The environment

We're taking action to do what we can to reduce the impact we have on our environment.

As a business and as individuals we all have to work together to help tackle climate change. Here are some of the ways we’re doing that.

ScotRail is operated by Abellio, who have a set of fundamental principles that defines our approach to caring for the environment.

Find out about The Abellio Way

We fully support Scotland's ambitions for sustainable economic growth and environmental protection. We've established environmental targets for energy use reduction and reducing landfill waste, in agreement with Transport Scotland.

We are investing £100K annually in a pioneering Sustainability Innovation Fund (SIF). The fund will support projects that offer solutions to key rail industry sustainability challenges, and will investigate opportunities to bring in technologies and capabilities from outside the traditional rail sector.

We strongly encourage the participation of SMEs and organisations from outside the traditional rail sector, as well as universities and research organisations, where their high-end academic knowledge and innovation expertise will bring significant benefit to projects. The Railway Industry Association is supporting the application process and promotion of the fund through its extensive network and reach.

If you'd like to submit a proposal to the SIF fund, email [email protected] for a SIF Application Form.

We appreciate that a changing climate presents challenges to maintaining a train operating service. As well as cutting our emissions, we'll maintain awareness of emerging risks to services in the face of long term climate change.

We're committed to making sure that we remain ready to run trains where it is safe to do so in the face of extreme weather. In doing so, we'll use no more natural resources than necessary.

Find out more about our strategy and processes to cope with climate change risks

We have a responsibility for reducing our impacts on the environment alongside providing a reliable, sustainable and resilient train service.

Having effective environmental and energy management systems supports our overall sustainability strategy and contributes to nationwide rail industry initiatives.

The amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere from our activity is called our carbon footprint. Over 40% of the global carbon footprint comes from personal transport such as cars and motorbikes.

Find out how many CO2 emissions you’re saving when you take the train, with our Carbon Calculator

Ten great reasons to travel by train

Travelling by train will help you reduce your carbon footprint, and could save you time and money.

  1. Never get stuck in a traffic jam
  2. Go really fast with no risk of a speeding ticket
  3. Read a book or newspaper, gaze out of the window or have a nap, with no danger to you or any other passengers
  4. No need for a map
  5. Stretch your legs without accidentally braking or accelerating
  6. Enjoy beautiful views out of the window
  7. No need to find a parking space, or worry about parking tickets
  8. Eat and drink without having to break your journey at the motorway services
  9. Concentrate on your work, not on the road
  10. You're in safe hands - rail is nine times safer than car travel (Rail Delivery Group, 2008)

You can travel to some incredible destinations with ScotRail, and reduce your carbon footprint. If you travel 80 miles each month by train (from Ayr to Edinburgh) you could save over 220kg CO2 over a year compared to driving. That's the same amount of CO2 generated by the electricity used to power a TV for two years.

Taking the train to meetings helps to reduce your carbon footprint, and gives you time to get more work done. Making a return journey once a week between Glasgow and Edinburgh saves over half a tonne of CO2 over a year compared to driving. That's the equivalent of powering a computer for nearly four years.

Buying a Season Ticket doesn't just save you money. If you travel 30 miles to work (between Stirling and Glasgow) every day by train, you're saving over one and a half tonnes of CO2 each year compared with driving. That's the same amount used to power a fridge for over 16 years.

Here are just some of the small steps you can take small steps to reduce your impact on the environment:

Save energy

  • Install energy-efficient light bulbs - if every UK household installed just three, we could power all our street lights with the left over energy
  • Turn off your appliances at the power switch and save on average £37 a year
  • Turn your thermostat down by one degree
  • Wash clothes at 30 degrees
  • Switch your lights off if you're not using them
  • Install roof and wall insulation and save up to £400 per year in energy costs

Save water

  • Turn off the taps when you're brushing your teeth or shaving - this can save up to five litres of water a minute
  • Take a shower instead of bath to save water
  • Fit a new washer to stop dripping taps - just two drips a second can add up to about 26 litres of water a day
  • Use a watering can instead of a hose in your garden

Reduce waste, re-use and recycle

  • Buy things you can reuse rather than disposable versions, like batteries
  • Give you clothes to charity or recycle them at a clothing bank
  • Give your print cartridges to a charity or workplace for refilling
  • Buy your goods in bulk and get concentrated cleaning products, this means you'll use less packaging

Greener shopping

  • Try borrowing or hiring items you're unlikely to use more than once - the average drill is used for only 15 minutes in its lifetime
  • Hang on to your shopping bags and reuse them - this will help to reduce the 10bn plastic bags handed out by supermarkets each year
  • Buy flowers, fruit and vegetables locally to reduce environmental impact through reduced energy use