You can get a reduction on your busfare in Scotland if you hand over your cooking oil to a recycling plant making biofuels. Stagecoach, Scotland’s largest transport company, booked so much success with this green scheme in the past six months, it’s now embarking on a drive to become completely carbon neutral by the end of this year.
Before January 2009, the company will have planted more than 140,000 trees on a plot of land of 60 hectares called Buccleuch Woodlands estates which is in Southern Scotland. Stagecoach says that the trees will offset all the CO2 produced by the Fife to Edinburgh network of buses until 2013.
This bus network transports 2.4 million passengers a year. For the past six months, Stagecoach has been running eight buses on biofuels made from used cooking oil. That project has the makings of a true bartering scheme; in exchange for used cooking oil, passengers get a reduction on travel fares. The scheme is organized at Ayrshire Council recycling plant and has been met with tremendous enthusiasm of the population. Over 21 tonnes of used cooking oil was handed, marking an 100 percent increase over a period of six months.
Having garnered a lot of goodwill from the population in recent months through the biofuel initiative, Stagecoach now capitalizes on the positive vibes created by linking the green initiative with a new marketing campaign to get people driving cars to take the bus. The marketing campaign is especially effective because it links specific localities and bus networks to recognizable pollution reduction targets.
Global Trees, a Scottish charity, will take care of the trees planted in the Buccleuch Woodlands and the project has been verified by Forest Carbon. Species planted will include conifers and a range of broadleafs and native woodlands.
The company’s stock price has shot up in recent months, even though a large factor here were railway operations. In a statement to the press, the company said recently that it ‘expects that earnings per share for the year ending April 30 2008 will be around 20 pence.’
Stagecoach’s CO2 figures were calculated by the Caledonian Environment Centre of Glasgow Caledonian University. The university verified the greenhouse gas emissions data from extensive log records held by Stagecoach. The total emissions were calculated on the bases of the latest UN a href=”http://www.ipcc.ch/”>Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and UK government reporting practices.