When we last posted on Eurostar, the train company that operates between London and Paris, and London and Brussels, they claimed to produce 10-times less greenhouse gases than airlines on the same routes. They even had independent research to back it up too. Well this doesn't seem enough to satisfy their environmental consultants, as Eurostar has now announced that it is aiming to cut emissions by a further 25% by 2012. According to a report over at the ever informative Guardian, the company is looking to reduce energy consumption on trains, make better use of operating capacity, and to source more energy from low carbon sources as part of their Tread Lightly commitment. Now we can't find any mention of whether low carbon sources would include nuclear, a prominent power source in France, but any reduction in consumption and support for renewables must be warmly welcomed. A spokesperson for the group told the Guardian that it was time for the travel industry to take responsibility:
"We don't have all the answers but we do know that a high-speed rail journey is 10 times greener than flying and that Eurostar can be greener still. People want to minimise their carbon footprint on the environment and our aim is to help passengers tread lightly when they travel. It is time for the transport industry to do more to tackle climate change, instead of claiming that it makes a minimal contribution to global warming, or simply blaming other industry sectors."
But it doesn't end there. Eurostar also announced that from November 14th 2007, it would be offsetting all of it's energy usage, making it "the world's first rail service, and the world's largest mass transport operator, to go carbon neutral". The groups is also looking to source more local food for on-board catering, and is even looking at ways to refurbish and/or 'debrand' staff uniforms, so that they can be reused elsewhere. As always, for more information on train travel, check out Seat 61.