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Hitachi Sustainability

16 November 2021

A Little Less Conversation: Six Ways We’ve Taken Action on Climate for COP26

It’s has been a long road to get to COP26, but now is the moment where our hopes and expectations for the future of our planet get set into commitments and declarations.

The appetite for change is clear, and as we’ve stood alongside the governments, businesses and charities sharing ideas and making action plans for the future, we’ve been proud to be a Principal Partner of an event we believe history will remember.

Much of the COP has focused on the need for less talking, and more action. It’s easy to make a statement – what we really need to do now is make a difference.

At Hitachi we believe that if you want to be a social innovation business in 2021 you have to be a climate change innovation business. It’s why we decided to become a Principal Partner of COP26 in the first place, and it’s also why this is not the end of the road for our own efforts in tackling climate change.


Here are six actions we’ve taken to ensure that when it comes to COP26 we both stand and deliver:

We launched the world’s first zero carbon powered film

Pushing the boundaries of what’s possible is critical if we’re going to pioneer effective ways to reach net zero carbon. The film, narrated by Sir Sam Mendes, is set on a beach at night and shows a group of cyclists who use pedal power to light up a connected projector showing a Hitachi battery train thundering past. The projection reveals all the low-carbon transport options Hitachi has developed so far. Better still, the film itself was also powered entirely by cyclists and a solar-powered generator.


We’re kickstarting First Bus’s decarbonisation programme with 148 electric buses over the next 18 months

As strategic partner for the decarbonisation programme at First Bus’s flagship Caledonia bus depot in Glasgow, we’re helping to deliver an ‘as a service’ offering including bus batteries for First Glasgow’s electric vehicle (EV) fleet and smart charging software as part of a wider exploration of low carbon energy opportunities, with a view to First Bus eventually being able to generate and use its own electricity.


We’ve also partnered with ScotRail, Arrival and the City of Florence to deliver cleaner transport

Battery-powered trams, electric buses and an electric train between Glasgow and Edinburgh – there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are many ways to innovate for the better. We always look at the bigger picture when we partner with businesses and local government to help power the transition to net zero.


Our engineers took on some tough questions on transport from Glasgow’s schoolchildren

“Can we put solar panels on buses to make them move?” “What about building an underwater electric car with disco lights?” We let Glasgow’s schoolchildren grill our engineers and stretch their imaginations about the future. After all, they’ll be the engineers innovating in the future.


We collaborated with Royal Mail to help reduce air pollution and improve air quality

One of the key goals of COP26 is to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. Optimise Prime is the world’s largest commercial electric vehicle trial with over 3,000 EVs taking part and project partner Royal Mail has the largest fleet of vans across the UK, with over 38,000 vehicles. Together, we’re taking a data-led approach to understanding how flexible a fleet like Royal Mail’s can be in charging from the grid, alleviating pressure on the system and saving money on new infrastructure.


We became global alliance members of The Earthshot Prize

Taken from President John F Kennedy’s famous quote about a Moonshot of effort to put a man on the moon, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, launched The Earthshot Prize this year to unite innovators and entrepreneurs in a great endeavour to tackle climate change. We’re proud to be a global alliance member and a contributor to the prize fund that can accelerate the winning Earthshot solutions.


Our original company mission set in 1910 was to “contribute to society through the development of superior, original technology and products”. In simple terms, we want to power good in the world. Today, that means harnessing our expertise and experience to tackle climate change. Moving forward from COP26, we’re not just standing on our promises. We’re delivering.

Visit the Hitachi social innovation website and YouTube channels at the links below to find out more about each of these of stories:

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