Rail 2014 - Public Consultation

Rail 2014 - Public Consultation

Rail 2014 - Public Consultation

12 - Environmental issues

12.1 Rail travel is considered as one of the greener forms of travel, and an integral component of Scotland's transport system. However we, and the rail industry, recognise that there are still many ways that rail can reduce its environmental impact.


12.2 The Scottish Government has adopted challenging carbon reduction targets and all sectors and areas must contribute so that they can be achieved. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 places obligations on the Scottish Ministers to promote energy efficiency to ensure that Scottish emissions are 80% lower in 2050 than the baseline of 1990. The current ScotRail franchise holder has set its own carbon emission targets and we will expect the future provider to also have carbon emission targets.

12.3 Transport Scotland has developed a Carbon Management System (CMS) which measures the annual operational carbon and the carbon associated with project work. We plan to mandate the use of the CMS in all future rail contracts and agreements.


12.4 Waste disposal has major climatic impacts. Scotland's first Zero Waste plan was launched in 2010, and this contains the long term target of recycling 70% of all Scotland's waste. The rail industry will need to contribute towards the targets which have been set. We therefore intend to place a requirement on the industry to embed zero waste principles within their business operations. This will provide a real opportunity for government and the private sector to work together to manage all waste in a holistic way for the benefit of Scotland regardless of where it originated. We are therefore considering including waste management and re-cycling targets within the future contracts and agreements.


12.5 The Scottish Governments Biodiversity Strategy places a requirement on all public bodies to take account of, and promote, biodiversity conservation and enhancement in all their functions and activities. We will therefore be requiring future rail contracts and agreements to include a biodiversity commitment.


12.6 Our overall policy of promoting modal shift for both passenger and freight will assist in reductions in the amount of energy required to transport people, however this will require a closer harmonisation of capacity with demand. Further details on this aspect can be found in Section 5, train services.

12.7 The Sustainable Rail Programme (SRP) was developed by key UK industry stakeholders including Transport Scotland. From SRP ten Sustainable Development Principles were developed to reflect the knowledge and understanding of the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development across the rail industry.

Environmental themes

12.8 All of these issues have been given due consideration and we are therefore proposing to embed three key environmental themes within our requirements from future contracts for rail passenger services and outputs provided by Network Rail. The three principles to be given priority are:

  • reducing our environmental impact
  • being carbon smart
  • being energy wise
40 What environmental key performance indicators should we consider for inclusion in the franchise agreement or the High Level Output Specification?