LONDON, February 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Virgin Trains has achieved certification to the internationally recognised ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standard. It is believed to be one of the first UK train operating companies to be awarded ISO: 14001 for its entire operation, covering all stations, trains and offices.
Peter Bowes, Safety and Environment Director said: "After a year of hard work I am delighted that Virgin Trains has achieved certification to ISO 14001. This certification demonstrates our commitment and passion to continuous improvement of our environmental performance - through energy saving, waste reduction, ethical procurement and sustainable actions. It is recognition for a great team effort by our people right across the business."
Examples of green initiatives include:
• a project to fit LEDs to Pendolino trains and all multi storey car parks by mid 2014
• a target to send zero waste to landfill (currently only around 6% still goes to landfill)
• a robust Energy Management system (ISO 50001) which enables us to commit to a target to reduce CO2 emissions across stations and trains, year on year
• electric car charging points at stations managed by Virgin Trains: Runcorn, Stafford and Warrington Bank Quay.
Certification followed an extensive assessment by BSI during 2013. The company successfully passed its audit in December 2013 and received its certificate in January 2014.
Mark Gouldstone, Sustainability Management Specialist, at BSI said: "Achieving certification for an entire rail organisation is no mean feat. It's a credit to everyone at Virgin Trains and clearly demonstrates their commitment to being a sustainable organisation. The team should be proud of the hard work that has gone into implementing a system that enables them to control their environmental impact and continually improve their performance."
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Notes to Editors - Virgin Trains
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Virgin Trains has revolutionised rail travel by creating a high speed, high frequency service that has cut journey times and made rail journeys more comfortable. It has operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997, serving key UK cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Glasgow.
Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned 51 percent by Virgin Group and 49 percent by Stagecoach. The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded VRG a franchise contract, which started on 9 December 2012 and was initially due to run for up to 23 months. The Transport Secretary announced on 26 March 2013 that it will be extended until April 2017, when a new long-term West Coast franchise is expected to start.
Virgin Trains has been recognised in numerous awards. In October 2013 Business Traveller magazine readers voted the company the Best UK Domestic Rail Operator for the seventh year running. In 2011 the company was named Best Rail Operator in the Group Leisure Awards (which it also won in 2009 and 2010). In 2011 Virgin Trains won the British Quality Foundation's Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction.
Customers consistently rate the company the top long-distance rail franchise operator, as measured by the National Passenger Survey (NPS) run by industry watchdog Passenger Focus. In the most recent NPS (Autumn 2013) overall satisfaction was 91%, meaning the company has remained unbeaten over nine successive surveys in the long-distance franchise category.
Virgin Trains was awarded certification to the internationally recognised ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standard in January 2014.
Virgin Trains first achieved Investors In People accreditation in 2007 and this was renewed in 2010; the IIP Gold award was achieved in 2011 and again in October 2013. In May 2013 Virgin Trains renewed its accreditation against the criteria of the European Foundation for Quality Management's (EFQM) Excellence Model, which it originally achieved in May 2011. The company's Learning and Development team won a National Training Awards 2011 West Midlands award for its Coaching Culture programme.
Notes to Editors - BSI
BSI (British Standards Institution) is the business standards company that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence.
Formed in 1901, BSI was the world's first National Standards Body and a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Over a century later it continues to facilitate business improvement across the globe by helping its clients drive performance, manage risk and grow sustainably through the adoption of international management systems standards, many of which BSI originated.
Renowned for its marks of excellence including the consumer recognized BSI Kitemark™, BSI's influence spans multiple sectors including aerospace, construction, energy, engineering, finance, healthcare, IT and retail. With over 70,000 clients in 150 countries, BSI is an organization whose standards inspire excellence across the globe.
SOURCE Virgin Trains