Sustainability Week 2019

Friday 11th October 2019
Sustainability Week, Monday 7 – Friday 11 October, showcases how we’re investing to deliver positive change for our customers, communities, people and the environment. 

We’re passionate about sustainability and take our environmental responsibilities seriously, recognising the important role the rail industry plays in meeting the challenges of the future. For us, this means embedding sustainability throughout the organisation to reduce our environmental footprint by lowering carbon emissions and becoming more sustainable in how we use natural resources.

Sustainability is also about investing in local communities across our network. We’re helping vulnerable people achieve their potential by partnering with national organisations, investing in apprenticeship schemes and employee training, raising money for charity and funding community projects that could make a real, positive difference to people’s lives.

Sustainability Week 2019

Check out this page and @SW_Help throughout the week for daily updates. More information on our sustainability policies can be found here:

Monday 7 October 2019

SWR kicks-off Sustainability Week by announcing IEMA 

Today, we are delighted to announce our partnership with the world-leading Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) as it kicks-off Sustainability Week

IEMA is the leading global professional body representing more than 15,000 members working in the environmental and sustainability fields. Its sustainability standards are the industry benchmark across the world. We are passionate about sustainability and the partnership with a globally recognised organisation demonstrates our commitment to become a leader in the rail industry.

Among the benefits of this new partnership, IEMA will support rolling out a special training development programme focused on embedding sustainability at all levels of our business.

Between Monday 7 and Friday 11 October, Sustainability Week sees us holding events and making a series of announcements, including:

  • Publication of our progress in reducing the impact of our train, depots and stations on the environment

  • 7,500 reusable coffee cup give away for passengers to encourage a move away from disposable, single-use cups

  • A behind the scenes look at how we recycle paper waste and other material from across our network

Amelia Woodley, Head of Sustainability at South Western Railway, said:

"Investing in sustainability is crucial for the long-term future of the industry. Our Sustainability Week showcases how we are being innovative to reduce carbon emissions and improve sustainable resource use for the benefit of our employees, passengers and the communities we serve."

Alan Darby, Corporate Partnerships Manager, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, said:

"We are delighted to welcome South Western Railway as our newest corporate partner. The approach they are taking to embed sustainability skills throughout the organisation, along with their proactive attitude to engaging all parts of their business, is a great example of IEMA's growing partnership programme. 

"We look forward to supporting SWR on their journey as they transform their business."

Reusable coffee cup giveaway
Over the next few days, we're giving away thousands of SWR branded reusable coffee cups to help reduce disposable waste from single use cups.

Our staff are handing them out to passengers from 7:30am at Bournemouth station on Monday 7, and Basingstoke and Southampton Central stations on Tuesday 8 October.  

The reusable cups are 100% recyclable too.  

So, why are we doing this? 

Disposable cup figures 1

Disposable cups figures  

SWR recycling rates

Tuesday 9 October
Today we highlight how we are trying to help the communities it serves 
Our partnerships with Action for Children, Surrey Search and Rescue and Daisy Chain Isle of Wight help raise money for the most vulnerable in society.

FirstGroup (SWR’s owners) teamed up with Action for Children 
n 2018 to raise £1 million over 3 years. The money will help provide mental health support for disadvantaged children and young people overcoming trauma.

You can read more here:

Recently, we were delighted to announce two new partnerships with charities selected by our employees:
Surrey Search and Rescue and Daisy Chain Isle of Wight. 

‘Get Into’ SWR helping the next generation
We are helping the next generation of young people get the skills and training they need by working with The Prince’s Trust.

Our  partnership with The Prince’s Trust helps inspire young people across our network, aged 18-30 not in employment, education or training, find new horizons and kick-start their careers through the four-week customer service training programme.

Twenty-five students have completed the programme since June 2018, with some eventually working for us, and others going on to either gain employment elsewhere or join another education or training programme.

‘Get Into’ aims to develop young people’s team working, communications, customer service and conflict resolution skills, as well as build their confidence through tailored workshops. They also have an opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practice with two weeks work experience at some of our stations. 

Ashley Redding, gateline assistant,Harrison Jones, a ticket inspector, and Te-Jay Lawrence, a train dispatcher, are 'graduates' from previous programmes that have successfully gone on to work for us.

Hear how the ‘Get Into’ programme has made a big difference to Ashley’s life:


Glen Willie, our Inclusion and Diversity Manager, talks about what ‘Get Into’ entails for young people attending the programme: 

Glen, adds further:

"We are serious about our social responsibility, especially helping young people achieve their potential. Ashley is just one 
of many young people that have completed the programme and gone on to get jobs, including with us.

"I have witnessed the positive change in every young person that has taken part in the programme. They’ve become more confident and better communicators as well as see them take advantage of the opportunity to build new relationships."

Lizi West, Operations Executive at The Prince’s Trust, said:

"The Prince’s Trust partnership with South Western Railway has been a great opportunity for young people to develop their skills and build experience in the rail industry. This programme reinvigorates their energy to apply for roles they can succeed in.

"The programme is invaluable in showcasing the motivation, work ethic and energy young people can bring to an organisation, given the chance.

"The Prince’s Trust also supports these young people as they move into secure employment, education or training to continue developing their skills and build upon their experiences."

Wednesday 9 October
Surrey Search and Rescue raising money at Waterloo station