True to its original nature and continued commitment to the environment, Eurotunnel is the most environmentally friendly cross-Channel operator and shows green credentials.

The Channel Tunnel and its rail transport system have a number of intrinsic environmental advantages: a fully underground link that prevents any interaction with the marine environment; electric locomotives that generate a low level of atmospheric pollution and only marginal greenhouse gas emissions. Through a series of initiatives, Eurotunnel has maintained progress throughout its 20 years in operation.

An excellent environmental performance


For the 12th consecutive year, the Samphire Hoe site owned by the Group in England has received in July 2016 the prestigious Green Flag Award recognising the excellent ecological quality of this nature reserve which provides a unique habitat for a number of rare flora and fauna. Eurotunnel manages Samphire Hoe in partnership with White Cliffs Countryside Partnership and welcomes over 80,000 visitors each year.


In July 2011, the Group has been certified by The Carbon Trust Standard for its policy and achievements in carbon footprint reduction, with a further 20.5% reduction. The certificate has been renewed in July 2013 for the Group and in July 2015 for Eurotunnel at the Fixed Link Concession level.

›› More about, read the 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Key actions

The Group's commitment to environmental protection involves a number of initiatives:

Carbon footprint

Respecter la terre en passant sous la mer

Eurotunnel is concerned about greenhouse gas emissions (CO2,…) linked to its activities, even if they are low. Eurotunnel is to date the only cross-Channel operator to have published a carbon footprint review
each year since 2006

Since 2006, Eurotunnel has reduced its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions by 55%,
i.e. by 44% between 2006 and 2008 and by a further 20% for the period 2009-2010. The Group as a global organisation is certified by the independent British agency The Carbon Trust Standard for its policy and achievements in carbon footprint reduction. The Group is now committed to dynamic management of its greenhouses gas emissions and has set a permanent target of a further 3% reduction in CO2 emissions every year. In July 2013, the certificate was renewed for the Group and in July 2015 for Eurotunnel at the Fixed Link Concession level.

In 2016, the company has further reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 112% at Group's level, the equivalent to c.12,000 tonnes of CO2 compared to 2015.

Optimised source of energy

For Eurotunnel, managing its energy needs effectively represents a key part of the global business strategy which includes the commitment to reduce overall consumption of electricity and water.
Since 2008, Eurotunnel buys virtually all of the electricity needed to power its trains in France, with 3 benefits:

  • A highly competitive price compared to British suppliers
  • A high percentage (90%) of power from nuclear of hydroelectric sources, which are therefore CO2 emission free
  • A source of power that is independent of fluctuations in hydrocarbon supplies

Development of renewable energy

Once again confirming the company’s commitment to the development of renewable energies, Eurotunnel inaugurated on 20 April 2010 a 3 turbine wind farm (2.4 megawatts), next to its Coquelles Terminal, which will produce energy sufficient to power 2,000 homes.

A structural Green Plan

The process to continuously recue the Group's environmental footprint is set out in the Group's Green Plan. The Plan defines the programme of actions around six key objectives and measures recorded progress with a set of indicators published each year in the Group's Registration Document.

Within this framework, the company has maintained its commitment to sorting its waste, an approach reflected in the continued improvement in waste storage conditions and transfers through to final destination and the reduction in waste volume. The Group has also achieved some progress in reducing its water consumption.

Electric cars and training in eco-driving

Having pioneered the use of electric service vehicles since the 1990s, Eurotunnel develops its fleet in partnership with subcontractors:

In the 1st quarter of 2017, the fully electric car fleet in operation on the terminals consisted of 49 vehicles comprising 33 in Coquelles and 4 in Folkestone for Eurotunnel and 12 for Onet, a subcontractor performing various duties on the Coquelles site.

As part of the Group's CO2 reduction initiative, the 57 Shuttle locomotives are now fitted with eco-driving software which allows drivers to monitor their consumption of electricity in real time.A number of Eurotunnel drivers were trained in eco-driving and the use of the data analysis tool was developed in 2014. The programme has been continued in 2015 with the implementation of best practice.

