We believe in operating in a responsible way, serving our passengers and to benefit the communities around our stations. We focus on making a real difference in three important areas of society: Young people, Homelessness and Mental Health & Healthcare.

GTR staff at station

Transforming lives and communities

As a business we have real power to make a huge impact in transforming lives and communities. We know many of our people and customers are incredibly passionate about their local area and how they can make them a better place to live and work.

We focus on making a real difference in three important areas of society: Young people, Homelessness and Mental Health & Healthcare. We do this by continuing to build close relationships with community groups and charity organisations, providing support and opportunities to address these issues.


To keep the communities we serve up-to-date with our progress, we publish a sustainability report every year. Our reports reflect areas of the UN sustainability development goals most relevant to our operations, such as the environment, safety, work with our colleagues, customers and communitiesa </p

Highlights from the report include:

  • New recruitment initiatives have improved the diversity of new recruits
  • Frontline staff completed over 36,000 days of operational training
  • The Zero Harm app is helping embed a strong safety culture
  • 385 colleagues were recognised for live saving actions
  • Our Go-Learn partnership with Southeast Community Rail Partnership helped 1,800 children learn about how to use rail services safely and confidently
  • Nine local partners restored 546 abandoned bikes
  • We invested £600,000 to improve stations’ accessibility, on top of the Department for Transport’s Access for All programme
  • We installed 1,000 new cycle spaces and at 37 stations we installed 179 electric vehicle charging points
  • Inspired by insights from our sustainability forum, we expect to generate 4GW of green energy over 20 years from 526 solar panels on the roof of Streatham Hill depot
  • Total carbon emissions from scope 1 and 2 sources reduced by 11% compared to the 2020/21

Our parent company – Go-Ahead Group – also publishes an annual sustainability report. To read more about their approach to corporate responsibility, visit their performance and reports page.

Related resources
GTR Sustainability Report 2022 PDF • 986.9 KB

Young people

Thousands of young people rely on us every day to get to their school, activities and meet their friends, but there are countless others who don’t get the opportunities they deserve. We can have a huge impact on their lives by helping to put them on the right track.

GTR, in partnership with The Prince’s Trust, runs Get into Railways, a programme for young people from difficult backgrounds. 2019 marks the 5th anniversary of this special partnership and has generated £1.6 million of social benefit to UK society over the period 2014-2019.

The programme has so far helped 182 18-25 years old’s gain skills and work experience. With 164 of these young people completing the course since the start of the partnership in 2014, 77% have secured sustainable, permanent jobs in the GTR network which covers Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express.

The 18-25 year olds selected for the programme receive free four-week and two-day courses at a training centre on our network. Their time is split between the training centre and a two-week work placement at one of our stations. The programme focuses on practical skills development and the chance to build a strong CV. The Prince’s Trust helps young people become work- ready by developing their skills and confidence. Participants also get to experience a number of mock interviews with our staff.

The Social Impact Report marking the fifth anniversary of the programme, also announces that the programme, which takes an innovative and inclusive approach to training and employment, is set to be extended for two further years with a commitment to training at least 70 more young people.

For more information about the work that the Prince’s Trust does please visit the Prince’s Trust website.

In summer 2019 we were pleased to announce that we are working with three new charity partners, one for each of our sustainability focus areas:

Young People – For Jimmy

Our employees nominated and voted for this charities, and we can’t wait to work with them over the next two years.

Related resources
2019 Social Impact report PDF • 2.9 MB


We want to support as many organisations as possible across our network that support people impacted by homelessness.

The number of people sleeping on the streets in Britain has increased substantially in the past few years, but rough sleeping is just the most visible part of a much wider homelessness pandemic, with many people using foodbanks on a daily basis. We have a large role to play to support our communities, who provide support for people in need. What we can do to help is make the most of our network, used by thousands of people each day, to reach those who are willing to help. We pledge to support our local partners, including:

  • Foodbanks and kitchens
  • Homeless provisions and prevention services
  • Fundraising initiatives

Our teams have held food banks, donation drives, fundraising cake sales and helped out in the kitchen at local shelters.

