FirstGroup plc, a leading private sector provider of public transport, has been recognised with a place in the 2024 Clean200 report of the world’s cleanest 200 companies, one of only eight UK companies to be included. FirstGroup makes the list for the fifth year in succession and is the only passenger transport operator based in Europe to be named in this year’s rankings.

The annual Clean200 report is produced by sustainable business media group Corporate Knights in partnership with U.S. not-for-profit organisation, As You Sow. The report ranks the world’s largest publicly listed companies by their total clean energy revenues from products and services that provide solutions for the planet and a cleaner future. Companies included in the rankings are involved in the provision of infrastructure and services needed to transition to a clean and green economy.

FirstGroup run a fifth of all local bus services in the UK outside of London, with a fleet of more than 4,500 buses and 51 depots, carrying more than 1.1 million passengers a day. The Group is also the UK’s largest rail operator, with years of experience running long-distance, commuter, regional and sleeper rail services. This includes three Government-contracted rail operations and two open access routes including Lumo on the East Coast Main Line, which is an 100% electric service providing affordable long-distance travel between London and Edinburgh. Lumo has helped to drive modal shift from air travel to rail on this route, with the rail market share between London and Edinburgh growing from 35 to 57% between 2019 and 2022, making rail the preferred transport choice.

FirstGroup’s bus and rail services play a vital role in combating climate change and improving air quality. First Bus is committed to achieving a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035, and will already have more than 600 electric buses, and four fully electric depots in England by March 2024. As part of this commitment, FirstGroup recently announced a strategic partnership with Hitachi to purchase 1,000 electric bus batteries, as well as new Green Hire Purchase facility to support the purchase of electric bus bodies.

Great Western Railway is carrying out a FastCharge battery trial, as part of First Rail’s commitment to support the UK Government’s goal to remove all diesel-only traction from the network by 2040, and Avanti continue to test their new low-carbon, electric and bi-mode Hitachi trains which will be introduced to the network over the course of the year.

FirstGroup Chief Executive Officer, Graham Sutherland, said; “FirstGroup is committed to accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon world to help address the challenges of climate change. We’re pleased that our activities are recognised through our inclusion in this year’s Clean200 list of the world’s cleanest companies. As a leading provider of bus and rail transport, we have a key role to play in creating a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future.”