Besides, during the last rerailing campaign, completed in 2015, a higher priority was given to electrical tools in order to minimise carbon monoxide emissions during work in the Tunnel.

Europorte, the Eurotunnel's subsidiary specialising in rail freight deploys a range of measures to minimise the electricity or diesel consumed by its locomotives:

  • Driver training includes an eco-driving module. Performance reporting set up in 2015 measures the results and enables targeted actions to spread good practice.
  • By analysing the operating hours of diesel locomotives, the times and places where it is appropriate to cut the engines in static phase will be identified, thus increasing the time periods between preventive maintenance.
  • The new DE18 diesel locomotives have MTU engines that reduce fuel consumption by 15-20% and are fitted with a Start & Stop system.

Energy-saving, discreet lighting

The power consumption of the 14,200 lights on the two terminals had been increasing, and their emitted halos can be perceived as light pollution. Actions have therefore been taken since 2010 to reduce consumption and minimise the luminosity of lamps at night, while maintaining a high level of comfort and safety for our customers.

By reducing the number of light points and replacing them with more modern devices, the total reduction in power consumption represents a drop in CO2 emissions of 216 tonnes a year and nearly €70,000 in savings.

Result: a 20% reduction in power consumption by lighting on the teminals in the last two years.

Eurotunnel is also aware of its water consumption : all water meters located in the various buildings of the Coquelles terminal are connected to the website of a service provider that monitors consumption per building and issues an alert as soon as a leak appears on the network.

Replacement of refrigeration units

Four new refrigeration units, located in the Sangatte and Shakespeare Cliff plants, replaced the former units, to cool the water supplied to keep the railway tunnel temperature below 30°C. The new units, though more powerful, consume 40% less electricity than their predecessors. Another major ecological plus comes from the fact they use an organic refrigerant, HFO, instead of the previous R22, which had a negative effect on the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere.

Replacement of refrigeration units

Halon replacement

Halon, a hydrocarbon derivative used as a fire extinguishing gas in the 240 technical rooms of the Fixed Link rail tunnels was replaced in 2016 by Novec 1230, agas that emits 7,000 times less CO2 when used. Halon is also being replaced by a Stat-X aerosol system in the technical modules of the locomotives and by a water mist in the train driver cabs.

Halon replacement

Samphire Hoe wins three awards

As soon as the construction period ended, Eurotunnel adopted a policy for managing its various green areas, monitoring the flora and fauna on its two Terminals.

This ecological monitoring, carried out for a number of years now, has shown the high heritage value of the French and UK sites.

This 40-hectare site, which is owned by the Group, was reclaimed from the sea during the digging of the Channel Tunnel. It welcomes some 80,000 visitors per year, especially school trips. In July 2016, Samphire Hoe received its 12th consecutive Green Flag, awarded each year to British natural sites of the highest environmental quality. The nature reserve is home to many species of animals and hugely diverse flora. The site also won a gold medal in the “country park” category at the South and South East in Bloom Awards. In January 2017, the education shelter won the UK-wide Special Award for Innovation from the Green Flag Award Scheme for its high environmental quality and its contribution to local communities and school groups.

Samphire Hoe

Moving towards paperless

Saving time, space, energy, and forests, and increasing convenience, the digitisation of paper documents has many benefits, and has become even easier in this fully digital age. Since 2016, Fixed Link employees in France, CIFFCO and the holding company have, if they wish, been able to receive their payslips in electronic form, via the totally secure digital safe provided by Digiposte, a subsidiary of La Poste Group. Around 500 employees, or 30% of all concerned, have already opted for this. A paperless invoice service is offered to Truck Shuttle customers. Similarly at Europorte, the RailFleet One application, used by drivers to pass on details of locomotive technical issues by mobile, marks a new stage in the complete digitisation of the monitoring of traction units.

Cycle to work

To encourage employees to leave their cars at home, the British government is encouraging them to buy a bike by providing a reduction in their social security contributions of at least 25% of the bike’s price. In Folkestone, 52 Eurotunnel employees joined the scheme in 2016. It’s a win-win for everyone, since employees save money on a bike and get fitter, public health improves and the company reduces its carbon footprint.

Corporate Social Responsibility report