Eurostar pledges to achieve 100% renewable energy usage by 2030


The high-speed train service "Eurostar," spanning five European countries. (Photo:Eurostar's facebook)

The high-speed train service "Eurostar," spanning five European countries, has recently released its first sustainability report. It pledges to achieve a goal of 100% renewable energy usage by 2030, making it the first railway company to join RE100 in Europe. This commitment signals a pioneering step in the rail industry towards a net-zero future.

Gwendoline Cazenave, CEO of Eurostar, said the goal is a deliberately ambitious target aimed at changing across the sector. “Today, the transport sector accounts for 25 per cent of European greenhouse gas emissions, making sustainable high-speed rail a key solution to a quarter of Europe’s climate problem.”

Enterprises joining the renewable energy initiative RE100 must publicly commit to achieving 100% renewable electricity usage between 2020 and 2050. Ollie Wilson, Head of RE100, stated that, Eurostar will be able to draw on a network of over 400 companies working towards the same goal through the initiative.

Currently, the company is actively seeking regulatory support for the rapid deployment of new renewable energy projects, and collaboration from partners in the countries in which it operates. For instance, Eurostar has signed Memorandum of understanding with Infrabel, the government-owned railway company in Belgium, to explore the installation of solar power as an electricity source of the train.

Europe is recognized as a leader in renewable energy adoption. The Netherlands' railways fully transitioned to wind power in 2017, while the UK's railways sourced 40% of their electricity from wind energy in 2023. They also plan to incorporate solar power next year, aiming for 80% of railway electricity to be renewable by 2025.

In addition to the energy considerations, Eurostar has committed to reducing its environmental impact through circular practices. For instance, unsold food is donated to the food-sharing platform Olio. They also offer a variety of vegan and vegetarian meals and have switched all food packaging to recyclable or compostable materials, eliminating plastic packaging for all food items.

The company’s rail network connects the Netherlands, France, Belgium, UK, and Germany and carried 18.6 million passengers in 2023 with an ambition to carry 30 million passengers a year by 2030.

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