THE parent company of Swindon’s bus firm has won landmark recognition after its operators collectively cut carbon emissions by 30 per cent in just three years and nearly 70 per cent over the space of a decade.

Go Ahead already held the ISO 50001 accreditation for best practice in energy management for its rail services, but it is the first transport group to secure the globally recognised certificate for all its bus and rail operations.

Managing director, Andrew Wickham, said: “This is recognition of our drive to keep Swindon’s Bus Company at the forefront emission reduction in our community, and represents a big step forward for the transport industry as a whole.

“We have demonstrated our commitment to reducing emissions with a number of initiatives - including introducing a new fleet of buses with greener engines.

“This year, we were recognised with a RouteOne Environment Award in a nod to our efforts to reduce congestion and improve air quality across the south.

“However, this is just the beginning. At a group level, Go-Ahead are targeting a further 20 per cent reduction by 2021 and we are confident of reaching that ambitious target.”

Judith Turner, environment and energy technical manager at Lloyd’s Register, the company that runs the accreditation process, said: “Go Ahead’s certification to ISO 50001:2011 demonstrates their commitment to energy efficiency and continual improvement.

“Their recently certified energy management system can help them achieve greater carbon and energy reductions and will take them one step closer to achieving their ambition of positioning public transport as part of the solution to climate change.”

In September, Go Ahead launched the UK’s first ever air-filtering bus that makes the air around it cleaner as it travels. This innovative bus, operated by Swindon’s Bus Company’s sister firm Bluestar, cleans the air in Southampton 1.7 times a year to a height of 10 metres. It was the latest in a series of green innovations by Go Ahead, including investing in a Frankfurt-based electric car sharing business Mobileeee.

The operator is also working with regulators including the Department for Transport to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and with local authorities to improve air quality in cities and towns.