Information published on 14 May 2009 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 142.

UIC Sustainability Platform: 7th meeting held in Paris

  • Environment
  • Sustainable development

On May 12th the UIC Environment, Energy and Sustainability (EES) Platform held its 7th meeting at UIC Headquarters in Paris.

The meeting was opened by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, the new Director General of UIC, who emphasised the importance of Sustainability as one of the outstanding assets of the railways in competition with other modes and the further development of the railway system worldwide. He stressed that the concept of Sustainability definitively has to include beside environmental issues a series of important challenges as the social role of railways, the impact on economy, etc. In the new organisation chart he prepared for UIC Headquarters, Sustainable Development will be part of an important Department dedicated to ‘Fundamental Values’ serving the society as a whole.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux also referred to the message recently delivered by the new UIC Chairman Yoshio Ishida, Vice Chairman of JR East (a railway company with an ambitious strategy in the sustainability field). At the latest UIC General Assembly meeting Mr Yoshio Ishida highlighted that UIC must help exploit the effectiveness of the railways in helping to overcome current global environmental problems.

Joachim Kettner, Deutsche Bahn AG, Chairman of the UIC EES Platform, appreciated this statement on general orientations and expressed the importance of the role of UIC as facilitator for know-how sharing between UIC members worldwide. But he also underlined the necessity to find a good balance between the needs of the different regions of the world in this field.

Henning Schwarz, UIC Team Coordinator Environment and Sustainability at UIC, presented the first draft of the UIC Environment & Sustainability Strategy 2030, which will be further developed during the year and is foreseen for adoption by the platform on the next meeting on 22nd of October. The scope of this first version of the strategy will focus on Europe, but it is foreseen to be embedded into the global strategy of UIC at a later stage.

The “Train to Copenhagen” communication campaign towards the United Nations climate change conference which will take place 7-18 December 2009 in Copenhagen (COP 15) was presented by Margrethe Sagevik, UIC Senior Advisor Sustainable Development. The project provides an international campaigning framework to convey messages about “the climate is right for rail”, and that “rail is a part of the solution” for combating the CO2-emissions from the transport sector.

In the afternoon a special session was dedicated to railway infrastructure related environmental issues. Willy Bontinck from SNCB presented the draft methodology for the management of non-traction energy consumption (stations, workshops, buildings etc.) and Marco Gianettoni, NITEL together with Raul Carlsson, eco2win presented the EU-funded Infraguider project, which will develop within the next two years a guideline for the efficient handling of infrastructure related environmental aspects, similar to the UIC leaflet 345 for rolling stock.

Matthew Ledbury, CER updated the audience on the latest developments on environment related regulations in Brussels. He mentioned in particular the Climate Change Package and its implication for the railway sector and the Eurovignette Directive.

The UIC EES Platform is the ‘crossroad’ of all projects and activities related to environment energy and sustainability. The working bodies of the Platform are the following 5 Expert Networks:
• Sustainable Mobility (speaker Margrethe Sagevik, UIC)
• Noise reduction (speaker Matthias Mather, DB)
• Emissions reduction (speaker Willy Bontinck, SNCB)
• Polluted soils and remediation (speaker Harold Resida, NS)
• Energy Efficiency & CO2 (speaker Henning Schwarz, UIC)

During the meeting the network speakers presented the 2009 and foreseen 2010 projects and budget report, with focus on the development of railways strategies for sustainable development and technical support to our members. This included among others Energy, CO2, Noise and Emission reduction strategies as well as the further development of the UIC EcoTools (EcoPassenger and EcoTransIT) and adaptation of rail infrastructure to climate change (UIC project ARISCC).

Finally, Henning Schwarz informed about the Energy Efficiency Days 2009 Conference from 23-26 September in Tours, France. This unique conference includes the mid-term conference of the EU-funded Railenergy project, the 4th UIC Energy Efficiency Conference and the final conference of the TRAINER project on eco-driving. The Energy Efficiency Days 2009 are co-organised by UIC and SNCF. For further information and registration please visit www.energy-efficiency-days.org.

The next meeting of the EES platform will take place on 22nd of October 2009 at UIC in Paris.

For more information please contact Henning Schwarz, UIC Team Coordinator Environment & Sustainability schwarz@uic.org