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UIC Sustainability Awards

Wednesday 25 April 2012, by Aymeric Boniou

Indian Railways, ÖBB, Eress and TRENITALIA receive awards.

The third edition of the UIC Sustainability Awards was held on 26th October at the 12th UIC Sustainability Conference, organised jointly by the International Union of Railways (UIC) and Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane. Awards were given in four categories: Sustainable Mobility, Energy and CO2, Sustainable Land Use and the Jury’s Special Prize. The winners and highly-commended projects were as follows:

Sustainable Mobility Category Winner:

TRENITALIA: Integrated Sustainable Mobility

This initiative combines three innovative projects: Combined rail tickets and electric vehicle rentals; discounts for regular rail customers for high quality folding bicycles; and a train and car share initiative. These projects were developed to attract customers to rail while improving the sustainability of the door-to-door journey.

Sustainable Land Use Category Winner:

ÖBB Green Paper: Landscape sensitivity and potential of conflicts along the Austrian railway network

This ambitious project assessed the biodiversity characteristics of Austrian railway infrastructure and highlighted areas of particular sensitivity and conflict. The project created an interactive mapping tool to better plan future infrastructure works with a minmum of environmental impact and to help promote and enhance biodiversity.

Energy and CO2 Category Winner:

Eress Partnership: Erex sustainable railway energy system

Erex is a project that helps infrastructure managers and train operators reduce energy consumption, and CO2 emissions and save money by providing exact energy consumption data. The Erex system was developed by a non-profit organization, Eress, jointly owned by its partners, Infrabel, Banedanmark, Jernbaneverket and Trafikverket.

Jury’s Special Prize:

Indian Railways: Improving Energy Efficiency in Railways by Leveraging Clean Development Mechanism

This project improved the energy efficiency of lighting in railway residential quarters in India. In total 1.41 million new low-energy light bulbs were installed. As well as delivering energy and CO2 savings, the project successfully leveraged the Clean Development Mechanism to support the project (the CDM is a global environmental investment and credit scheme developed by the United Nations).

UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said:
“The UIC Sustainability Awards showcase some of the best initiatives to promote sustainable development in the railway sector. The winners represent the diversity of the topic, ranging from biodiversity protection, multi-modal connections, energy management and a project that leverages international climate financing. This was a highly competitive process with excellent candidates and we congratulate all the entrants for their dedication to improve sustainability.”

Background to the Awards

The UIC Sustainability Awards were introduced at the 10th UIC Sustainability Conference, which was held in London in September 2008. The aim of the Awards is to put the spotlight on and reward excellence to ground breaking projects and the significant efforts made within the rail sector to continuously improve its sustainability performance.

Highly Commended

In addition to the Winners, several projects received a Highly Commended certificate for excellent contributions to sustainable development in the railway sector. These were:

  • Highly Commended: SusStations Partnership for SusStations – Supporting Sustainable Stations
  • Highly Commended: Norfolk Community Rail Partnership Mobile Phone App
  • Highly Commended: SBSN (Dutch Railways Remediation Foundation) Green on-site soil remediation
  • Highly Commended: Italferr S.p.a. (Italian rail infrastructure manager) - Carbon Footprint in the design and construction phases
  • Highly Commended: JBV (Norwegian rail infrastructure manager) – LCA Methodology for Railway Infrastructure - the Follo Line

For more information on the Winners and the Highly Commended entries please see www.uic.org/environment

Cleaner Development Mechanism
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), defined in Article 12 of the Protocol, allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets.

The mechanism is seen by many as a trailblazer. It is the first global, environmental investment and credit scheme of its kind, providing a standardized emissions offset instrument, CERs. A CDM project activity might involve, for example, a rural electrification project using solar panels or the installation of more energy-efficient boilers. The mechanism stimulates sustainable development and emission reductions, while giving industrialized countries some flexibility in how they meet their emission reduction or limitation targets.

For more information see: