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Sustainable development

Originally released in 2009, the Rail Sustainable Development Principles are designed to explain the key role rail has a role to play in the economy, environment and wider society. They were updated in 2016 to reflect the significant progress Britain's rail sector has made since then and to take into consideration new challenges that now face the industry.

The principles have been developed within the Sustainable Rail Programme with significant input from its stakeholders and endorsed by the cross-industry Sustainable Development Steering Group. They represent core values of the rail industry and are fundamental in delivering a sustainable railway which meets the travel needs of society without compromising future quality of life.

The purpose of the principles is to inform and become an integral part of the industry's culture, policy, and decision making processes. They take account of whole-system and whole-life-cycle approaches to drive greater efficiency and better delivery. It is the responsibility of all rail industry organisations to adopt and implement these principles.

The sustainable development self-assessment tool External link has been developed for the industry to support you in assessing your performance and strategy against the Rail Sustainable Development Principles and help you identify ambitions and priorities.

To find out more about how the Rail Sustainable Development Principles are being put into practice successfully across the industry, take a look at our Sustainable Development case studies library.

Information on The Rail Carbon Tool is also available to assist with understanding how to reduce your carbon footprint throughout your supply chain.

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