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Network Rail says half its suppliers now commit to carbon reductions

Network Rail has said that half of its suppliers have now committed to reducing their carbon footprint.

The body, which manages the UK’s railway infrastructure, had already set of series of targets in its Environmental Sustainability Strategy to deliver a greener railway based on efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

It said around 97 per cent of its emissions are within “scope three”, meaning emissions largely come from third parties, including suppliers. To address this, Network Rail has set a target for 75 per cent of suppliers to have their carbon targets by 2025.

It has already worked alongside transport industry partners to deliver workshops throughout 2021 to help suppliers commit to carbon cutting.

Roger Maybury, supplier management director, said: “We’ve had a wonderful response and we’re extremely grateful to our suppliers for showing such positive support for this initiative.

“The success of the science-based targets workshops is reflected in the growing number of suppliers committing to reduce carbon emissions. We have more to do to achieve our goal but we’ve made a strong start with 50 per cent of suppliers already committed to science-based targets by carbon emissions.”

Clive Berrington, group commercial and procurement director, added: “As a country we need to show we are serious about climate change by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels to leave a positive legacy for future generations.

“Rail is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel but we need our suppliers’ help to become an industry powered by renewable energy. It’s great that our supply chain is rising to this challenge and we look forward to more companies signing up in future.”

While Network Rail itself is making efforts to reduce its carbon emissions, the UK government was recently criticised for failing to pursue a broad programme of electrification on the network.

According to the Railway Industry Association, electrification is not happening fast enough for the network to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Electric trains have been estimated to emit 20-35 per cent less carbon emissions than those powered by diesel and this is expected to fall further as the UK’s electricity grid adds renewable capacity.

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