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Reducing our Environmental Impact

Operate and improve the business in a way that minimises the negative impacts and maximises the benefits of the railway to the environment.

While the railway’s green credentials compare favourably with other modes, we recognise that there are still many ways in which we can reduce our
impact.

We generate waste, noise, and air emissions. We use significant amounts of water, steel, concrete and other materials. We will manage these proactively, monitoring and minimising our impacts through established management systems and ensuring mitigation is built in to all new investments.

The industry is one of the largest landowners in the country. Over 400 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and extensive linear habitats have the potential to provide important biodiversity corridors. As the network is managed and enhanced, negative impacts on biodiversity must be minimised and opportunities for improvement implemented.

More widely, ensuring the principles of green infrastructure are followed can help reduce carbon emissions, and improve air quality and biodiversity value. These can also positively impact on health and quality of life.

These improvements will be achieved through the application of whole-life and whole-system assessments to decision making and asset management. The principles of the waste hierarchy – reduce, re-use, recycle – will be applied in relation to resource management; and life-cycle assessment in relation to design and materials selection, considering both cost and environmental impacts.

As we implement these across the industry, we will reduce the amount of waste generated and aim to send zero waste to landfill. We will reduce our use of water and increasingly use recycled water. We will implement sustainable procurement policies and increasingly use these to help reduce cost as well as impact.

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