Environment

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True to its original nature and continued commitment to the environment, Eurotunnel is the most environmentally friendly cross-Channel operator and shows green credentials.

The Channel Tunnel and its rail transport system have a number of intrinsic environmental advantages: a fully underground link that prevents any interaction with the marine environment; electric locomotives that generate a low level of atmospheric pollution and only marginal greenhouse gas emissions. Through a series of initiatives, Eurotunnel has maintained progress throughout its 20 years in operation.

In order to make customers more aware of its commitment to sustainable development, Eurotunnel is running a Passenger Shuttle as well as some of the Club car wagons on Truck Shuttles wrapped in a livery representing the beauty of the natural environment.

An excellent environmental performance

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For the 12th consecutive year, the Samphire Hoe site owned by Eurotunnel Group in England has received in July 2016 the prestigious Green Flag Award recognising the excellent ecological quality of this nature reserve which provides a unique habitat for a number of rare flora and fauna. Eurotunnel manages Samphire Hoe in partnership with White Cliffs Countryside Partnership and welcomes over 80,000 visitors each year.

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In July 2011, Groupe Eurotunnel has been certified by The Carbon Trust Standard for its policy and achievements in carbon footprint reduction, with a further 20.5% reduction. The certificate has been renewed in July 2013 for the Group and in July 2015 for Eurotunnel at the Fixed Link Concession level.

›› More about, read the 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Key actions

Eurotunnel Group's commitment to environmental protection involves a number of initiatives:

Carbon footprint

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Eurotunnel is concerned about greenhouse gas emissions (CO2,…) linked to its activities, even if they are low. Eurotunnel is to date the only cross-Channel operator to have published a carbon footprint review
each year since 2006
.

Since 2006, Eurotunnel has reduced its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions by 55%,
i.e. by 44% between 2006 and 2008 and by a further 20% for the period 2009-2010.Groupe Eurotunnel as a global organisation is certified by the independent British agency The Carbon Trust Standard for its policy and achievements in carbon footprint reduction. The Group is now committed to dynamic management of its greenhouses gas emissions and has set a permanent target of a further 3% reduction in CO2 emissions every year. In July 2013, the certificate was renewed for the Group and in July 2015 for Eurotunnel at the Fixed Link Concession level.

Optimised source of energy

For Eurotunnel, managing its energy needs effectively represents a key part of the global business strategy which includes the commitment to reduce overall consumption of electricity and water.
Since 2008, Eurotunnel buys virtually all of the electricity needed to power its trains in France, with 3 benefits:

  • A highly competitive price compared to British suppliers
  • A high percentage (90%) of power from nuclear of hydroelectric sources, which are therefore CO2 emission free
  • A source of power that is independent of fluctuations in hydrocarbon supplies

Development of renewable energy

Once again confirming the company’s commitment to the development of renewable energies, Eurotunnel inaugurated on 20 April 2010 a 3 turbine wind farm (2.4 megawatts), next to its Coquelles Terminal, which will produce energy sufficient to power 2,000 homes.

A structural Green Plan

The process to continuously recue the Group's environmental footprint is set out in the Group's Green Plan. The Plan defines the programme of actions around six key objectives and measures recorded progress with a set of indicators published each year in the Group's Registration Document.

Within this framework, the EurotunnelGroup has maintained its commitment to sorting its waste, an approach reflected in the continued improvement in waste storage conditions and transfers through to final destination and the reduction in waste volume. The Group has also achieved some progress in reducing its water consumption.

Electric cars and training in eco-driving

Having pioneered the use of electric service vehicles since the 1990s, Eurotunnel develops its fleet in partnership with subcontractors:

In 2015 the Eurotunnel fleet was composed by 35 electric cars, including 21 Renault Zoe, 7 Citroën C-Zero and 7 Renault Kangoo Z.E. driven the Group's employees staff on the Eurotunnel terminals, but also by the 160 employees of ISS, a Eurotunnel's partner, which contributed to acquired some of those electric vehicles.

As part of the Group's CO2 reduction initiative, the 57 Shuttle locomotives are now fitted with eco-driving software which allows drivers to monitor their consumption of electricity in real time.A number of Eurotunnel drivers were trained in eco-driving and the use of the data analysis tool was developed in 2014. The programme has been continued in 2015 with the implementation of best practice.

Besides, during the last rerailing campaign, completed in 2015, a higher priority was given to electrical tools in order to minimise carbon monoxide emissions during work in the Tunnel.

