Building London’s new east to west railway sustainably

By 2030 the Capital’s population is set to reach 10 million. Its transport system must be ready to service this increasing demand. Crossrail is a key part of the UK’s plan to maintain London’s place as a world-class city by supporting considerable growth and maintaining the highest standards in urban transportation.

Sustainability has been at the heart of the project since its inception. It will have a long-lasting impact on how people travel around London and the South East and leave a lasting skills and learning legacy.

The breadth of Crossrail’s sustainable activities is diverse. It includes:

  • The beneficial reuse of excavated spoil;
  • Working with industry to ensure that plant and equipment used on site is energy efficient and not contributing to air quality problems;
  • Ethical sourcing requirements for procurement of construction materials;
  • Promotion of cycle and vehicle safety through compulsory training;
  • Safety equipment requirements for all lorries; and
  • Developing skills of the future workforce through the apprenticeship programme. 

As the largest infrastructure project in Europe, Crossrail presents an excellent opportunity to lead in delivering a sustainable railway fit for the future.

Download Crossrail Sustainability Report, 2015

Crossrail’s sustainability vision:

To build Crossrail sustainably by:

  • Seeking to minimise the impact on the environment and the community throughout construction
  • Ensuring a diverse supply chain benefits from Crossrail work and that materials used on the project are sourced sustainably
  • Providing a legacy of skills, learning, expertise and experience that can be handed on to the next generation of major infrastructure projects
  • Moving a step closer to a more inclusive and safer construction industry

To design and deliver a world-class railway that can be operated sustainably by:

  • Embedding energy saving and emissions reduction in the rolling stock and station designs
  • Promoting safety, comfort and wider social and environmental benefits in the design of Crossrail stations, trains and public spaces
  • Helping to secure London’s place as a competitive world city

This holistic approach is supported by two key priorities within the Crossrail organisation:

  • Safety This is Crossrail’s number one value. It is based on the beliefs that all harm is preventable, that everyone working on the project has the right to go home unharmed every day and that everyone must work together to achieve this.
  • Innovation This is embedded within the organisation. The Innovate18 programme promotes new thinking and new ideas, many of which have an impact on sustainability for Crossrail and future projects.

Crossrail's Sustainability Report 2015

Crossrail's Sustainability Report 2015, the fourth sustainability report published since the start of the project, highlights:

  • 95 per cent of the contracts awarded by Crossrail were to UK companies with 61 per cent of suppliers based outside London
  • 4,115 local people from London's boroughs and/ or the previously unemployed are now working on Crossrail
  • Crossrail surpassed its target of creating 400 apprenticeships across the project
  • 8,039 lorry drivers attended a course on sharing roads with vulnerable road users
  • 98 per cent of excavated material removed from sites was beneficially reused with the vast majority transported by rail and boat significantly reducing the number of lorry journeys on the streets of London
  • 86 per cent of construction equipment in the central section of the route is fitted with emissions controls, up from 73 per cent of equipment in 2014
  • LED lighting will be used in all Crossrail tunnels and stations saving up to 38 per cent energy compared to fluorescent lighting

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Crossrail’s sustainability performance is told through the well understood themes of social, economic and environmental sustainability and is designed to meet the aspirations of our joint sponsors (Transport for London and Department for Transport), stakeholders and future passengers.


Explore Crossrail

Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability

Building new infrastructure requires the use of significant natural resources and will always impact the people and... Read more

Social sustainability

Social sustainability

During construction Crossrail is a major employer and offers a significant opportunity to develop a highly skilled... Read more

Economic sustainability

Economic sustainability

Economic sustainability for Crossrail is built on the ethos of contributing to a strong, stable economy that will help... Read more

Health and Safety

Health and Safety

Safety is the number Crossrail Ltd's number one value and is a crucial consideration in every aspect of the Crossrail... Read more