings to switch off lights.
Peter Bowes, Virgin Trains Safety and Environment Director, explains: "Virgin Trains has done a huge amount of work over the past two years to reduce our energy consumption and we are delighted that this has been recognised by the British Standards Institute in the form of two Kitemarks. Of course we are ambitious to do even more and hope that our work towards achieving BS EN 16001, a best practice standard for energy management systems, will position us as a leader in our industry."