Green Business Awards 2008: Best Large Company - Winner Eurostar

If any company has benefited from increased environmental awareness among consumers and regulators, it's Eurostar.

The cross-Channel rail operator has successfully capitalised on being a lower-carbon mode of transport than flying. Through its broad-ranging 'Tread Lightly' programme, it has introduced a series of environmental improvements and is targeting a further 25% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per traveller by 2012. The judges felt that Eurostar should receive special credit for introducing a substantial culture change. They praised the company for taking up a mission to get more people travelling by train.

Polluting and energy-intensive businesses have been forced to address environmental issues for decades. But, by its own admission, Eurostar's green epiphany occurred only in 2006. However, the company has since shot ahead, to the point where it can credibly claim to be a leader in debate on sustainable travel and has won Best Large Company award (over 250 employees).

Eurostar's own passengers got it thinking about climate change. Corporate clients began asking for information about carbon emissions from their journeys. In response, the firm commissioned independent research.

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