St. Pancras International retailers help restore UK peatlands
St. Pancras International has today announced the launch of a new retail sustainability initiative, Project Peatlands, to support an essential peatland restoration project in Scotland, in partnership with Forest Carbon, a business that develops nature-based climate projects in the UK.
As part of HS1 Ltd.’s commitment to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future and to provide customers with opportunities to make better environmental choices in shopping and travel, they will donate to the restoration of this vital ecosystem on every purchase made.
On average, every four sales at St. Pancras International will help prevent a projected 1kg of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere thanks to the restoration project. The target is to prevent a projected(2) 3,000,0000 kgs of CO2e from entering the atmosphere through our contributions to peatland restoration over the next year.
Every purchase, from picking up a daily coffee on the commute, to packing picnic essentials or even fashion essentials for summer staycations, will contribute to the restoration of the Gameshope Loch peatlands in Scotland.
Peatlands are an integral part of the British countryside, storing up to 30 times more carbon per hectare than a healthy tropical rainforest. In the UK alone, peatlands store around three times more carbon than UK forests do(1). These delicate ecosystems are also rich in biodiversity, and home to over 300 insect species, 800 flowering plants and hundreds of types of mosses.
Despite this, over 80 per cent of UK peatlands are currently damaged and emitting an estimated 23 million tonnes of CO2e each year (3). However, through restoration processes, it is possible to return a proportion of these degraded areas to peat-accumulating, carbon-storing habitats.
At Gameshope Loch, a combination of bare peat revegetation, hagg reprofiling and gully blocking will allow the water table to rise and peat-forming plant species to recolonise the area. These plants lock up carbon when they die and become stored, partially decomposed, as layers of peat below the growing layer of mosses. This Peatland Code verified project will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it will also allow the landscape to store more water and support a greater diversity of wildlife, including iconic species like black grouse and hen harriers.
Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director at HS1 Ltd, said; “The restoration of the UK’s Peatlands is critical, and our partnership with Forest Carbon means that the more transactions that happen in the station, the bigger contribution we can make towards preventing further damage to this vital ecosystem.
As we welcome more visitors and passengers back to the station, we are proud to be offering an initiative that helps support both our retailers and the planet.
As the UK’s first railway to run entirely on renewable electricity, we’re committed to creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future. Project Peatlands is just one of a number of initiatives that we’re working on as part of our Sustainability Strategy and wider goal to build a greener gateway for those travelling across the UK and parts of Europe.”
Stephen Prior, Director of Forest Carbon, said: “Peatland restoration has a vital role to play in both climate mitigation and adaptation in the UK. These habitats are our country’s largest carbon stores, and hugely important for the other ecosystem services they provide, such as water storage and biodiversity. It is fantastic that HS1 recognise both the importance of restoring UK peatlands and the opportunity that businesses have to be a part of this process, by investing in nature-based solutions to climate change.”