HomeBusinessOperator shows how it supports key UN sustainability goals

Operator shows how it supports key UN sustainability goals


The East West Railway Company (EWR Co) has re-stated its environmental principles to clearly demonstrate how it aligns itself with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). 

It drew attention to how UNSDGs are designed to be a ‘blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all’ and are supporting discussions at COP26.

EWR Co first published its environmental principles in 2019. Since then, they have been a fundamental part of EWR Co’s plans for East West Rail (EWR), the new sustainable railway serving communities between Oxford and Cambridge. The principles include:

  • Respecting important sites and locations – building and operating so we don’t damage the important environmental and heritage sites in your local area
  • Protecting your farmland – protecting soil resources and agriculturally important land
  • Caring for your landscape – enhancing the quality of landscapes and townscapes and considering how what we build can be designed to blend in with your local environment
  • Contributing to the fight against climate change – designing, constructing and operating in a way that helps us with our aim to be a net zero carbon railway
  • Protecting you from flooding – working carefully to make sure your water sources are protected, and that we don’t cause any increase in flooding through our construction or operations
  • Sourcing responsibly – sustainably sourcing what we need and reducing our waste to get the best maximum use out of everything we buy
  • Respecting our neighbours – effectively managing and controlling noise vibration and pollution to avoid affecting your health or quality of life 
  • Protecting species – delivering biodiversity net gain by approaching development so biodiversity is left in a better state than we found it
  • Preserving your heritage – protecting your historic environment through preserving and enhancing your heritage assets
Simon Blanchflower, East West Railway.

CEO of the East West Railway Company, Simon Blanchflower CBE, said: “As the world’s leaders gather this week for COP26 it’s important to consider how all of us can play our own part in tackling climate change. Caring for the environment is at the heart of everything we do and as an organisation, we’ve set ambitious environmental goals for the Project that align with domestic and global climate priorities, including the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“East West Rail will be a new, environmentally sustainable way to travel between Oxford and Cambridge and I’m proud of the strides we’re making to live up to our environmental principles, which include commitments to achieve biodiversity net gain and protecting important species and habitats between Oxford and Cambridge, and our aim to deliver a net zero carbon railway.”

EWR Co has published more information on its approach to the environment on a new web page. This highlights how the organisation is meeting its environmental principles and will grow over time to become a one-stop-shop for anyone wanting to learn about the environmental aspects of EWR. 

Today’s announcement highlights how EWR’s Environmental Principles align with the following UNSDGs: 

3 – Good Health & Wellbeing
7 – Affordable and Clean Energy
9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10 – Reduced inequalities
11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
13 – Climate Action
15 – Life on Land
17 – Partnerships for the Goals 


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