Environmental issues are high on the political agenda everywhere, none more so than Edinburgh. With that in mind, it is important for Lothian to be a leading example of how buses can offer a more sustainable transport option for the people in the Lothian region.
Helping us achieve our aims, is Claire McVicar, our Environmental Officer. Claire discusses her role at the company and gives us an insight into Lothian’s environmental policy and our vision of a sustainable future.
Describe your job at the company without using your Job title?
My main role is to deliver a group wide strategy to support and improve the environmental and commercial aspirations of the business.
This involves constant evaluation of local, national and global environmental standards to ensure we comply with relevant legislation and best practise. I also work closely with stakeholders and source funding for a variety of environmental improvements.
Your recent article in The Scotsman highlighted Lothian’s green tourism success. Could you elaborate on your role in helping Lothian achieve the success?
Green Tourism is the market leading sustainable tourism certification programme in the UK and Internationally. To achieve an accreditation, businesses are graded by a qualified Assessor against a set of criteria that cover a range of areas such as energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and social involvement and communication.
Edinburgh Bus Tours has received top recognition for sustainable best practice from Green Tourism and currently hold a gold award. We intend to maintain this award and potentially roll it out across more areas of our business as we continue to make more environmental improvements.
How important is it for Lothian to be a shining example with climate change high on the agenda?
This is extremely important. With environmental issues high on the political agenda, there is ever increasing public demand for a more sustainable way of living, and transport is obviously a key factor in this. We developed our Bus 2020 strategy to demonstrate how we intend to meet the standards set out in the Scottish Government’s Climate Change legislation and to highlight to residents and visitors that we are fully committed to providing a sustainable transport service and that our Euro 6 buses can make a significant improvement to Edinburgh’s air quality.
Could you tell me a bit more about Lothian’s Bus2020 campaign? What happens in 2021?
We’re very proud of the improvements we’ve made to our fleet over the past few years and especially proud of the part we are playing in the decline in emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) that has been reported in Edinburgh in recent years.
Our Bus 2020 Strategy sets out a summary of our environmental achievements and aspirations and demonstrates to stakeholders and residents of Edinburgh & the Lothians that we are committed to being an environmentally friendly transport provider, with sustainability high on our priority list.
By 2021, Lothian will have removed almost 15,000 tonnes of CO2 from our carbon footprint both from the fleet replacement and internal environmental strategies. However, the journey doesn’t stop there and we will continue to build on our commitment to sustainability.
And to finish…
Night out or night in? Night in.
Movie Marathon or Box set? Box set, specifically ‘Line of Duty’, my current box-set obsession.
Concert or rave? If I was forced to choose, I’d definitely say concert. But I’d much prefer to be in the peaceful countryside somewhere walking my labradoodle, Betty.
Rugby or Football? Rugby.
Dining out or Delivery? Much as I love a night in in front of the TV, dining out in Edinburgh is great as we’re spoiled for choice.