Network Rail’s green target is now in sight as 67% of its suppliers have signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative to reduce their carbon footprint.
Science Based Targets form a key part of Network Rail’s comprehensive Environmental Sustainability Strategy, which sets out a clear pathway to a better, greener railway for Britain.
These are independently verified plans to reduce carbon emissions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Network Rail is the first railway infrastructure body in the world to adopt Science Based Targets to this ambitious level.
Around 97% of Network Rail's emissions are within 'scope three', meaning emissions largely come from third parties, including suppliers. To address this, Network Rail’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy includes a target for 75% of suppliers to have their own science-based targets by 2025; a target which Network Rails Commercial & Procurement (C&P) team have announced is already in sight.
The C&P supplier management team has worked alongside transport industry partners to deliver workshops demonstrating the benefits of committing to these targets and sharing industry best practice and ideas for cutting carbon emissions.
Four workshops have been delivered so far, with each one being attended by more than 350 people from the transport sector and supply chain. Further events are being planned for the future.
For Rupa Bhatt, strategic supplier manager for Network Rail, the workshops have been positive in bringing transport partners together to tackle climate change. She said: "It’s been great to see our suppliers showing such positive support for this initiative. Achieving the commitment of more than 60% of our suppliers to adopting Science Based Targets is a really important milestone for us to reach. The success of the Science Based Targets workshops is reflected in the growing number of suppliers committing to reducing carbon emissions. We have more to do to achieve our goal but we're making excellent progress with 67% of suppliers now committed to Science Based Targets by carbon emissions."
Clive Berrington, Network Rail's group commercial and procurement director, added: "As a country, we know that climate change needs to be addressed by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. This will leave a positive legacy for future generations and help make our industry fit for the future. Rail is already a very environmentally friendly way to travel. However, we can do more and need our suppliers' help to become an industry powered by renewable energy. It's great that our supply chain is rising to this challenge and we look forward to more companies signing up to science-based targets in future."