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First Bus becomes the first UK bus operator to achieve Inclusive Employer status

First Bus is the UK’s first bus operator to be awarded Bronze status by Inclusive Employers.

The Inclusive Employer’s Standard (IES) is an evidence-based workplace accreditation tool, which measures inclusion and diversity within an organisation and assesses where they are on their Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) journey.

To gain this accreditation, First Bus answered 35 questions that covered all the protected characteristics and wider EDI themes – providing over 250 pieces of evidence and over 10,000 words outlining its commitment to inclusion and diversity. The questions were divided into six pillars – Engage, Equip, Empower, Embed, Evaluate and Evolve.

Achieving Bronze accreditation is a huge milestone for the business and recognises its continued commitment to embedding EDI initiatives as part of its wider transformation journey.

Inclusive Employers were particularly impressed by First Bus' range of inclusion activities and variety of approaches to increasing involvement and engagement, praising its dedication to creating a place where everyone is welcome and able to thrive.


Kevin Green, First Bus Chief People Officer, said: “What we’ve achieved throughout our transformation journey over the past couple of years is incredible, and it’s thanks to the hard work and commitment of everyone at First Bus.

“We’re incredibly proud of this achievement, but recognise we’ve still got lots to do on our journey to being a place where everyone feels welcome, can be their true selves and succeed.

“The report from Inclusive Employers will support us to drive further positive change in the EDI space and we are looking forward to progressing future plans.”

Emily Pattinson, Senior Inclusive Employers Standard Programme Lead, said: “By having such an inclusive purpose and strategic approach, it demonstrates First Bus’ true commitment to ensuring that EDI is centric to its organisation.

“Achieving this Bronze may only be the start of the journey, but it is an acknowledgement of strong inclusive foundations that will only lead to even stronger work in the future.”


Notes to editors

About First Bus  

At First Bus, we are on a mission to grow bus usage. We will get behind initiatives that move people out of cars and onto bus. ​  

We are one of the UK’s largest bus operators, delivering over a million passenger journeys every week for the communities we serve.   

Transforming our business for the better, we are putting our people and customers at the heart of all we do.   

We are all about making journeys easier for our customers, which is why we were the first national bus operator to rollout Tap On, Tap Off payment technology across our entire UK fleet of 4500 buses. Our First Bus app has also been voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators.   

First Bus is committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035. By March 2024, 15% of our will fleet will comprise Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs).   

We are passionate about giving back to the communities we serve, which is why we are helping local businesses to progress their own decarbonisation journeys with access to our charging hubs while our buses are on the road.  

We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland, Specialist Passenger Solutions, First Travel Solutions, York Pullman Bus Company and Ensignbus.   

First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.     

Find more information on First Bus here: https://news.firstbus.co.uk/