The Railway Consultancy has been working in partnership with the Woodland Trust for nearly 10 years to sequester its carbon emissions. Trees have been planted to recover the carbon covered from a range of our activities and assets, including travel; heating & lighting; IT equipment; water supply; and non-recycled paper. We are now at the stage where we believe that the sequestration covers the Company’s entire activities since the establishment of the Consultancy in 1995. Despite an increasing proportion of our work being abroad (thereby inevitably increasing the emissions from travel), we have our invested in own solar panels, and buy in only 100% renewable energy, so our net emissions from heating & lighting are now negative. Moreover, the Company does not have any of its own vehicles, with over 95% of Company business and staff commuting mileage being by public transport.
Dr Nigel G Harris, Managing Director, said “We are delighted to reach this milestone. We believe that environmental sustainability is a key requirement for responsible businesses in the 21st century. Moreover, our achievement shows that it is still possible to achieve environmental objectives during a recession – the two are not mutually-exclusive, as some would argue. Indeed, we have been pleasantly surprised to discover the relatively-low levels of effort and expenditure to achieve this status, and we would encourage other companies and individuals to follow suit.”
Luke Ripley, Senior Consultant, added “In addition, of course, as railway planning consultants, our activities are specifically designed to attract more customers (both passenger and freight) to the railways. As rail is one of the most environmentally-friendly modes of transport, this transfer of traffic will in itself make a further contribution towards environmental sustainability. It is difficult to estimate what proportion of a decision or management action is attributable to our advice, but we would expect our contribution to these bigger environmental gains to be far more significant than the direct effects of our own activities.”