Our purpose is to empower people to make greener travel choices

In the UK and across Europe, governments are targeting net zero emissions by 2050. In December 2020, the EU announced a 55% reduction target for CO2 emissions by 2030 and the UK announced a reduction target of at least 78% by 2035.

Transport is the largest contributor to UK domestic greenhouse gas emissions, contributing 28% of UK
domestic emissions in 2018, and the main source of these emissions is the use of petrol and diesel in road transport. Similarly, in Europe, transport accounts for more than a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions, almost 72% of which come from road transport.

Rail offers travellers a greener alternative to flying or driving, generating less than 1/20 of the CO2 emissions of air travel and approximately 1/7 of the CO2 emissions compared with car travel, per passenger1. It can move millions of people quickly and cleanly, for leisure or business, across countries and continents. We believe we have a role to play in supporting the rail industry, businesses and governments in meeting their emissions targets, as we build back from the impact of COVID-19.

At Trainline, our purpose is anchored in environmental sustainability. Through our technology and data, we make rail and coach travel easier, empowering people to make travel choices that are better for the environment. Our customers are almost twice as likely to increase train travel in comparison with non-Trainline customers, having switched most often from car, and Trainline customers are expected to save 600k tonnes of CO2 over the next three years by moving customers to more sustainable travel modes. This is equivalent to the CO2 absorbed by 9 million trees over the same period.

In the UK and across Europe, governments are targeting net zero emissions by 2050. In December 2020, the EU announced a 55% reduction target for CO2 emissions by 2030 and the UK announced a reduction target of at least 78% by 2035.

However, we know there is more we can do to encourage a shift to rail from less sustainable transport modes based on research we undertook in four of our key markets, specifically about environmental sustainability and the role Trainline can play. Our customers told us we have a role in enabling them to make easier and better environmentally sustainable travel choices with useful and relevant information and tools. 41.5% of German passengers now consider their carbon footprint before making a travel decision.

To answer the needs of our customers and increase our support of the rail industry and governments, this year we plan to provide accessible and transparent green data on our platform for our UK customers, with other markets to follow. This data will inform customers about the environmental impact of their journey and how the CO2 emissions of their chosen journey compare to the same journey by road.

In addition to our sustainable travel policy, available in our employee handbook, we have a cycle scheme to encourage our people to use a greener mode of transport for the ‘last mile’ of their journey to and from work. The scheme enables our people to save at least 25% on a brand-new bike and accessories.

Additionally, we have made headway against reducing the impact of our own operations and product in use. We offset our operational emissions from the last financial year, including the impact of our people working from home as well as scope 1, 2, waste, water and business travel, with a donation to the Neema Forestry programme which preserves 170,000 hectares of forest in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya whilst developing a local sustainable economy.

As part of our journey to become a more sustainable business, we are committed to reporting against the Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures ('TCFD') framework and are making progress against its recommended disclosures. We are working with climate consultants to agree our net zero ambitions, science-based goals and long-term strategy for action, and we will be publishing these later in the year. Our Board is working closely with our Leadership team to ensure consideration of climate-related issues when reviewing strategy, plans and budgets as well as to monitor and oversee progress against our net zero goals and plans once agreed.

Trainline has a clear purpose and role to play in empowering and encouraging more people to travel by rail as a more environmentally sustainable transport mode. We look forward to updating all our stakeholders as we continue on our journey to become a more sustainable business.


1 European Environment Agency Study (2014)

Trainline GHG emissions and energy use

  Current reporting year 2020-21 Previous reporting year 2019-20
  UK and offshore Global (excluding UK and offshore) UK and offshore Global (excluding UK and offshore)
Emissions from activities which the Company own or control including combustion of fuel & operation of facilities (Scope 1) / tCO2e 69.85 41.81 84.36 42.01
Emissions from purchase of electricity, heat, steam and cooling purchased for own use (Scope 2, location based) / tCO2e 148.34 2.89 238.65 6.21
Total gross Scope 1 & Scope 2 emissions / tCO2e 218.20 44.71 323.01 48.22
Energy consumption used to calculate above emissions: /kWh 1,016,200 280,879 1,392,555 346,620
Intensity ratio: tCO2e gross figure based from mandatory fields above / m2 of office space 0.05 0.02 0.09 0.02
Intensity ratio: tCO2e gross figure based from mandatory fields above / FTE 0.33 0.89 0.57 0.79
Emissions from purchased goods and services (Scope 3) / tCO2e 2.78 0.46 5.72 0.54
Emissions from employee business travel (Scope 3) / tCO2e 0.62 - 81.17 156.29
Emissions from disposal of waste generated in operations (Scope 3) / tCO2e 0.31 0.02 1.22 0.13
Emissions from energy use in data centres (Scope 3) / tCO2e 18.69 5.54 20.02 7.21
Estimate of emissions associated with our workforce working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Scope 3, Cat.7) / tCO2e 369.23 44.25 - -

Data sources: see GHG emissions and energy data methodology below.

GHG emissions and energy data methodology

The data detailed in this table represent emissions and energy use for which Trainline is responsible, including energy use in our offices. We have also included emissions associated with our use of our offices, such as from water use and waste sent for recycling. We have reported emissions from energy use from data centres for a minority of our outsourced data processing activities and are working to obtain activity data or a reasonable estimation methodology for the remainder of this emissions source. In addition, we have estimated the extraordinary impacts of our workforce working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and reported these emissions under Scope 3, Category 7 (Commuting) in accordance with the GHG Protocol Scope 3 reporting guidance. We do not have any company vehicles for which we purchase fuel directly.

We have used the main requirements of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard to calculate our emissions, along with the UK Government GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting 2020 and the IEA Emissions Factors 2020. Any estimates included in our totals are derived from actual data extrapolated to cover missing periods. As this is Trainline’s second year of reporting, we have reported on a like-for-like basis with last year’s data which is provided for comparison purposes.

Energy efficiency actions: Due to the impact of COVID-19, no energy efficiency actions were implemented in the reporting year.