Kura, the UK’s largest shared transport specialist, is working with leading independent school, St Paul’s School, based in Barnes, London to offset the carbon emissions produced from all home to school service journeys for 2022. This will offset the equivalent of 94 tonnes of CO2 per year*.
Whilst transport is responsible for 24% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK (Source: Dept. Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy), shared coach & minibus transport is still one of the greenest travel options available. It also helps reduce low-occupancy car usage that causes so much congestion and pollution at the school gate. Urban centres are a clear target for reduction with the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) last October as part of the Mayor’s air quality action plan, and the school run accounting for a quarter of UK rush hour traffic.
Kura is also intent on reducing all its emissions – ensuring that the vehicles it supplies to St Paul’s School always meet Euro VI standards resulting in lower nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. Also overlaying Kura’s management and communications software ensures vehicle capacity is best utilised and routes are optimised to reduce emission-producing delays, dead mileage (where vehicles run empty) and excessively long journeys.
This is not the first time that both organisations have partnered up to minimise emissions from school run transport. In 2020, following the sudden closure of Hammersmith Bridge in London to pedestrians and cyclists, St Paul’s School and Kura moved quickly to reconfigure existing routes and add three new shuttles to provide parents driving children to school with a safe, reliable, less-polluting transport alternative for their children. This helped carry an additional 250 students daily, removing additional cars from the road and easing congestion around a part of London that was already a hotspot during the peak, worsened by the bridge closure.
Through a combination of transport emissions reduction and offsetting Kura and St Paul’s School are leading the way by becoming carbon neutral this year. Unavoidable school transport emissions will be offset via climate and sustainable development expert, ClimateCare, through funding a portfolio of projects in developing countries that both reduce CO2 and provide important health and social benefits.
Godfrey Ryan, CEO of Kura, said: “Kura is on a path to net zero travel by 2030, which includes use of EV, but as these are not yet widely available for schools like St Paul’s, our offsetting programme allows us to take immediate action. The initiative is as a result of overwhelming feedback from our education customers, and we are delighted to work with experts in this sector, ClimateCare. Whilst the London ULEZ has been successful in reducing CO2 and NOx emissions all of us need to do more to help limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C under the Paris Agreement”.
Greg Cook, Head of Compliance at St Paul’s School, said: “Being a sustainable organisation is very important to our pupils and staff who have set up an Eco Society to raise awareness and action in this area. We are delighted to continue developing our great partnership with Kura and deliver carbon neutral school transport through their innovative offsetting programme. In addition, Kura’s software provides rich data to improve pupil safeguarding on the school run, simplify parent communication and strengthen cost control”.
*Source: CO2 emissions calculated using distance, fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions conversion factors from The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)