The Green Travel Pledge
Published 8 July 2024 | Average read time
3 min read
Stories Environment Industry-leading

We’re supporting the Green Travel Pledge – a rail industry-first that’s helping encourage businesses to shift from car and plane to train for more environmentally friendly journeys.

It’s an industry-wide commitment – led by trade body Rail Delivery Group – to give greater data on the carbon emissions of rail journeys.

Measuring rail carbon emissions more accurately

It’s widely known that rail’s the greenest form of mass public transport. But the Green Travel Pledge aims to take it further.  

A rail carbon calculator will give detailed, accurate and reliable data on the carbon emissions of rail journeys at the point of sale. It’s the first time the rail industry has combined granular information on factors including train occupancy, fuel type and exact journey distance to create this data for rail business travel.

This new tool will allow businesses and business travellers to easily see the environmental benefits of switching from car and plane travel to trains. We hope it will help encourage them to switch to rail travel.

Jacqueline Starr, chief executive at Rail Delivery Group, said: “We all have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint, and the data that we have published reveals that rail is the green choice for travel between our towns and cities.”

She added: “The Green Travel Pledge is being developed in partnership with industry experts and the wider business travel community to allow us to independently demonstrate the environmental credentials of rail travel.”

Sarah Ockendon, procurement manager at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “This will empower us to make better informed decisions about rail as a sustainable business travel option.

“The Green Travel Pledge will offer a reliable evidence base to demonstrate rail’s role in helping us to reach our CO2 sustainability goals.”

Dan Beauchamp, head of Global and Multinational Consulting at Amex Global Business Travel, said: “At Amex GBT, we believe travel powers progress and rail has a fundamental role in driving more sustainable travel. We’ve worked with RDG’s Green Travel Pledge initiative since its inception.”

Switching to train travel to decrease carbon emissions

Comparisons between train, car and plane travel for four travel routes in Britain show rail is up to 17 times greener than flying for business travel.

Provisional Green Travel Pledge data also demonstrates the environmental benefit of switching from car to train for business travel across Britain. For example, taking the train from York to London King’s Cross is shown to be over 15 times greener than travelling by a diesel or petrol car.

Taking the train on the top 100 business routes in Britain is:

  • almost nine times greener than using a petrol or diesel car
  • more than four times greener than using a plug-in hybrid electric car
  • almost two-and-a-half times greener than using a battery electric car.

Please contact if you represent a business, travel management company or online booking tool provider looking for access to the data.

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