Sustainability Roundup: Wabtec, WMATA

Wabtec Corp.

BNSF and Wabtec reported May 17 that their three-month pilot of a battery-electric locomotive (BEL) reduced fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an average of 11% in a revenue service train.

Wabtec said its Green Finance Framework (download below) is supported by a “second-party opinion” from Sustainalytics, a Morningstar Company and a globally recognized provider of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) research, ratings and data. It is also in line with the ICMA Green Bond Principles (GBP) 2018, and LMA and APLMA Green Loan Principles (GLP) 2018. The company reported it will use the framework to issue “green financing instruments to accelerate the development of technologies” for both the passenger and freight rail sectors.

The proceeds raised from green financing will be allocated to clean transportation; eco-efficient and/or circular economy adapted products, production technologies and processes; renewable energy; pollution prevention and control; and energy efficiency, according to Wabtec. The company will report annually on its green asset portfolio.

Norfolk Southern and Trinity Industries Leasing Co. also recently developed and published new frameworks.

WMATA

WMATA’s projected $874 million green bond offer, approved by the Board of Directors, will be used to fund capital projects “in support of the agency’s Energy Action Plan to reduce energy consumption and improve efficiencies.”

Over the next six years, WMATA reported it will make capital investments in its fleet, traction power and infrastructure. These include: traction power upgrades to support additional eight-car trains; fare collection modernization; zero-emission bus system upgrades; and bus facility upgrades, including Bladensburg and Northern, which are expected to meet LEED green building standards.

The bond offering, verified by Kestrel Verifiers against the Climate Bonds Standard, “ensures the proceeds are used exclusively to fund projects with material environmental benefits,” WMATA said.

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