Stagecoach Group has cut its annual heating energy consumption at its UK Bus division by more than a third in the past three years following the introduction of a hi-tech energy management system.
The system, which is now in place at 108 Stagecoach sites in Scotland, England and Wales, has reduced consumption of gas used for heating by around 35%.
It is one element of a Group-wide carbon management programme aimed at cutting Stagecoach’s carbon footprint and making its businesses even more sustainable.
The environmental management system uses self-learning predictive programming, coupled with high accuracy temperature sensing. It takes over the control of the existing heating and delivers improved control, staff comfort and dramatic reductions in energy consumption.
Developed by Manchester-based Vickers Electronics Ltd, the system has reduced consumption from 300million kWh to 195.5million kWh, a saving of 104.5million kWh over the past three years.
The system has also cut CO2 emissions by 19,333 tonnes per annum, as well as saving more than £3million a year in heating costs.
Stagecoach and Vickers have also worked together to introduce a series of electrical controls at many Stagecoach sites - including control of depot lighting and air compressors - which have reduced electricity consumption by 11.5% in the past 18 months.
A programme to install shutter door delay sensors, which ensure doors are not left open beyond pre-set limits, is expected to deliver a further 4% reduction in gas consumption.
Les Warneford, Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: “Energy efficiency is a key element of our programme to tackle climate change, cut carbon emissions in our business and reduce the costs of our operation. The environmental management system has dramatically reduced our indirect emissions from our buildings and is just one element of our Group-wide drive to make our business more sustainable.”
Vickers Electronics, which has been accredited with the international quality standard ISO 9001, was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Environmental Achievement in 1994 for its unique method of controlling heating systems.
Malcolm McKinlay, Vickers Electronics Corporate Sales Manager, said: “Our energy management system is ideally suited to transport depots, factories and warehouses. Stagecoach has been proactive in pursuing energy reductions in both heating and electricity consumption and has really driven the project forward, with senior management right through to staff in the depots all working for the same goal. The carbon emissions reductions show what can be achieved if a business makes and follows through with environmental commitments.”
Stagecoach has launched a three-year carbon management programme, in partnership with energy management consultancy Inenco, to further improve its environmental performance.
The Group’s s wide-ranging strategy includes:
Investing in more fuel efficient vehicles
Using alternative, renewable fuels
Providing training in more efficient driving techniques
Saving energy at offices and depots
Conserving and recycling water
Reducing and recycling waste
Reducing business travel
Providing affordable bus and rail travel
Developing green travel plans and incentives for staff, customers and partner organisations.
Earlier this year, Stagecoach held its first ever Group-wide Green Week to highlight the environmental benefits of using public transport and to show staff and passengers how the company is reducing its own carbon footprint.
Stagecoach has won a number of awards in the past year for its environmental initiatives. It was named Best Green Travel Provider at the inaugural 2009 Scottish Green Awards as well as being recognised for the Best Green PR Campaign. The company’s groundbreaking BioBus initiative – which involves running buses on recycled cooking oil – was also a winner at the 2009 VIBES (Vision in Business for the Environment) of Scotland Awards.
For further information on Stagecoach’s sustainability strategy and measures the Group is undertaking to tackle climate change, visit www.stagecoach.com.