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You are here: Home > Southern > Corporate responsibility > Environment

Environment

Southern places environmental responsibility at the centre of its corporate decision making process. We are committed to improving our environmental performance and have programmes currently underway aimed at minimising the environmental impact of our day to day activities.

The company has been recommended for ISO14001 Certification for all our activities. ISO14001 is the International Standard for Environmental Management.

Our Environment Policy explains the Company's commitment to improving our impacts on the Environment and becoming a more sustainable organisation.

PDF Environment Policy 2014 (152KB)

Our key significant environmental impacts are due to electricity, biodiversity, heritage, noise, traction power, diesel, waste, air pollution, water, gas, minerals, invasive plants and hazardous materials. Southern is committed to minimising these environmental impacts and the following are our headline programmes:

  • Implement an Environmental Management System
  • Reduce Traction Energy Use
  • Reduce Company Carbon Footprint
  • Reduce Passenger Carbon Footprint
  • Sustainable Transport
  • Reduce Waste Disposal – Increase Recycling to 65%
  • Reduce Water Usage by 10%
  • Reduce Non Traction Energy by 25%
  • Reduce Gas Usage by 8%

In 2012 we aim to roll out projects to reduce our energy consumption, with pilots commencing at Dorking, Worthing and Selhurst Depot.

Achievements

  • Recommended for ISO14001 Certification for all our activities
  • At the 2011 National Rail Awards, Southern was the winner of the Environmental Excellence Award: Southern's Environment Champions

We continue to develop a company committed to a sustainable future that works innovatively to reduce our impact on the environment and supports our customers to do this as well. If you have any suggestions on how Southern can further reduce its environmental impacts, contact the Environment Team by email.

Email: Environment Team


ACE's - Area Champions for the Environment

Southern has trained an enthusiastic team of 45 staff to be our Environmental Champions across the Southern Rail network. These Champions are our eyes and ears on the ground looking and listening out for any environmental issues, and communicating good practice to all other local staff. These ACEs are also vital to Southern Railway achieving an ISO14001 Environmental Management System.


Recycling

Southern is currently recycling just under 65% of the total waste it produces. Southern recycles everything from plastics, paper, textiles – metal and oil. With the recent change of uniform for Southern staff, a recycling programme went underway to send zero old uniform to landfill. Old uniform will shred and either be returned to the textile industry as raw material for reuse or compacted into briquettes for powering energy from waste generation. By doing this, Southern managed to divert 11.64 tonnes of textiles from landfill.


25% energy reduction at Oxted station

We made improvements with the lighting at Oxted station, and by changing the old in-efficient station lighting and replacing it with Eco friendly lighting with individual control of each light fitting that includes; dim level, time controls; and photo cells, this resulted in enhanced lighting levels and a 25 % reduction in energy consumption.


Uckfield Station Rain Water Harvesting

As well as benefitting from general improvements including better access, bicycle storage, passenger information system, and automatic ticketing machines – Uckfield also benefitted from having a rainwater harvesting system installed to service the customer toilet facilities.


South Croydon Station - Carbon Neutral

42 photovoltaic solar panels were installed at South Croydon station to generate greener electricity to power newly installed CCTV cameras and lighting. This in turn has improved safety and security at the station. The 'carbon clock' at the station shows how much energy is being generated by the solar panels and how much electricity is being saved as a result of using this environmentally friendly power source.


Brighton Depot Energy Improvements

Power Perfector technology has been installed to enable all plant and equipment at Brighton Depot to run on 220V supply rather than 240V supply, thus providing 7% energy savings. Operating at the higher voltage increases total electricity consumption on the depot supply. Altering the settings on the transformers at this time could run the risk of failure and total loss of electricity supply to the depot which would have a huge impact on service. The Power Perfector voltage reduction technology negates the need to alter the transformer tapings; the technology makes the power more efficient thus reducing power consumption further. The system also helps to protect against voltage spikes and power surges.


Regenerative braking

Our main environmental impact relates to the electricity used for traction by our trains. During 2008, Southern and our sister company Southeastern worked alongside Network Rail to become the first train operators in the country to introduce regenerative braking to the 'third rail' network. This ground-breaking new system transfers electricity back into the rail system, allowing other trains to draw on that energy for power. Up to 2008, the energy released by trains on the third rail network during braking was wasted. Read the full press release.

The latest position - All trains that can be, have been converted to regenerative braking.