April 13 2022

In this guest blog post, Andreas Schorling, Managing Director of FlixBus UK, discusses the climate challenge, and his company’s commitment to becoming the greenest coach network.

As we approach Earth Day (22 April), it seems an appropriate moment to reflect on FlixBus’ progress as part of the world’s largest coach provider, and the impact of our sustainability efforts as an industry.

Like most CPT members, we’re well aware that bus travel is one of the least harmful way to travel in terms of the environment. While factors such as fuel type, distance and load may vary, we estimate that travelling by coach reduces average CO2 emissions by 80% compared to cars. Last year, our passengers collectively saved  400,000 tonnes of carbon because they chose to travel with us over other modes of transport.

However, we know that resting on low emissions isn’t enough. Carbon neutrality is an essential, not to mention a key demand from consumers, which is why we’ve implemented a carbon offsetting scheme that our customers can opt in to. This is in partnership with NGO atmosfair, which has some of the highest climate standards. Since 2015, over 86,000 tonnes of CO2 has been offset by FlixBus customers, which is the equivalent of 480,000 trees planted, or the average removal of 240,000 cars from the road annually. We also “walk the talk” by offsetting 100% of our employee business travels since 2018.

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is invest in our planet, and we’re doing just that. As a technology-driven company, we’re constantly seeking new and innovative solutions to address the climate emergency. In 2018, we launched pilots for the world's first electric long-distance buses in France and Germany, while in 2021 we unveiled Europe’s first biogas-powered long-distance bus.

We also launched our pioneering HyFleet project last year, aiming to develop the first fuel cell powered long-distance bus by 2024. Green Hydrogen power is, we believe, one of the most promising paths for the future of sustainable travel.

Here in the UK, our model is to develop long-term partnerships with established coach operators to become part of our growing network. Partners benefit not only from our team of marketing and sales experts, but also investment in sustainable solutions that can future-proof operators against increasingly strict regulation around vehicles and carbon emissions. Our London to Dortmund service has included solar panels since 2020, and we’re exploring installing more on our domestic routes this year.