Protecting Our Environment

We want to be the train operating company making the most positive contribution to environmental sustainability. To help us achieve this we operate an environmental and energy management system across the whole of Northern. This makes sure we harness opportunities to enhance and protect the environment that we control and can influence.

Link to environmental sustainability strategy

Link to Envinronmental and energy policy statement

Modal Shift

Travelling by train is a more sustainable way to get from A to B than driving alone in a private car. Rail is a low carbon mode of transport and it can and will play a key role in helping to minimise the carbon impacts of transport through modal shift.

As a business we have been trying to capitalise on rail’s inherent environmental advantages over car travel by demonstrating that we can offer a complete package that will appeal to the travelling public. We have worked hard to help make the door-to-door journey as seamless as possible, and have been working to ensure that rail is a key part of any integrated transport offer, linking to bus services and improving our cycling facilities.

Pollution prevention

Our goals are to minimise and control pollution and nuisance from our operations and to actively seek alternative solutions to reduce emission levels. We control and manage pollution through a corporate Environmental Management System, certified to ISO14001 which targets our high risk locations and activities. We are aware of the environmental risks posed by both the maintenance and operation of our trains and these sites and activities are regularly audited.

Resource conservation

We will be working hard to minimise our use of resources, be they utilities, goods or services, and to redirect waste for disposal in landfill. We have an Energy Management System that is an integral part of our Environmental Management System, and is certified to ISO50001. We employee schemes which reduce energy consumption, including lighting refurbishments and energy efficient driving techniques, and we are looking at ways in which we can generate energy on site. Disposal of waste is always an issue for customers and employees, so by improving our activities behind the scenes and in some cases through improved facilities we will improve our recycling rates at stations.

Carbon reduction

We will focus on reducing the amount of carbon we produce, to contribute both to a low carbon economy and to ensure rail maintains its status as a low carbon mode of transport. We will measure our complete carbon footprint (GHG scope 1-3 emissions) to achieve a year on year reduction; through the reduction in consumption of utilities such as gas-oil (for traction) and gas and where we have spend money in our procurement.

Sustainable infrastructure

Stations are the gateways to their communities, and we want to improve them wherever we can to ensure the facilities offer the best value to customers and employees who work there. We aim to ensure that all refurbishments offer better quality for our customers and at the same time are undertaken with sustainability, specifically energy conservation in mind.


As a business we will have limited impact on biodiversity as we do not manage large areas of land. All railway land is owned and managed by Network Rail, with the exception of the stations and depots which we manage. However, we are committed to working with all our partners, including Network Rail and community groups to improve the value of any spare land under our lease, and have worked with environmental and conservation charities to improve what we have.