Pushing toward carbon neutral – TransportAPI is going greener

23 Jul 2019 by Angus Hanton

Better journey planning is at the heart of what TransportAPI does, and this also makes transport more sustainable.  It helps people to use the shortest route but also tends to shift people away from cars towards greener options of shared, public transport.  On a system-wide level our data helps councils and transport companies to plan more efficient routes and time-tabling.  Recently Transport API has been pushing hard for more sustainability by offering its customers more green products and by developing its own company-wide sustainability policy.

2019 saw the government amending the Climate Change Act so that the UK now aims to become carbon neutral.  That will involve significant changes across all of society and transport is a really important part of that – illustratively transport currently generates over 25% of greenhouse gas emissions.  Even if you exclude emissions from aviation and maritime shipping, transport still represents about a fifth of the total (20%), so making savings in this area is a huge opportunity to contribute towards carbon neutrality.

TransportAPI has built a highly reliable platform offering real-time transport data which is used to power mobile apps and transport information on screens. We will now go even further by offering our customers – mostly larger transport groups – new green products such as measures of carbon usage for the legs of journey plans.  In principle the platform can also be used to work out how time-tabling changes could reduce carbon emissions and to measure carbon emissions used at peak travel times or on particular days.  The company hopes that demand for green products will increase rapidly along with the drive towards becoming carbon neutral.

Within TransportAPI there is great enthusiasm for the company to be greener and a sustainability working group is looking at ways to buy in more sustainable services, to reduce our plastics usage and to optimise our own use of transport.  For example TransportAPI aims to purchase only cloud services which have been fully carbon offset and to avoid single-use plastics.  Worthwhile and aspirational though all this is, the core of TransportAPI’s sustainability ethos is about qualifying and measuring.  We have started to measure the number of green products we supply, the percentage of our cloud services that are carbon offset, our spending on non-recyclable products and the number of miles that we travel by air.   So we at TransportAPI are going greener and we are supporting our customers to do the same, but we recognise that it’s not always simple.  As Bob Dylan said, “there must be some kind of way outta here… there’s too much confusion…” – so new ideas are always welcome.  Please let us know what more you think we should be doing.