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London Tramlink carbon footprint and emissions reduction strategy

The London Tramlink is a 28km light rail system with 24 tram units on three lines which provides a fast, frequent and reliable connection to and through a number of areas in south London.

Our carbon reduction measures identified the potential for reducing impact while at the same time potentially reducing ongoing costs.

Transport for London (TfL) commissioned Mott MacDonald to provide a carbon footprint baseline assessment and reduction strategy to help meet committed emissions reduction targets specified in the London rail energy action plan and the Mayor of London’s climate change action plan.

Key facts

  • We provided a team combining our in-house light rail technical team and our carbon footprint expertise.

  • We provided a baseline carbon footprint.

  • We elaborated over a dozen technical, commercial and communications interventions that would reduce energy, increase efficiency and support modal shift.

  • Our work was highly commended at the EDIE Environment Awards.


Part of the challenge of carbon footprinting is data management. Many organisations may hold disparate data sets that need to be brought together to offer insight into their impacts. Often there is also often a range of stakeholders that need to be consulted to define the purpose of the carbon footprint and reduction measures.


We undertook a site visit with members of the Tramlink team to help identify where all the potential sources of emissions occurred. This is the first step to forming a picture of where the organisation’s impact lies. We worked with TfL to identify where various data sources were held, and how it could be manipulated, and formed a policy defining who was responsible for maintaining the process.

Our local presence in the area meant we were able to engage with local stakeholders such as contractors and the local government, and define how they could contribute and benefit from the process.

Our team identified a range of potential carbon reduction measures ranging from technological solutions to reducing energy demand to the potential for novel ticketing systems to encourage modal shift to green procurement of energy. Each option was assessed in terms of cost, carbon savings and technical difficulty and formed as requirements for future work packages.

Value and benefits

We provided London Tramlink with a baseline carbon footprint and the ability to update that footprint on an annual basis. Our reduction measures identified the potential for reducing the impact of Tramlink while at the same time potentially reducing ongoing costs. The baseline carbon footprint enables communications with stakeholders on performance while also setting a base measure for monitoring progress against reduction targets.

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