Environmental responsibility

Committed from the start to an approach based on Corporate Social Responsibility, Getlink provides mobility transport and infrastructure solutions that are among the most environmentally friendly. Today, the Group is positioned as the leader in eco-responsible transport and is fully engaged in energy transition.

Green

Eurotunnel: 5th Carbon Trust Standard certification

In 2007, Getlink became the first cross-Channel operator to have produced and published a carbon assessment, and remains the only one to have done so to date. Having pursued its proactive policy of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions since then, the Group obtained for the Concession, its fifth Carbon Trust Standard certification in 2017, for the 2015-2016 period. The audit, conducted every two years by this independent UK agency, assesses the company’s policy, conducts a detailed analysis of its performance in terms of carbon footprint reduction, and awards a certificate if the objectives have been met.


Europorte goes green

Focusing on genuine initiatives for sustainable development, more than 250 employees took part in the 65 workshops and challenges laid on during the first edition of the Green Week, based around four themes: eco-driving of trains, waste management, environmentally friendly practices, and water management.

At Socorail, the Europorte subsidiary specialising in logistics management at industrial sites, the progress made in terms of environmental protection and safety were hailed by the renewal of certifications by ISO 9001 (Quality Management), MASE (French Corporate Safety Improvement Guide) and SQAS (Safety Quality Assessment for Sustainability).

Socorail’s Infrastructure Management branch is starting the process to obtain MASE certification.


ElecLink, for a transition to a low-carbon economy

ElecLink, the cross-Channel interconnector project is the most environmentally friendly. By optimizing the existing Channel Tunnel infrastructure and promoting the development of alternative energies in France and the United Kingdom, the ElecLink 1 GW electrical interconnector will reduce CO2 emissions by c.6.1 million tonnes. With no aerial power lines or submarine cables, the use of the Tunnel avoids interferences with marine life.


The Channel Tunnel: Keeping cool with savings of 50%

The eight refrigeration units in the plants at Sangatte and Shakespeare Cliff, responsible for cooling the pressurised water sent through the railway tunnels to keep the temperature below 30°C, have been replaced. The new refrigeration units are much more powerful and halve the electrical power consumption. Another advantage is that they use an organic refrigerant gas, HFO, which has no effect on the environment.


Target zero paper

The Group is pursuing its strategy of paper document digitalisation by acquiring tools that restrict printing, specifically the DocuSign application, a signature service that gives Freight customers the opportunity to sign contracts and account-opening requests digitally. At Europorte, the ever-increasing use of smartphones and tablets, together with the introduction of the SICOR tool, are further reducing the consumption of ink and paper, in favour of digital documentation.

Mobility

Restricting private car travel

As part of its Corporate Travel Plan which aims to limit staff travel by private car, the Concession has already implemented several actions:

  • A shuttle bus between the TGV station in Fréthun and the terminal in Coquelles encourages employees living in Lille or Boulogne to commute to work by train
  • A Getlink community, available on the passpass.fr carpool platform
  • A mobility day, where employees were able to test-drive electric cars and bicycles
  • A governmental programme Cycle to Work which allows British employees to benefit from tax deductions of at least 25% of the price of the bike purchased. Many of them also participate to the National Cycle Day.

Eurotunnel goes electric

The electrical solution is at the heart of the Group's environmental policy. Eurotunnel provides employees with 60 electric vehicles to use in the service tunnel and terminals. Our customers have 16 charging points including 8 Tesla superchargers.

In 2017, more than 5,800 electric cars of our customers travelled on board Le Shuttle, compared with just 40 in 2014.

Biodiversity

Eco-pasture

Getlink has set up an Eco-Pasture: the polluting mechanical equipment used to maintain the green areas around the Coquelles terminal has been partially replaced by cattle. Around fifteen cows, both Salers and Highland cattle, chosen for their hardiness and ability to live outside all year, even on the Opal Coast, now graze 34 hectares considerably more peacefully than land-clearers did. An agreement was signed with a local farmer who looks after both herds.


Samphire Hoe wins his 13th Green Flag Award

The nature reserve, created at the foot of the Cliffs of Dover from the chalk marl extracted from the Channel during the Tunnel’s construction, celebrated its 20th birthday in 2017. Each year, this 40-hectare site reclaimed from the sea welcomes more than 100,000 visitors, who today can find some 130 species of birds and 200 species of plants there. For the 13th consecutive year, Samphire Hoe received a Green Flag Award, which recognises the most beautiful parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom.


To find out more about the CSR of the Group, please refer to the Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2017.