Skip navigation

Hello screen reader user. To ensure our website is continually improved and meets the needs of its visitors, we would like to hear your views about our website whilst using your screen reader. Please email your feedback to For more information please read our Accessibility statement. Thank you. Skip navigation

Check times & buy tickets
Outward Journey
Return date and time
Ticket types

Improvement works

Live service info



Station info

Important alert

This is an important announcement

RMT Strike Action announced for 3rd and 5th October


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

We have been recommended for ISO14001Certification for all our activities. ISO14001 is the International Standard for Environmental Management. Our Environment Policy explains our commitment to improving our impacts on the Environment and becoming a more sustainable organisation.

PDF Environment Policy (293KB)

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%

Energy Management Policy

At Southern, we recognise that as a major user of energy, it is important to lower emissions and improve energy performance wherever we can. 

PDF Energy Management Policy (232kb)


  • Recommended for ISO14001 Certification for all our activities
  • Awarded Best Green Business at the Croydon Business Awards 2014 and winner of the Environmental Excellence Award at the National Rail Awards 2011

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. 

Champions for the Environment

Southern has trained an enthusiastic team of employees to be our Environmental Champions across our network. These Champions are our eyes and ears on the ground, looking and listening for any environmental issues and communicating good practice to their colleagues.

If you have any suggestions on how Southern can further reduce its environmental impacts, contact the Environment Team by email.

Email: Environment Team


Southern is currently recycling 74% of waste that could be sent to landfill. We recycle everything from plastics, paper, textiles – metal and oil. With the last change of uniform for Southern employees, 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. 100% of Southern's train fleet that are capable of regenerative braking, are now putting energy back into the rails. Read the full press release.