Case Study: Eurostar
Provide independent assurance for Eurostar around the processes it has put in place to deliver carbon neutral journeys.
As part of Eurostar’s wider green initiative, “Tread Lightly”, launched in April 2007, Eurostar committed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 25% per traveler journey by 2012 and to provide carbon neutral journeys at no extra cost to travelers from 14 November 2007. ERM was appointed to provide independent assurance on whether Eurostar has appropriately reported the processes it has in place to deliver its commitment. ERM’s third party assurance added credibility to their innovative marketing campaign.
Eurostar calculated the projected carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions of approximately 62,000 tons (metric) from Eurostar traveler journeys (“journeys”) made during the period 14 November 2007 to 31 December 2008 (“the reporting period”). ERM conducted a series of interviews with Eurostar management and relevant external consultants commissioned by Eurostar to project its CO2e emissions per passenger journey and reviewed relevant supporting documents. This included reviewing and sample testing the methodology and underlying assumptions for estimating the CO2 emissions from Eurostar’s journeys and the projections of the number of train journeys in the reporting period.
ERM also interviewed the selected carbon offset providers and tested their systems and processes to source and retire appropriate carbon credits in accordance with Eurostar’s selection criteria. ERM also reviewed and sample tested Eurostar’s internal processes and controls to ensure that it had purchased sufficient and appropriate carbon credits to offset projected CO2e emissions during the reporting period.
Furthermore, ERM reviewed the design of Eurostar’s processes to both periodically reconcile its predicted emissions with actual CO2e emissions from journeys and to track its contracted pipeline of carbon credits to ensure that a sufficient amount will be retired in accordance with Eurostar’s commitment.
ERM also reviewed the relevant disclosures made by Eurostar on its ‘Tread Lightly’ web pages to ensure that it transparently reported its processes in place to deliver its carbon neutral journeys commitment and that the reported processes were consistent with our assurance findings.
Benefits and Value
ERM concluded that in all material respects Eurostar has appropriately reported the processes in place to deliver its carbon neutral journeys commitment on its ‘Tread Lightly’ web pages. Through the independent assurance provided by ERM, Eurostar underpinned the market’s trust and credibility in their carbon neutral journey proposition. ERM also found that the credibility of the offsets used is enhanced by Eurostar's decision to only purchase carbon credits for emission reductions that have already taken place and that have been verified to the Voluntary Carbon Standard, Voluntary Gold Standard or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Clean Development Mechanism.
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