In summer 2019 we were pleased to announce that we are working with three new charity partners, one for each of our sustainability focus areas:

Homelessness – Noah

Our employees nominated and voted for this charity, and we can’t wait to work with them over the next two years.

Mental health

We want to support and promote positive mental health for our customers, communities and colleagues.

Studies show that 1 in 4 people are impacted by mental health issues at some point in their lives.
As a business it is important that we can recognise the signs when someone is in trouble – to reach out and help our customers, communities and colleagues who may be dealing with mental health issues.

We also work closely with the Samaritans and host annual ‘Have a brew’ events, as well as promoting general health and wellbeing for our teams. We want to do more, such as:

  • Expanding our try-a-train programme that encourages people to feel confident travelling by train
  • Fundraising for organisations and charities that support positive mental health
  • Provide a platform for organisations to raise awareness of mental health and general health care causes

In summer 2019 we were pleased to announce that we are working with three new charity partners, one for each of our sustainability focus areas:

Mental Health – Mind

Our employees nominated and voted for this charity, and we can’t wait to work with them over the next two years.

Shaping communities

Communities across our network use the railway on a daily basis; getting to work, travelling to school, family days out or visiting a friend. Our network also brings people together in more way that one. Our stations also play an active role in uniting people in local communities.

Many of our stations host local organisations or volunteer groups; providing opportunities for people to come together to improve the station environment.

There’s a great variety of projects across our route, but all are designed to benefit the community, the station and our passengers. Examples include:

  • Improving the look of a station through a gardening project
  • Adding extra colour through community artwork
  • Introducing a book swap
  • Community rail partnerships
Community Rail Partnerships

Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs) are not-for-profit organisations that connect the railway with the communities they serve. They were initially set up to encourage people to use their railways, especially during off-peak times.

Today, CRPs works closely with train operators across the country, developing stations and supporting local economies.

We’re proud to provide support and core funding for 8 Community Rail Partnerships across Great Northern, Southern, and Thameslink.

We support our teams in their own fundraising efforts for causes they are passionate about. Taking part in major marathons, cycle rides, charity football matches, bake-offs and skydives are just some of the ways we’ve raised money.

Discover our local initiatives of corporate social responsibility, to benefit communities across our network by visiting the official sites for our companies:


Our commitment to a sustainable future

As a company, we are committed to taking environment and energy concerns into account in all our decisions. As we work towards minimising the environmental impact of our business, we’re guided by our Environment Energy Policy.

Our commitment hasn’t gone unnoticed – our efforts continue to earn us recognition for the improvements we are making.

  • Continued recommendation for Certification to ISO14001, the international standard for environmental management
  • Continued recommendation for Certification to ISO 50001, the international standard for energy management
  • Certified to ISO 55001, the international standard for asset management

If you have any suggestions for how we can further reduce our environmental impacts, email the Environment Team.

Related resources
Environment & Energy Policy PDF • 261.4 KB

Education & Skills

As part of our commitment to building thriving communities across our network, we are publishing our Education & Skills Impact Report. This provides an overview of our skills and employability initiatives and shows how we are seeking to attract people to the railway who may not have otherwise considered it, creating a broader pool of talent, and making us more diverse in our recruitment. These employability schemes have made a real difference for our communities.

Related resources
Education & Skills Impact Report PDF • 1.2 MB

Social Value

In GTR’s latest report, Measuring the impact of GTR’s social value, 2023, we describe how many of the initiatives described on these pages benefit passengers, communities and colleagues. We match qualitative insights and data with estimates of the monetary impact of the projects generated by the Rail Social Value Tool. Projects with the largest measured impact tend to be those most closely related to core business activities, such as providing assistance or the apprenticeships we run. We will continue to work with colleagues and partners to consider and measure social value in future projects

Related resources
Social Value Report PDF • 6.6 MB