Purpose-driven environmental sustainability

Empowering people to make greener travel choices

At Trainline, environmental sustainability is fundamental to our purpose. Through our technology and data, we make rail travel easier, empowering people to make travel choices that are better for the environment.

Rail offers travellers a greener alternative to flying or driving, creating 86% less CO2 emissions than air travel and 70% less CO2 emissions compared with car travel, per passenger. It can move millions of people quickly and cleanly, for leisure or business, across countries and continents.

We believe we have a key role to play in supporting the rail industry, businesses, and governments in meeting their emissions targets.

Our cross-functional sustainability team is dedicated to encouraging modal shift; promoting rail as a more sustainable way to travel; and reducing the impact on the climate from our own operations.

The external context

UK and European governments have continued to encourage modal shift to rail and increase their investment in rail in order to meet their net zero emissions goals. The EU is targeting a 55% reduction target for CO2 emissions by 2030, and the UK has a reduction target of at least 78% by 2035 and a legally binding target to reach net zero by 2050.

Cars and planes create 58% of the UK’s transport CO2 emissions, whereas the entire rail network creates less than 1%. The UK Decarbonising Transport plan highlights rail as “the greenest form of motorised transport”. It sets a target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions from trains by 2050, through increased electrification of the rail network and introduction of new technologies such as hydrogen-powered trains.

We are already seeing the impact of this transition to rail in the UK, for example, with Lumo carrying one million passengers between Edinburgh and London since its launch, resulting in rail now being the favoured mode of transport between the two cities. Similarly, in Europe, cars and planes create 74% of transport CO2 emissions, and the entire rail network adds up to less than 1%. The EU Commission has highlighted rail as playing a key role in the EU becoming climate-neutral by 2050. It targets the doubling of high-speed rail traffic by 2030 and a tripling of high-speed rail by 2050. Third-party ticket vendors such as Trainline have been identified as having a key role to play in the delivery of elements of this plan.

In the last year, European governments have taken further steps to encourage modal shift from cars and planes to rail to achieve their carbon reduction targets. France introduced a ban on internal short-haul flights, those under two and half hours, which was formally validated by the European Commission in December 2022. KLM is also encouraging passengers to take the train rather than fly on some short-haul flights as the Dutch government cuts the number of flights from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to cut air pollution.


UK CO2 reduction target by 2035


EU CO2 reduction target by 2030


high speed rail traffic targeted by EU by 2030

Product and promotion

Our aim is to empower people to make greener travel choices, driving a modal shift that benefits people and the planet.

Trainline has a key role to play in engineering the travel habits of the future and enabling people to choose the most sustainable transportation option.

Trainline supported the launch of I Came By Train, to promote the sustainability of rail and encourage people to take action to reduce their carbon footprint, and followed this with the launch of a white paper on how the rail industry can encourage more people to choose rail.

We have continued to launch green product features and make emissions information more accessible and transparent to allow customers to better understand and reduce the carbon impact of their journey and continue to build awareness around the benefits of using rail and coach instead of car or plane. We also introduced digital season tickets alongside our existing digital railcards to reduce non-recyclable ticket waste and also made it possible to book bicycle reservations on trains through our product, further encouraging modal shift.

What we’re doing

We steer customers to etickets where available to reduce paper ticket waste, promote rail cards to encourage a modal shift and in the UK and France show customers the CO2 emissions of their chosen journey. We are making green data more accessible and transparent on our platform to allow customers to better understand and reduce the carbon impact of their journey and continue to build awareness around the benefits of using rail and coach instead of car or plane.

In September 2021, through the Science Based Targets initiative ('SBTi'), we committed to set an SBTi-aligned net-zero target, achievable no later than 2050, and to reduce emissions from our own operations (Scopes 1 & 2) in line with 1.5°C scenario and from our value chain (Scope 3) in line with the well-below 2°C scenario.

We also signed up to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C and UNFCC Race to Zero campaigns. Since then, we have modelled both our near-term and long-term science-based targets and created a robust reduction strategy which we intend to submit to the SBTi in 2023, which will include a complete annual greenhouse gas inventory of our full value chain. 

We have participated in voluntary offsetting since FY2021, including the Gandhi Wind Project in FY2022. This project was fully certified by the Verified Carbon Standard and aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable modern energy as well as to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth. 

For FY23, we have offset our operational greenhouse gas emissions by investing in the Klim Soil Project. Klim soils are the second largest carbon sink in the world and hold more carbon than the atmosphere and all plants combined. Trainline have purchased removal credits to offset the impact of our Scope 1, 2 and select Scope 3 categories: business travel, waste, water and data centre usage. In total, Klim credits contribute to seven Sustainable Development Goals. 

We have a sustainability policy as well as an energy and carbon policy, which you can find here:



Environmental Data

EcoAct has provided independent third-party limited verification of Trainline plc's direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 1 and Scope 3) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The GHG emissions have been assessed following the ISO 14064-3:2019 standard. 

The table below summarises the Group's UK and Global GHG emissions for the latest financial reporting year FY2023, 1st March 2022 to 28th February 2023, and the year FY2020, 1st March 2019 to 28th February 2020. 

Trainline Carbon Emissions sources FY20 Emissions (tCO2e) FY23 Emissions (tCO2e)
Scope 1 Emissions                                         102                                     138
Scope 2 Emissions (location-based)                                         209                                     216
Scope 2 Emissions (market-based)                                                                              3.49
Total tCO2e scope 1 & 2 (location-based)                                         311                                     354
Total tCO2e scope 1 & 2 (market-based)                                                                              142
Scope 3 CAT 1 - Purchased Goods and Services                                    21,734                               18,015
Scope 3 CAT 2 - Capital Goods                                         564                                     789
Scope 3 CAT 3 - Fuels and Energy Related                                           66                                     189
Scope 3 CAT 4 - Upstream Transportation and Distribution                                         239                                       28
Scope 3 CAT 5 - Waste                                             1                                       12
Scope 3 CAT6 - Business Travel                                         481                                     253
Scope 3 CAT 7 - Employee Commuting & Working From Home                                         521                                     632
Scope 3 CAT 8 - Upstream Leased Assets                                         442                                       13
Scope 3 CAT 11 - Use of Sold Products                                         167                                     157
Total tCO2e scope 1, 2 & 3 (location-based)                                    24,526                               20,441
Total tCO2e scope 1, 2 & 3 (market-based)                                                                   20,229