FirstGroup, the leading transport operator in the UK and North America, has published its 2009/10 CSR Report.
The Aberdeen based company revealed that it has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions, increased lifelong learning opportunities for staff and improved safety performance across its operations.
Sir Moir Lockhead, Chief Executive of FirstGroup, said: “Our business is built around our core values of safety and customer service with CSR at the heart. CSR issues guide our successful delivery of public transport services today and ensure they start to meet society’s future needs.
“Despite a challenging economic environment in the last 12 months, I am very pleased that we can point to such a positive CSR Report and one that demonstrates our improving performance.”
First’s five key CSR areas are:
1. Safety – Injury Prevention
2. Customer service; delivering the promise
3. Valuing employees
4. Minimising environmental impact
5. Community engagement
Sir Moir Lockhead added: “I am particularly proud of our progress and commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.”
Since the introduction of its carbon reduction programme in 2006, First has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre in its UK Rail Division by an average of 6%. Its UK Bus division has achieved a 5.8% reduction in emissions per passenger kilometre in the last two years. First has fitted its UK bus fleet with DriveGreen, driver advisory systems to help drivers drive more safely and fuel efficiently. First was also the first train operator to introduce equivalent systems.
Energy usage in First’s buildings has reduced by 4.3% in UK Bus and 2.3% in Rail, whilst across the UK, waste recycling levels have improved by 7%. During the last 12 months in the UK, First has reduced its total water usage by more than 50,000m3 and the carbon emissions associated with business air travel by 57%.
“The achievements highlighted in the CSR Report are testament to the quality and commitment of our staff right across the Group. We will always strive for improvement and look forward to reporting further successes in 2011,” Sir Moir Lockhead added.
Other highlights of the CSR report include:
- First has reduced its Lost Time Injury rate by 18% and its passenger injury rate by 9% and has almost halved in the last four years.
- Despite the winter’s severe weather conditions, which affected performance in many areas, First is delivering long-term improvements in its punctuality and reliability across most services.
- In the UK, First continues to lead the industry in providing lifelong learning and Skills for Life programmes for its employees. 85% of First UK Bus employees have access to learning centres, while the company has implemented an online basic skills assessment programme for its employees, which offers learning tools to help staff achieve national test levels in adult literacy or numeracy. More than 1,000 employees are working toward these standards and in the last 12 months 632 have achieved Level 2 in adult numeracy or literacy.
- First continues to be recognised for its industry leading rewards and pensions programmes. The UK Bus scheme won ‘Pension Scheme of the Year’ at both the Professional Pension Awards and FT Business Awards in 2009.
- In the UK First led the establishment of Greener Journeys, a collaborative initiative involving the major UK bus and coach operators. Through Greener Journeys First is campaigning for policy measures that facilitate better public transport systems and promote bus and coach travel.
- All FirstGroup’s UK companies are accredited with the ISO 14001 environment standard.
- First’s group-wide contribution to local communities this year totals £1,847,807 as measured by the London Benchmarking Group.