Sustainability reporting - Second timeframe

Project information

  • Acronym: SUSTREP/330
  • Sustainability reporting - Second timeframe
  • Sector: Sustainability
  • Project start date: 01/01/2024
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Project director: Lucie Anderton
  • Project manager: Philippe Stefanos
  • Status: ongoing project
  • Project code: 2024/SUS/831

Project description

In the global push for sustainable transport, the railway sector needs harmonized Key Performance Indicators to demonstrate its sustainability. The initial UIC Sustainability Reporting project (P644-2020) was launched to update environmental performance indicators in five fields: Energy, CO2, Noise, Land use, and Air pollutants.

This new phase will continue this work, focusing on harmonizing emission factors and gathering best practices in sustainability reporting indicators for railways. The goal is to create an International Railway Solution (IRS) 30330, which will guide UIC members in reporting their sustainability efforts and contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A comparison is needed between the draft IRS 30330 and the draft ESRS. It’s clear that normalisation against transport service volumes (passenger km or tonne km) is not yet present in the sector-agnostic ESRS. There are also structural and technical differences, such as ESRS’s measures on noise production and impact, while the IRS 30330 considers noise reduction measures.

The harmonized reporting will make it easier for institutions, including UIC, to use aggregated values to advocate for rail. This will ensure that the railway sector can effectively demonstrate its sustainability and compete with the well-coordinated road and aviation industries.

Project objectives

The project aims to align the new IRS 30330 with the upcoming CSRD, preparing a standard for rail reporting and an exchange framework (XBRL) in line with the ESRS. The proposal is for EFRAG to use the IRS 30330 as a basis for the transport sector standard of the ESRS. This would harmonize data reported by European members under the CSRD, easing reporting to other institutions. For non-EU members, the correspondence with IFRS and GRI will be documented and recognisable.

The first phase of the project created "Transport Activity Clusters" (TAC) to make a transport sector’s activity comparable to similar sectors. For consistency, EN16528 and ISO 14083 were considered with CSRD, for both transport sector companies and other companies reporting on transport emissions.

The new IRS 30330 will guide materiality assessments and approximations for rail within the ESRS’s transport sector standard. It will guide both EU and non-EU rail companies on how to use the ESRS XBRL for reporting to institutions (and UIC).

The next steps require collaboration between the working group (WG) members, EFRAG, and EIM. Risks of not completing the project include maintaining differences between ESRS and IRS30330 drafts, lack of impact of railway sector communication due to data reporting inconsistency, and wasted time for each railway actor producing data. The benefits of alignment include increasing the impact of communication and advocacy of the railway sector, enabling the use of an updated set of sustainability KPIs, and enabling UIC members to accurately assess their environmental footprint.

Project structure

The initial step involves gathering existing knowledge and reviewing current methodologies for KPIs, including emission factors. These methodologies will be compared to current techniques to evaluate potential improvements for KPI accuracy and reporting consistency. The results of this study will be compiled into a report, serving as a foundation for the next deliverable.

The next phase involves developing a comprehensive set of KPIs, backed by a robust methodology, to serve as a new reporting standard for members. This could result in a new IRS or guideline document. This work, done in conjunction with an improved UIC data collection trial, will provide members with an internal reporting guideline and ensure data comparability. Collaboration with EFRAG, the European Commission, GRI, and UITP will ensure methodology compliance.

Project members

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Friday 31 May 2024