First Bus Achieves Record 10% Reduction in Waste Going to Landfill

2012-12-05 — / — First Bus, one of the UK’s largest bus companies, has revealed it has reduced the volume of waste going to landfill by 10% over the last 12 months across its entire UK operations – more than 70 depots.  The company also confirmed that it has successfully reduced its gas and electricity usage by 7%.

A major reason for First’s success has been attributed to its internal environmental campaign, ‘Small Changes, Big Difference’, which aims to get staff throughout the company involved in waste recycling and energy conservation initiatives.

The campaign has been so successful that it has picked up two prestigious awards within the space of a week.

FirstGroup was presented with the renowned ‘Silver Green Apple Environment Award’ at an event at the House of Commons, London, on 14 November. The Green Apple Awards is run by The Green Organisation, an independent, non-political, non-profit organisation that recognises, rewards and promotes environmental best practice around the world.

That success was augmented by winning the much coveted Environmental prize at the UK Bus Awards, one of the bus industry’s most respected awards events, on 20 November.

Katerina Robinson, FirstGroup’s Head of Environment, said: “To have been so successful in both events is exceptionally good news.  I’m delighted that our approach to improving our carbon footprint has been recognised so publicly.”

She continued: “I’m very proud of the achievements we’ve delivered so far. The ‘Small Changes Big Difference’ campaign is effective in helping us to achieve some of the ambitious targets set out in our five year Environmental Plan.

“Our environmental focus has traditionally concentrated on reducing emissions from our buses, the results of which have been very rewarding.  However, our ‘Small Changes Big Difference’ campaign was aimed at colleagues and their environmental habits. We have received excellent feedback from our staff, in particular during the environmental training sessions which support the campaign. Our aim is to reduce risk, share best practice and support new and innovative projects which will further improve efficiencies and reduce our impact on the environment.”

The latest award wins cap a successful year for the FirstGroup environmental team.  In April, First and Stagecoach jointly won the Sustainability Award at the Scottish PLC Awards.  In May the sustainability performance of First was named best in the UK and second best in the world by EIRIS, the leading global provider of independent research into the environmental, social, governance and ethical performance of companies.  Also this year, FirstGroup achieved the internationally acclaimed Carbon Trust Standard which recognises the company’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions across its operations.