Case study | Logistics

South Western Railway.

Operating over 1,500 services each weekday across the network, South Western Railway provides commuter and leisure passengers rail travel across the south. Inter-urban, regional and long distance routes run in south west London and southern counties of England. As part of First Group South Western Railway contributes to the group’s strategic framework for sustainability.

South Western Railway Logo

The issue.

A large proportion of South Western Railway’s business expenditure is directed to the procurement of essential goods and services. Sustainable procurement considers the environmental, social and economic impacts of a business’ supply chain. South Western Railway introduced a sustainable procurement strategy in 2020/21 and are working in line with the ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement Standard.

The solution.

In line with South Western Railway’s sustainable procurement strategy our waste management contract includes key performance indicators of zero waste to landfill and 75% recycling rate.

This has been achieved by developing a bespoke system to manage the collection, segregation, and sorting of waste from trains, stations, and depots.

Waste left by customers on trains is collected and segregated by hand at depots by SWRnewstar Segregation Officers, alongside waste from the depots. The Segregation Officers sort the waste into paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminium, and metal streams, which are taken to a materials recycling facility for a final sort and processing.

At bigger stations, waste is segregated by “general waste” and “mixed recycling” which are taken to a materials recycling facility. There, it is further segregated and sorted into relevant recycling streams for processing.

All remaining waste from trains, smaller stations, and depots is also taken to the materials recycling facilities to recover any additional recyclable materials. The minimal amount of waste which ultimately cannot be recycled is incinerated for energy.

"The success of our partnership with SWRnewstar is rooted in close collaboration, ensuring practices are continuously improved."
South Western Railway - Waterloo Station

The results.

litter bin 75% recycling rate
recycle 0 waste to landfill
recycle 586 tonnes of paper and cardboard recycled
trees 11,600 trees saved
recycle 78 tonnes of food waste sent to AD
recycle 23,400 kWh renewable energy generated

Trimming our waste line

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