More sustainability success for Metro Trains Melbourne

17 Aug 2020, Andrew Nelson

Metro Trains Melbourne has been awarded an ‘excellent’ rating by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA), in what is a major achievement for the rail operator.

ISCA’s rating system measures and rewards sustainability performance based on 15 categories, including climate change adaptation, energy and carbon, ecology, procurement and innovation.

In 2018, Metro became the first rail operator globally to be recognised with an Operations Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating.

This month, ISCA delivered the news that Metro’s IS rating had been elevated to ‘excellent’ following improvements across a number of key sustainability categories.

Most notably this year, Metro saw significant improvements in the categories of innovation, waste management, and climate change adaptation.

Metro has been working hard to achieve its sustainability goals through the roll out and delivery of key projects and initiatives, including:

  • reducing water consumption across the rail network by 35 per cent when compared to the previous year, and conducting an audit of high-usage sites;
  • installing LED lighting on Comeng train units and retrofitting LED lighting at train maintenance depots;
  • a trial of 190 composite railway sleepers comprised of 85 per cent recycled plastic at Richmond Station;
  • ensuring old timber railway sleepers and ballast are diverted from landfill;
  • protecting threatened flora and fauna through a dedicated Biodiversity Management Plan, which includes managing the habitat for the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot;
  • completing a network operations climate change risk and adaptation assessment and;
  • accessibility initiatives including the roll-out of wayfinding beacon technology, mechanical wheelchair pushers, and Assistance Animal Relief Areas to Metro’s busiest stations.

Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said the new rating is a testament to the operator’s on-going efforts to deliver a more sustainable network for a growing Melbourne.

“We’re incredibly proud of the innovation drive we’re seeing across our business to ensure we play our part in the sustainability of public transport in Melbourne.”

“Our teams are doing great work to drive down our water and energy use, adapt to the challenges of climate change, and preserve and protect natural environments that are touched by our rail network.”

“We have a lot more work to do but we’re getting on with it, and Metro Trains Melbourne is very pleased to be recognised by ISCA in this way.”

In 2019, Metro delivered its first Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report outlining the operator’s key social, environmental and economic objectives.

Metro is working closely with the Victorian Department of Transport to align on energy and carbon reduction objectives, partner on opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the efficiency of rail operations.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Metro moved an average of 800,000 people every day on a network spanning more than 1,000 kilometres of track and 222 stations.

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