The team working on VolkerRail’s Panel South framework have set themselves a challenge to ensure all their ‘Step up for Safety’ events are carbon neutral by offsetting their carbon footprint through tree planting.
To date, the team has donated 36 trees to the Mill Green Nature Reserve, Cannock Chase – offsetting approximately 339kg of CO2. This includes the planting of:
To determine the amount of carbon to offset, the team calculates the total amount of travel undertaken to and from each event and, using an algorithm, calculates the amount of CO2 needed to counteract.
Speaking about the challenge, Panel South framework lead, Graham Shaw said: “Carbon offsetting encourages us, as a team, to consider the wider impact our activities have on the environment and what we can do to reduce our footprint.
“Network Rail’s environment and social requirements will, eventually, require us to consider our carbon footprint. Taking action now helps us become better prepared and allows us to increase awareness.”
The team plans to continue calculating the carbon emissions, produced from their ‘Step up for Safety’ events, and offsetting their carbon footprint with further tree planting schemes. In addition, finding innovative ways to help reduce emissions; including using renewals energy where possible and reducing their mileage usage through car sharing, biking to work and teleconference software such as skype for meetings. The restoration of the UK’s peatlands will also be supported during the warmer months. This is an incredibly important resource, with England’s peatlands containing more carbon than the forests of Europe.
Carbon offsetting is a calculation of our carbon footprint - the carbon dioxide emissions we omit through working, and offsetting this by reducing the emissions elsewhere.
Trees help our carbon footprint because as trees grow they soak up carbon dioxide, through photosynthesis, producing oxygen and wood, making our air cleaner.