Case study Getlink

EcoAct conducts a climate risk assessment for Getlink

Getlink manages and operates the infrastructure of the Channel Tunnel between England and France. Because of its activity and geographical position, it may face many challenges and changes on climate in the years to come. EcoAct worked with Getlink to conduct a climate risk assessment of their activities.

The challenge

The European Union and the UK are implementing climate policies, aiming at carbon neutrality or net-zero by 2050. This includes new legislation and high carbon prices in new sectors, such as transport and shipping, which directly impact Getlink’s business. Climate change has already started to impact Western Europe, with the historical heat wave in London this summer, or heavy rainfall in Germany in 2021. Climate projections show that these climate hazards will only increase in the future.

The climate risk analysis needed to cover all activities of Getlink, namely Eurotunnel, Europorte and Eleclink, whose contexts of operations vary greatly. Climate projections were needed for France and the UK, as well as European, France and UK regulation.

Getlink had already identified climate change as a risk through its internal risk management process in previous years, but they wanted to zoom in, to pinpoint exactly what the climate-related risks would be. This would allow them to prioritise future strategic options.

In parallel, at the operational level, concerns were growing over the more frequent and intense climate events happening. Operators wanted to precisely map where damages could occur with changing climate conditions, and determine the level of impact.

Getlink is a key player in mobility infrastructures, international transport, and a leader in eco-economic activity between the UK and Continental Europe. It creates value for all its stakeholders, by bringing people, business, and culture together. Getlink employs 3,400 people around Eurotunnel (Channel Tunnel Operator), Europorte (leading private operator and reference player in rail freight in France) and Eleclink (a recent 1 GW power interconnector installed in the Channel Tunnel).

Circle sky;

EcoAct helped the Group to significantly move forward in understanding and anticipating climate-related risk and opportunity on its activities. The EcoAct team supported Getlink to evidence its resilience towards the main risks with a robust analysis specific to its territory.

Vincent Ducros, Getlink Environment Director

The solution

To answer these needs, EcoAct performed a 2-step approach:
  • An exhaustive mapping of all climate-related risks and opportunities that Getlink is exposed to.
  • Deep dives on the more material climate risks and opportunities identified in the first step.
During the mapping phase, we adapted our metrics to those of Getlink to facilitate the integration of climate-related topics within the existing risk management framework. For the deep dives on transition aspects, we reinforced existing global climate scenarios with specific sectorial studies to provide a broad overview of potential transition impacts on the international logistics flows, and on the changing comparative advantage between maritime and railway logistics. For the deep dives on physical aspects, we performed a detailed analysis on both exposure and vulnerability:
  • Regarding the exposure, EcoAct provided a 1-meter resolution flooding assessment on the French Eurotunnel area, along with monthly projections of high temperatures from different climate models to help Eurotunnel manage air-conditioning in the tunnel.
  • Regarding the vulnerability, we formalised a framework of vulnerability assessment to be filled by operators of the 100+ systems (i.e. electrical systems, air-conditioning systems, etc) present at Eurotunnel. Several workshops with the operators were conducted to collect this data.

The result

  • EcoAct identified 20 climate-related risks and opportunities and performed 5 deep dives.
  • The study identified when rail logistics would become more profitable than maritime logistics based on regulatory changes.
  • More than 100 systems of Eurotunnel were assessed for their vulnerability to seven climate hazards, which provided visibility to operators on how to better anticipate these risks.
  • A temperature sensitivity analysis was performed for the conditions within the tunnel. The monthly resolution projections EcoAct provided enabled GetLink to adapt the temperature monitoring system and better anticipate on future heat waves and associated air conditioning needs.
  • The flooding assessment with 1-meter resolution Lidar data enabled GetLink to identify critical buildings at risk from flooding events and will lead to flood-protection investments for these buildings.