South Western Railway to reveal its “social value”

Rail operator South Western Railway has published its first Social Value Report, assessing the company’s impact on society, the environment, and the economy. The report makes SWR the first train operating company to publicly publish its social value, as determined by the “Rail Social Value” tool developed by the Rail Safety and Standards Board.

The Board identifies ten key areas of social impact for rail: community safety, accessibility, employment and skills, social inclusion, diversity and inclusion, health and wellbeing, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, local and sustainable procurement, and regeneration.

Going forward, SWR will focus on improving the practice of recording of social impact data in all areas, while continuing to work with the RSSB to improve measurement of social impact. SWR plans to publish a social value report every year.

Amy Dickinson, SWR’s head of sustainability, said: “As one of the busiest networks in the country, we inevitably have an impact – on society, the environment, and the economy – and it is our responsibility to achieve maximum social value, taking every opportunity to have positive impacts, while mitigating the potential for disbenefits.”

The report is a timely reminder of the greater role of rail transport in the community and as a greener form of transport as the rail network and operators struggle to predict how the post-pandemic.

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