Heathrow Express showcases its sustainability initiatives in a new campaign

Posted on in Members' News

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UK: Heathrow Express has marked the 20th anniversary of sustainable service with a 36-metre long poster campaign created using some of the tons of rubbish left on its trains every year, telling the company’s sustainability story over the past two decades. The posters run along the breadth of the Heathrow Express walkway at Terminal 2.

Cups, plastic bottles and free newspapers found on Heathrow Express trains have been upcycled into mini works of art by award-winning illustrator and paper sculptor Rebecca Sutherland and photographed for the posters. Hundreds of thousands of travellers using the ‘Plane-to-Paddington at Heathrow’ service will now see the company’s sustainability achievements such as how the number of female drivers exceeds the industry average, how none of its waste goes to landfill, the fact that their fleet of trains are all-electric and that children travel for free.

One of the posters, highlighting the 500 hours of community work Heathrow Express has given, features a typically British plate of fish and chips crafted as a clever piece of up-cycled origami. Bottle tops have been repurposed as salt and pepper, a ring-pull used for the fish eye and there is a paper-folded knife and fork. Another, illustrating how the train service has helped youngsters find jobs, comprises a collage of tiny silhouettes and figures cut from newspaper pages, showing people at work.

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The campaign, which has been devised by brand purpose consultancy Given London, reflects the growing importance of sustainable travel amongst consumers – a reality increasingly recognised by travel providers. Hotel booking platform Booking.com’s 2017 Sustainable Travel Report found that 67 percent of travellers would be willing to spend more on travel options which were more sustainable and TUI has found that its sustainability certified hotels result in better client experiences.

Chris Crauford, Head of Commercial at Heathrow Express said: “We felt it was time we were more vocal and confident in our sustainability credentials and this has been our most ambitious attempt yet to engage passengers in them. Increasingly consumers are committing to more sustainable approaches to travel and are interrogating brand’s individual approaches. We think many people will be surprised about how conscious we are in our operations – from the waste we recycle to our gender diversity commitments.”

Heathrow Express’ sustainability strategy supports the Heathrow 2.0 strategy for sustainable growth. Each of the themes in the posters feed into the four pillars of Heathrow’s wider sustainability ambitions - being a great place to work, a great place to live, a world worth travelling and a thriving, sustainable economy.

The upcycled sculptures were created by illustrator and paper sculptor Rebecca Sutherland. Sutherland said: “My thinking was to create things that touched that sweet spot between being seen as refuse and a visually stunning image. It’s strange to say, but when I was clearing up from the project, I had around 15 cups left over. It seemed strange to throw them in the bin. They had been a resource all week. They had been as valuable as my pencil or my scissors.”

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