Bangkok’s Skytrain is world’s first carbon-neutral rail line

Thailand’s Greenhouse Gas Management Organization has certified Bangkok’s BTS Group Holdings, operator of the Skytrain commuter rail line, as carbon neutral, making it the first certified carbon-neutral rail transport company.

The Greenhouse Gas Management Organization is an autonomous government entity responsible for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Thailand. The Kingdom has pledged to reduce greenhouse gases in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement and its long-term target of carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Environmental responsibility is just one of the sustainable business practices that we prioritize,” said Kavin Kanjanapas, CEO of BTS Group. “This year, we marked a notable step by implementing the voluntary carbon offsetting schemes by joining a carbon credit program.

“Even though our core rail business has helped improve air quality and reduce traffic in Bangkok for decades now, we want our carbon neutrality to serve as a signal for others to follow,” Kavin said.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the BTS system handled an average of about 800,000 passengers per day. Post pandemic, that number is bound to rise as new lines have opened and more are planned or under construction, translating into fewer cars on the capital’s roads.

However, reduced emissions from motor vehicles were not part of the calculus for the carbon neutral rating. The achievement was largely a result of BTS Group’s sustainable business direction to reduce emissions that come predominantly from its electricity consumption.

The capital has a second commuter rail system, Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT), which is mostly a subway system, which is also giving commuters another choice aside from cars and buses and contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

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