Improvement of the energy performance of industrial railway sites

The energy performance of industrial rail sites is now a priority for Alstom which is taking action to reduce the energy consumption of its production sites.

Main project's drivers for reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

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Energy and resource efficiency

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Energy Decarbonisation

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Energy efficiency improvements

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Improving efficiency in non-energy resources

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Emission removal

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Financing low-carbon issuers or disinvestment from carbon assets

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Reduction of other greenhouse gases emission

Project objectives

Improving the energy performance of the industrial sites operated by Alstom France, in particular by implementing a thermal renovation plan for buildings (industrial roofs, HQE tertiary buildings) and an energy savings plan.

Detailed project description

Rail transport has many environmental advantages. However, there is still room for improvement, particularly in terms of the energy performance of industrial facilities, for at least three reasons:

  1. The age of the railway industrial sites, most of which were built at the beginning of the 20th century (e.g.: creation of the Aytré site in 1920);
  2. Very large sites linked to the size of the products (e.g.: ~31,000 m2 of buildings for the Tarbes production site);
  3. Duration of the return on energy performance investments (~10 years) much higher than the industrial load visibility

Alstom France is taking actions to reduce its energy consumption in order to limit the carbon impact of the manufacturing process and to have a better allocation and management of resources.

These actions are implemented throughout the country, for instance:

  • Alstom site in La Rochelle: Alstom is one of the founding partners of the carbon cooperative in La Rochelle, which is part of the “La Rochelle, Zero-Carbon Territory) in 2040”, launched in 2018 and bringing together initiatives aimed at drastically reducing the agglomeration’s CO2 emissions. Alstom is participating in the achievement of this objective by reducing its site’s carbon emissions and by participating in projects to design MaaS (Mobility as a Service) transportation projects;
  • Deployment of LED lighting on all French sites (2018/2020);
  • Installation of solar panels for the production of renewable electricity at the Tarbes site (2010)

Between 2014 and 2020, Alstom’s goal was to reduce its energy intensity by 10%. The objective was reached in 2020 with an energy intensity decreased by 17.6% compared to 2014.

In order to reduce CO2 emissions linked to the energy consumption of its industrial sites, Alstom aims to obtain 100% of its electricity supply from renewable energies (self-consumption with photovoltaic panels + certificates) on its French industrial sites.

Emission scope(s)

on which the project has a significant impact

Scope 1

Direct emissions generated by the company's activity.

Scope 2

Indirect emissions associated with the company's electricity and heat consumption.

Scope 3

Emissions induced (upstream or downstream) by the company's activities, products and/or services in its value chain.

Emission Removal

Carbon sinks creation, (BECCS, CCU/S, …)

Avoided Emissions

Emissions avoided by the activities, products and/or services in charge of the project, or by the financing of emission reduction projects.

Scope 1 – Thermal renovation of buildings  :

  • Quantification :  2014: 21,140 tCO2eq/year – 2020: 20,306 tCO2eq/year
    • This represents a 4% reduction in CO2 emissions in absolute value
  • Relation to sales (France) : 2014: €1,324 billion – 2020: €1,530 billion
    • This represents a 17% decrease as a proportion of The turnover

Scope 2 – Deployment of LEDs Use of electricity from renewable energy :

  • Quantification :  2014: 6,246 tCO2eq/year – 2020: 1,612 tCO2eq/year (data in market based taking into account renewable energies) 
    • This represents a 74% reduction in CO2 emissions in absolute value.
  • Relation to sales (France) : 2014: €1,324 billion – 2020: €1,530 billion
    • That represents a decrease of 80% in proportion of the turnover

Calculation based on IEA emission factors, updated annually, for France.

 Carbon emissions related to scope 2 are calculated using a market-based approach to take into account the use of electricity from renewable sources.

All production sites, all depots operated and managed by Alstom in the case of a contract of five years or more, all permanent offices occupied and managed by Alstom and all permanent sites with more than 200 employees are consolidated in the environmental reporting.

Key points

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Invested amount

750 000 €

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Starting date of the project


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Project localisation


Project maturity level

Prototype laboratory test (TRL 7)

Real life testing (TRL 7-8)

Pre-commercial prototype (TRL 9)

Small-scale implementation

Medium to large scale implementation

Economic profitability of the project (ROI)

Short term (0-3 years)

Middle term (4-10 years)

Long term (> 10 years)

Illustrations of the project

The aim of this project is to develop a “ripple effect” on the sector, with the aim of spreading good practices in terms of energy consumption. In this sense, the project contributes to the SDGs 9 Industry, Innovation, Infrastructure and SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production.

The purchase of green energy and the widespread installation of LEDs are intended to be reproduced on all sites in France. Only the “Zero Carbone Territory” project in La Rochelle is purely developed locally. 

La Rochelle site: Alstom is a member of “Zero Carbone Territory project”, a group of partners between the industrial sector and local and environmental institutions in La Rochelle.

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