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Environmental sustainability


Building new infrastructure requires the use of significant natural resources and will always impact the people and areas surrounding it. Minimising these impacts is a responsibility that Crossrail takes seriously. Crossrail strives to achieve this balance in the delivery of the project. This means looking at how goods and services are produced, the impacts of products and materials across their whole life cycle and raising awareness of social and environmental concerns.

As a long-term infrastructure asset, the design of Crossrail has taken into consideration the likely impacts of climate change over its 120 year design life. Future flexibility has been factored into the design where possible, particularly with regard to water level, flood risk and higher ambient temperature.

Minimising energy consumption during the construction and operational life of Crossrail has also been a key focus area for the project. The project has seen the evolving design of lighting, lifts, escalators, cooling, ventilation systems and energy use on the trains to help meet set project targets.

Protection of the physical environment is another core component of Crossrail’s sustainability strategy. Protecting the natural resources; carefully excavating and archiving archaeological artefacts uncovered during tunnelling; minimising the impact of noise, vibration and disruption to traffic; and transport remain a high priority. To ensure impacts are kept to a minimum and the license to construct is maintained, the project adheres to mitigation plans and a strict code of conduct set within the Environmental Minimum Requirements.

Environmental sustainability in numbers

  • More than 3 million tonnes of excavated spoil contributed to the creation of Jubilee Marsh as part of the Wallasea Island Wild Coast project
  • Up to 72% cement replacement is helping reduce carbon emissions
  • Approximately 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 reduction expected over the 120 year life of the railway
  • Over 10,000 objects unearthed in one of the most extensive archaeological programmes ever undertaken in the UK