Travel buyers, OBTs, TMCs and industry associations are being urged to support and get involved in the development of the Green Travel Pledge, an initiative to provide granular sustainability data for UK domestic rail.
Led by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), with the help of consultants Black Box Partnerships, the pledge will see the creation of a common standard to measure carbon emissions in order to influence travel decisions and enable robust reporting.
Industry leaders met in London this week for an update on the initiative, which follows extensive research over last summer.
They were told that in the coming weeks, rail operators will be required to submit information on the following data points:
- Locomotive/engine types
- Fuel type
- Origin and destination distance
- Number of carriages
- Class configuration
- Load factor, by travel class
- Schedule timetable data
The data will be published and can be used by TMCs, OBTs and corporates to help show the environmental benefit of rail versus air or car. Where there is a choice of rail operator or route, it can also show which option has the lowest carbon footprint.
More granular than the existing Defra data, it can be used to better influence decisions at point of sale and also provide useful post-trip information for reporting and to help companies set their travel policies.
“We’ve heard loud and clear from our members and the business travel community that consistency in carbon measurement is an imperative,” said Clive Wratten, CEO of the BTA.
“This initiative from RDG on behalf of the whole rail industry has the potential to provide clarity and a robust green message to all parts of business travel. The BTA and our members welcome the discovery of Green Travel Pledge and this initiative for the whole of UK rail.”
A meeting to update the industry of the next phase will be held on April 18.