HS1 Ltd, the network manager for the High Speed 1 railway line, its stations and associated infrastructure, has published its sustainability strategy, unveiling plans to become the first UK railway run entirely on renewable energy.
HS1 Ltd has set itself the climate change goal of being carbon net-zero by 2030 for both traction and non-traction energy (e.g. the energy required to power stations etc.). It is therefore working with stakeholders to come up with a green energy procurement strategy. The strategy will be two-pronged: identifying areas where energy consumption can be reduced and made more efficient and sourcing energy from sustainable generation.
Wind and solar power are central elements to a procurement process HS1 Ltd is currently engaged in so that all the energy requirements will be met by green sources in the future.
Reducing the overall amount of energy used is another important step towards protecting the climate. Here HS1 Ltd has set the target of reducing traction energy per train journey by 10 percent by 2030 and the target of reducing non-traction energy drawn from the grid by 10 percent by 2030. One way of reducing traction energy is through technologies such as regenerative braking on trains, which HS1 Ltd is looking into. Here HS1 Ltd will have to work with the companies that operate on the open-access line, such as Eurostar and Southeastern.
“Environmental and social sustainability is critical to the future success of our business and the transport industry more widely. At HS1 Ltd, our mission is to deliver a world-leading high-speed rail experience and through showcasing our credentials in this area we are able to reduce our impact on the environment, help drive more sustainable travel and ultimately provide more consumer choice.
“[...] Our international high-speed line removes the equivalent of 60,000 short-haul flights, or 750,000 tonnes of CO2e, each year, whilst providing £7 million of UK environmental benefits as a result of people choosing to take the train rather than fly. Furthermore, domestic services on the line remove 6,000 lorries and cars from the roads every year.”
HS1 Ltd held a virtual launch of its sustainability strategy alongside the Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris.
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