Go-Ahead Group: Moving the city for good

'What's good for society and the environment is good for our business in the long term,' says David Brown, European CEO's Best CEO in the Sustainable Transportation Industry 2019


The Go-Ahead Group is one of Europe’s largest public transport companies. Its bus services fulfil two million passenger journeys every day, and more than a billion journeys take place across its network each year. Go-Ahead’s CEO, David Brown, understands that what is good for the public is also good for the public transport industry: he explains the group’s sustainability strategy, including its commitments to reduce emissions, improve air quality, and support communities.

David Brown: As one of Europe’s largest public transport companies, the Go-Ahead Group takes its responsibilities to society seriously, and we know it’s important to lead by example.

That’s why we’ve introduced an industry-first Sustainable Procurement Charter and we’ve slashed carbon emissions per passenger from our buses and trains by nearly 70 percent in ten years, and have been awarded the Fair Tax Mark five years in a row

The environmental crisis we face today is one of the greatest challenges of our generation, and it’s our duty to be a part of the solution.

So how are we doing that?

Well first, we’ve taken the UN Sustainable Development Goals as our guide, and committed to running a completely zero emission fleet by 2035.

Go-Ahead currently has the UK’s only all-electric bus depot in London, but the underlying electrical power must also be generated sustainably.

That’s why we are expanding our use of solar panels and ensuring that all of our electricity is generated from completely renewable sources.

According to the World Health Organisation, seven million people die from air quality related issues every year worldwide.

This figure is a truly shocking, and a call to action. Each of our double decker buses can take up to 75 cars off the road, and a journey by a Euro 6 diesel bus emits 10 times less NOx emissions per passenger than a Euro 6 diesel car  – but we want to go further than that.

That’s why we came up with the Air Filtering Bus – a bus that actually cleans the air by trapping particulate pollution in an air filtration unit on the roof of the bus as it goes around the city. The trial has been a success and we’re going to be rolling out more.

Buses form a vital part of our communities, connecting people to employment, education and leisure activities.

And with loneliness nationally recognised as affecting our wellbeing, we have introduced our community-focused Chatty Bus initiative, to offer a social element to travel.

Confronting the climate crisis requires collaboration – so we’re constantly listening to our customers to create transport solutions that meet their needs and protect the environment.

Because in the long-term, what’s good for society and the environment will be good for our business. We aim to be at the heart of our communities, connecting people with key services through sustainable transport.