Europorte, the Eurotunnel's subsidiary specialising in rail freight deploys a range of measures to minimise the electricity or diesel consumed by its locomotives:

  • Driver training includes an eco-driving module. Performance reporting set up in 2015 measures the results and enables targeted actions to spread good practice.
  • By analysing the operating hours of diesel locomotives, the times and places where it is appropriate to cut the engines in static phase will be identified, thus increasing the time periods between preventive maintenance.
  • The new DE18 diesel locomotives have MTU engines that reduce fuel consumption by 15-20% and are fitted with a Start & Stop system.

Energy-saving, discreet lighting

The power consumption of the 14,200 lights on the two terminals had been increasing, and their emitted halos can be perceived as light pollution. Actions have therefore been taken since 2010 to reduce consumption and minimise the luminosity of lamps at night, while maintaining a high level of comfort and safety for our customers.

By reducing the number of light points and replacing them with more modern devices, the total reduction in power consumption represents a drop in CO2 emissions of 216 tonnes a year and nearly €70,000 in savings.

Result: a 20% reduction in power consumption by lighting on the teminals in the last two years.

Eurotunnel is also aware of its water consumption : all water meters located in the various buildings of the Coquelles terminal are connected to the website of a service provider that monitors consumption per building and issues an alert as soon as a leak appears on the network.

Replacement of refrigeration units

The search for ozone-depleting substances also covers refrigerant gases such as those used in the cooling plants at Sangatte and Shakespeare Cliff. These facilities send pressurised cold water along pipes that traverse the railway tunnels to keep temperatures below 30°C and to cool the returning hot water.

Their replacement, scheduled in 2016, will introduce equipments using a new, organic gas, known as HFO, which has no negative effects on the environment. Much more efficient, these new refrigeration units will also allow a saving of around 40% of the electrical energy used in the Tunnel’s cooling system.

Removal of polluting gases

In line with the 1992 Montreal Protocol aimed at achieving a 50% reduction in ozone-depleting products, the halon gas used to extinguish fires is set to disappear from Eurotunnel infrastructure and rolling stock. In locomotive technical modules it will be replaced by a Stat-X aerosol system in 2016 and 2017. In the cab, however, water mist will be used to replace halon, as is already used in the four SAFE stations of the rail tunnels.

In computer and technical rooms on the terminals and in the Tunnel, halon will disappear and be replaced with Novec 1230. In the technical rooms spread out along 50 km of tunnel equipped with air-conditioning systems, hydrofluorocarbons (HFC gases) which have a limited impact on the greenhouse effect and are more energy efficient, will replace the inert gas R22.

Biodiversity

As soon as the construction period ended, Eurotunnel adopted a policy for managing its various green areas, monitoring the flora and fauna on its two Terminals.


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This ecological monitoring, carried out for a number of years now, has shown the high heritage value of the French and UK sites.

In England, the Samphire Hoe, site, a nature reserve, covers 30 hectares of land belonging to the Group, at the foot of the Dover cliffs in Kent. This nature reserve is managed in partnership with the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership. Samphire Hoe welcomes more than 80,000 visitors each year and was awarded in July 2015 the Green Flag for excellent ecological quality for the 11th year running. In England, the Samphire Hoe, site, a nature reserve, covers 30 hectares of land belonging to the Group, at the foot of the Dover cliffs in Kent. This nature reserve is managed in partnership with the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership. Samphire Hoe welcomes more than 80,000 visitors each year.

Sustainable development, an attitude to share at three different levels

Firstly, Eurotunnel uses its expertise and leadership to assist its haulier customers in reducing the carbon footprints of their activities. Many Le Shuttle customers are also made aware of sustainable development issues through campaigns displayed on board the Shuttles.

Secondly, Eurotunnel invited all the group’s employees and staff from its subcontractors to take part in the three campaigns and exhibitions to raise awareness on this subject. Eurotunnel’s electronic newsletter also includes a dedicated section on sustainable development news such as how to be an eco-citizen, findings from the carbon footprint review as well as presentations from experts on energy savings and waste reduction.

Finally, Eurotunnel is getting its suppliers and subcontractors more involved in its approach. The group has therefore drawn up a list of criteria measuring each supplier’s relationship on an environmental level. This analysis is taken into consideration in the selection process for new business partnerships.

Corporate Social Responsibility report