Rail is the most environmentally-friendly transport mode and with our members UNIFE is hard at work to make rail even greener and encourage a modal shift to rail
A considerable challenge
Environmental issues receive increased attention of policy makers at both national and European levels. To achieve the ambitious objective of a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions in the transport sector by 2050 set out in the 2011 Transport White Paper, the European transport system must undergo step changes. For instance, it has to use less and cleaner energy and make efforts to reduce its negative impact on the environment and key natural assets. The railway sector can significantly contribute to this effort through cutting-edge low-carbon solutions that tackle climate change and urbanisation-related challenges.
A commitment to sustainable mobility
Sustainability, particularly in its environmental dimension, has always been considered a key value of the European rail industry. UNIFE’s strategy is to enable the sustainable growth of mobility both in developed and developing countries, with rail as the backbone of an intermodal transport system in a context where urbanisation must go hand in hand with sustainable development goals. The rail sector has fully demonstrated its ability to accommodate both imperatives.
Furthermore, the rail supply industry is fully aware of its responsibilities to comply with European legislation and to provide ever more resource-efficient products to its customers. Although rail technologies are already 3 to 4 times cleaner than road or air transport in terms of CO2 emissions, efforts need to be intensified to tackle climate change in the upcoming decades. The rail supply industry is therefore committed to further progress over the whole life cycle of our products – from production to operation to end of life – such as emissions reduction, increases in energy efficiency and material recyclability, and noise and vibrations reduction, among others.
Environment activities at UNIFE
UNIFE has put into place an organisational system to proactively respond to rising environmental concerns, adapt to EU legislation and contribute to the adaptation or the creation of new standards.
The Sustainable Transport Committee (STC)
A wide range of sustainability-related topics are addressed by the UNIFE Sustainable Transport Committee (STC), which has been the platform for exchanging and defining common positions on UNIFE’s environmental sustainability activities since 1999. The STC works in close cooperation with the Public Affairs Unit on a number of key issues such as the EU 2030 Climate and Energy Framework or climate change adaptation.
More details on the work of the STC can be found here.
Technical activities are handled by UNIFE Topical Groups. Groups that focus on environmental matters are:
- Life Cycle Assessment TG
- Chemical Risk TG
- Energy Efficiency TG
- Diesel TG
More details on the work of the Topical Groups can be found here.
More information on UNIFE’s environment-related activities can be found in the UNIFE's Key Messages for COP21 and On Track to a Greener Transport Future brochures.
For more information, please contact:
Public Affairs Manager
+32 2 431 04 60