Green Travel List: Transport
The cross-channel operator has shouted louder than most other rail companies about its green credentials, but with good reason. In 2007 it committed to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% per traveller by 2012 but by the end of 2008 it had already achieved a 31% reduction (largely as a result of carrying more passengers and Eurotunnel switching its electricity supply in the Channel Tunnel) so it has now revised its 2012 pledge to a 35% reduction.
It has also smartened up its provenance of the onboard food it serves – rather than sourcing eggs from Dutch battery farms, it now serves British, free range eggs, and the fish served in hot first class dishes is from Marine Stewardship Council approved sources. www.eurostar.co.uk, 08432 186 186.
Green Tomato Cars, London
Dubbed "cabbies with a conscience" by Time Out, this ambitious private hire car firm launched in March 2006 with just four vehicles and now has 110 Toyota Prius cars carrying more than 40,000 passengers a month across London. The company says the use of its low emission cars "has resulted in the avoidance of around 1,200 tonnes of CO2 that would have been emitted had our passengers travelled in black taxis or other non-green private hire vehicles".
A spokesperson for the company said that all of its cars that are in service and affected by the recent Toyota recall "have since been upgraded by Toyota to address the breaking assist issue and are functionally normally". www.greentomatocars.com, 020 8568 0022.
Bus and train operator Arriva is one of the largest transport organisations in Europe, carrying around 1 billion passengers annually across 12 countries. It has extensively trialled the use of biofuel blends in both trains and buses, and from May 2007 to October 2008, it trialled an emissions control initiative on its buses known as 'EcoManager', training drivers to be more fuel efficient and improving vehicle performance, which the company says saved over 100,000 litres of fuel and over 260 tonnes of CO2. The success of the trial has led to the system being fitted in 3,000 buses in the UK and equivalent technology is to be introduced into Arriva's fleet of 2,300 buses in Sweden and Denmark. www.arriva.co.uk, +44 191 520 4000.
The cross-channel ferry operator, which also operates several ferry services from the UK to northern Spain, has carried out a number of fuel efficiency programmes, including rescheduling most of its crossings, which it says saved around 2,000 tonnes of fuel during 2008. From July it will start using fuel with a sulphur content of only 1% on all cruise-ferries whilst its high-speed vessel already uses fuel with less than 0.1% sulphur content. Also, on its ferries to Spain across the Bay of Biscay (one of the best places in Europe to spot whales and dolphins), it hosts researchers from marine research organisation ORCA who give presentations on marine conservation and relay sightings during the crossing. www.brittanyferries.co.uk, 0871 244 0744.