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UITP Releases Sustainability Report

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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The International Association of Public Transports (UITP) on Jan. 23 released a new report, “The Road to Sustainability: Transition to Renewable Energy in Public Transport,” providing guidance on how public transport undertakings can “achieve a successful energy transition to their decarbonization goals, including examples of best practices across the globe.”

According to UITP, the report covers energy use in today’s public transport, decarbonization of mobility and the role of public transport, the challenges and perspectives on differing energy market segments to the schemes available, and setting up the energy transition and assessing the impacts.

To “maintain this leadership role and its share of the burden of reducing emissions,” the sector, UITP says, is currently decarbonizing its activities by transitioning to renewable energy sources, including electrification of vehicle fleets (buses, boats, shared cars and trains) and investing in fleets powered by other alternative energy sources, such as hydrogen or biofuels.

According to the report, for the sector to achieve this transformation and meet its decarbonization objectives, it must “invest both in new green fleets and ensure that they have access to green and renewable sources of energy.”

“This report gathers a year’s worth of work between the UITP Sustainable Development Committee and other UITP members who kindly contributed to our working group,” said Elisabetta Tromellini, Head of CSR–Sustainability at FNM S.P.A and Chair of the Sustainable Development Committee. “Over the course of 2022, the energy topic grew in importance for many, and I believe the hard work all our contributors put in this report should support the sector in facing the energy and climate crisis.”

According to the report, the energy transition of society will be one of the challenges to overcome in the upcoming years to achieve climate objectives by any public transport stakeholders in striving for CO2 benefits. While the transition towards alternative fuel technologies is ongoing in the public transport sector, UITP says, renewable energy supplies is currently “not as well covered in energy transition strategies.”

“The energy supply for existing fleets and other public transport assets must not be ignored by any public transport stakeholders in striving for CO2 benefits,” UITP said, adding that “renewable energies supply will differ from one context to another, which is why it is important to understand the legal context and local energy markets.” Working in cooperation with an energy provider/developer, municipalities and other energy consumers facilitates the deployment of new renewable electricity assets and a supply of renewable fuels, UITP adds.

“The transition to renewable energy is an outstanding opportunity for the public transport sector to reaffirm its leadership position as a provider of sustainable mobility,” said UITP Sustainable Development Committee Manager Arthur Cormier. “Across all assets, the energy transition only strengthens benefits of public transport and should be on the agenda of all stakeholders in the sector.”

In addition to decarbonization benefits, the energy transition and shift to renewable energy supplies have other strong added values in terms of operations, public transport users, citizens and cities, according to the UITP report. “Emphasizing this can be key to finance the energy transition, get public approbation and ultimately, improve the image and strengthen the benefits of public transport within our societies.”


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