At HS1 Ltd, our aim is to be the world’s leading high-speed rail experience, providing the most sustainable option for transport across the UK and Europe. We endeavour to protect and reduce our impacts on the natural environment and on our local communities, and in turn achieve wide benefits.

We launched our first sustainability in 2020 to help us create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future. This strategy was reviewed in 2023 to ensure that it was both still relevant and ambitious. As we deliver this strategy, we will be working closely with our partners to deliver improvements to the rail industry and promote best practice. In turn, we hope to provide our customers with opportunities to make better environmental choices and enjoy more sustainable shopping and travel. 

Environmental and social sustainability is critical to the future success of our business and the transport industry more widely. At HS1 Ltd, our mission is to deliver a world-leading high-speed rail experience and through showcasing our credentials in this area we are able to reduce our impact on the environment, help drive more sustainable travel and ultimately provide more consumer choice.

“HS1 is the Green Gateway to Europe. Through our sustainability strategy we are helping consumers reduce their carbon footprint while still enjoying safe, fast and reliable travel at home and abroad. As the UK’s only high-speed railway, we already deliver phenomenal environmental benefits to the UK and beyond, offering a more environmentally friendly alternative to cars and planes. Our international high-speed line removes the equivalent of 60,000 short-haul flights, or 750,000 tonnes of CO2e, each year, whilst providing £7 million of UK environmental benefits as a result of people choosing to take the train rather than fly. Furthermore, domestic services on the line remove 6,000 lorries and cars from the roads every year.

Our Priorities & Approach

We will be transparent in our achievements against the ambition set out in our sustainability strategy and will publish these in our annual report.

Our priority areas are:

Climate Change and Adaptation

It’s clear that making the right transport choice has a huge role to play in global carbon emissions and high-speed rail plays a vital role in offering low-emission transport for the future. Train travel is already 80-90% more carbon friendly than air travel, but we are still continuing to reduce our impacts on climate change at HS1 Ltd.


  • 2024/25: Develop adaptation strategy and implement.
  • 2030/31: All HS1 energy to be net-zero carbon.
  • TBC: HS1 wider emissions to be net-zero (GHG protocol).

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Energy Management

Energy is a precious resource, so we will seek to minimise our energy use wherever possible. In parallel, we will work to secure sustainable and renewable energy sources for our transport, estates and vehicles.


  • Reduce traction energy per passenger journey by 25%.
  • Reduce traction energy per train journey by 10%.
  • Reduce non-traction (estates and buildings) energy drawn from the grid by 10%.
  • Reduce non-traction energy consumption by 10% per £ revenue

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Resources and Waste Impacts

We recognise our role in using products and materials more efficiently and ensuring they’re recovered when we no longer need them. HS1 Ltd commissions major construction, refurbishment and track maintenance projects that create waste. To reduce our waste and be responsible, we have set out targets to be met by 2025. 


  • 2022/23: Zero non-hazardous waste (direct) to landfill from regular operations & projects by end of 2022-23.
  • 2023/24:90% recycling of operations and project wastes by end of 2023-24.
  • 2024/25: Develop a circularity and minimisation plan for stations and depot, and implement the plan.
  • 2024/25: Understand hazardous waste and waste indirect to landfill – include in waste minimisation.

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We manage a diverse estate, from central London to the Garden of England (Kent). We are committed to maintaining a healthy and diverse natural environment. Under the requirement of the Channel Tunnel Rail Act 1996 we have an obligation to protect and enhance the lineside habitat.


  • 2030/31: 20% BNG compared with the 2021 baseline.

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Social Value

Our role in the community is important to us as a responsible neighbour and as an inspiration for everyone that uses our services and facilities. To demonstrate our leadership in providing a positive contribution to the communities in and around our stations and lineside, we place a high value in contributing our time and expertise to enable those communities to flourish. Our 2023 sustainability strategy incorporates additional targets focused on community engagement, inspiring young people to join the industry, EDI, business ethics and engaging with our heritage assets. 


  • Engage our local communities to interact with our transport hubs.
  • Inspire young people from our local communities towards railway careers of the future and work toward
  • improving local social mobility.
  • Protect, enhance, adapt and engage with our irreplaceable heritage assets.
  • Promote positive EDI, H&S and wellbeing within our workforce, our supply chain and those that interact with our asset.
  • Embed and influence good business ethics across the HS1 system and supply chain.

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We will report the progress of our strategy to our investors, partners and stakeholders to demonstrate how we are progressing towards achieving our targets. To do this we will maintain our ESG reporting scheme and framework, maintain compliance with all environmental regulatory requirements (and any initiatives we sign up to) and report against these in our annual reporting. We will also continue to celebrate the environmental benefits of high-speed rail travel, and focus on transparent messaging around carbon & energy. 


  • Develop a modal shift plan for each HS1 transport hub.

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What have we achieved?

We’re already delivering on sustainability at HS1 Ltd, and we intend to enhance and grow this activity. We’ll be sharing some examples of work that we’ve already delivered on our website later this month and how it benefits the environment and communities around our estates.

Our full commitment

Our commitment to protecting the environment and improving sustainability on the HS1 rail network has been backed by our partners who we work very closely with.

We understand that each of our partners will have their own sustainability strategies which will focus on their specific impacts, but where there is cross over and alignment we will work together for greater gains. The collaboration will be overseen by the Sustainability Steering Group which will have senior representatives from all partner organisations.

Download full HS1 Sustainability Strategy