Reducing Wabtec's Environmental Footprint
April 19, 2023
Wabtec is an innovator that has transformed the industries it serves for more than 150 years. While the company’s goal is to create a zero-emissions rail future, Wabtec also is deeply invested in reducing its own environmental footprint.
Wabtec has more than 100 sites around the world, and the company is intent on creating a positive impact across its operations. Wabtec’s focus ranges from reducing waste generation to increasing water-use efficiency to developing a sustainable and resilient infrastructure that supports economic development and well-being.
“Aligning our near-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal with climate science and the Paris Agreement demonstrates the company’s commitment to continuous improvement along our sustainability journey,” said Lilian Leroux, Wabtec’s Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer. “This includes taking strong actions internally and leading by example to reduce our own environmental footprint, reduce emissions, improve energy and resource efficiency, and protect water-scarce areas. These actions are part of Wabtec’s long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship.”
In Wabtec’s 2022 sustainability report, the company set new, absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) goals. Wabtec is targeting a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, as compared to the 2019 baseline.
Wabtec is making progress toward its operational greenhouse gas (GHG) and energy targets. The company’s operations achieved a 20% reduction in GHG intensity and a 14% reduction in energy intensity since 2019.
One of Wabtec’s initiatives to reduce GHG emissions is using solar. Wabtec generated 1,233,000 kWh of electricity through several onsite solar installations around the world. That is the equivalent of powering 115 homes with clean energy for an entire year.
Solar was not the only way Wabtec reduced GHG. A great example of the company’s innovative approach to emissions reduction is at its site in Erie, Pennsylvania. A large, centralized boiler provided steam for both comfort heating and some limited process uses. The site team evaluated alternative process heating systems and other process changes to avoid centralized steam usage. These solutions have been funded for implementation and will allow for the large boilers to be shut down for the summer months, saving more than 7,500 metric tons of CO2 each year – the equivalent of removing emissions from 1,669 car per year.
Some Wabtec facilities have taken an extra step by implementing a more structured approach to energy conservation and becoming certified to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) energy management standard, ISO 50001. Following this framework requires the site to have an energy efficiency policy, commitment from site leadership, and a site team that uses data to measure progress, regularly reviewing and working on continuous improvement. Wabtec has six facilities located in Germany, India, and Italy that are certified. The company is planning to expand to additional locations in the future.
Water conservation also is critical to some Wabtec sites and the communities in which they operate. Across its footprint, Wabtec aims to reduce both the use of water and the impacts of our operations on water quality. The target for water usage in Wabtec operations is a 30% reduction in consumption by 2030 from a 2019 baseline.
Using the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Global Water Risk Tool, Wabtec analyzed its operations to assess water stress, impact from climate change, and flood risk. Nowhere is water scarcity felt stronger than among Wabtec’s facilities in India, where groundwater resources have been depleted due to intensive farming. The Hosur and Marhorwa facilities implemented rainwater harvesting systems to collect and recharge water.
“While we have made a lot of progress reducing the impact of our footprint on the environment, establishing responsible, sustainable operations is a journey and there always is more work to be done,” said Leroux. “By focusing on sustainability and accountability, Wabtec will continuously shrink its environmental footprint for the benefit of our customers, employees, shareholders, and community at large.”
For more information on Wabtec’s efforts to drive responsible operations, visit the company’s 2022 Sustainability Report.