‘Green’ partnership in line for national award – Virgin Trains

Published on : Sunday, November 17, 2013

virgin-trains-logo-300x115The University of Cumbria, in partnership with Virgin Trains, has been shortlisted for a national award in recognition of its commitment to the environment.

The two organisations have been named as a contender in the ‘Sustainability Programme of the Year’ category for the Engage Awards 2013, which are organised and hosted by leading information portal Public Sector Travel.

This award recognises the organisations that are doing the most to minimise or offset their carbon emissions caused by business travel.

The University of Cumbria has been working with Virgin Trains to ensure staff use a more sustainable mode of transport when travelling between campuses, particularly Carlisle and Lancaster.

This alliance means staff travelling on duty with Virgin Trains can upgrade to First Class free of charge and benefit from complimentary Wi-Fi, refreshments and a larger area to work from.

Ian Rodham, the university’s Travel Planner, said: “The university has been working hard to reduce the impact of our travel. Our partnership with Virgin Trains has been great, helping us to make a real difference.”

The university estimates that it has reduced CO2 emissions from business travel by around 27% and that it benefits from 5,000 hours of additional productive work from staff annually.

On top of this, the university has also eliminated its fleet of 49 pool cars and has reduced the total cost of business travel by car by £242,000 per annum.

Virgin Trains is continually seeking innovative partnerships with customers to shift travel options from air and road to rail, and is achieving its target of reducing its CO2 emissions by 2.5% per year across its Voyager and Pendolino fleet and managed stations.

Peter Bowes, Safety and Environment Director for Virgin Trains, said: “This innovative and collaborative partnership demonstrates that sustainability is a core value for both organisations.

“The resulting lower carbon emissions from the car pool achieve a sustainability win, and there is also a financial win for both organisations, with greater productivity for the university and its staff, and increased passengers and revenue for Virgin Trains.

“Sustainable business travel is crucial to lower negative environmental impact and ensures all parties benefit, now and in the long term.”

The winners of the Engage Awards will be announced at a gala dinner at the Renaissance Manchester City Centre on Thursday 21 November.

Source:- Virgin Trains


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