To become the world’s largest green railway network, Indian Railways is now moving towards “net-zero carbon emission” before the year 2030. The national transporter, In a statement on World Environment Day 2021, had stated that the railways is moving towards a complete green restart.
At a time when the world is reeling from the global problem of environmental degradation and climate change, it is pertinent now, more than ever to aggressively work towards Sustainable Development.
Building on this crucial idea of “Going Green”, the Indian Railways is looking at helping the environment with steps ranging from massive electrification, water & paper conservation, to saving animals from being injured on Railway tracks, and most importantly – the ambitious goal of achieving “net-zero carbon emission” by 2030.
From DFCs to Bio-Toilets, the Indian Railways undertook some major steps to move towards sustainable development, such as:
The Railways has adopted modern measures such as Head-On-Generation systems, Bio-Toilets and LED lights, automatic coach washing plants, and water conservation.
Currently, the Railways is developing Dedicated Freight Corridors (Eastern DFC and Western DFC) in the form of a low carbon green transportation network with a long-term low carbon roadmap. These environment corridors will allow railways to adopt more energy-efficient as well as carbon-friendly processes, practices and technologies.
*Green Restart: Certifications and Protocols*
In a big boost towards Green Certifications and implementation of Environment Management System, the Indian Railways, back in July 2016 signed an MoU with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the facilitation of Green initiatives on the Indian Railways network.
Under this, 39 Workshops, 7 Production Units, 8 Loco Sheds and one Stores depot have been ‘GreenCo’ certified. These also include 2 Platinum, 15 Gold and 18 Silver ratings
In order to harness the extreme potential of Renewable energy, the railways have built solar-powered stations to contribute towards environmental protection.
“Green certifications” are allotted to stations that are constructed keeping in mind the sustainable development goals such as, energy conservation measures, use of renewable energy, Green House Gas emission reduction, etc.
So far, 19 stations have been given Green Certification including three Platinum, six Gold and six Silver ratings.
Indian Railways has also incorporated Climate Change features in its risk assessments and disaster management protocols.
*Environment Sustainability Report*
The objective of “World’s Largest Green Railways” can be drawn from The Environment Sustainability Report published by Indian Railways each year. The report sets up a framework document defining strategies and focus points in the context of climate change, the issues at stake, and steps for dealing with them.
The report helps Indian Railways to support government commitments such as the Paris agreement on climate change, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and National Disaster Management Plans.
India is on the right track when it comes to working towards Green Restart, and the Indian Railways is working in mission mode to achieve this goal with an aim to become a “net-zero carbon emitter” before 2030.