Despite operating on such a huge scale, across the length and breadth of India, the Railways has always made sure to take appropriate steps to be green. Whether it is the introduction of e-tickets, like in this instance, or doing away with printed reservation charts, in this instance, or when they decided to introduce a solar-powered train.
Well, the Indian Railways set the ball rolling on its green initiatives way back in 2016, when it partnered with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). As part of the deal, the latter is helping various production units, workshops and other units go green in the realms of operations and practices.
The CII has a GreenCo Rating System—that helps companies worldwide improve their overall eco-friendliness. This first-of-its-kind rating focuses on key areas like energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, waste management, green supply chain, resource conservation and life cycle assessment.
42 facilities, consisting of various production units and workshops of the Indian Railways, have the GreenCo Rating implemented, while 26 facilities of the railways have bagged levels that range from gold to bronze. Not only the Railways but another 400 firms, spanning across sectors from manufacturing to services, are getting certified.
So how does GreenCo help the Indian Railways?
1. It sharpens down the approach to going green by improving energy conservation, facilitating renewable energy opportunities, water and waste management.
2. The Railways has worked with suppliers, assisting them in making their operations eco-friendly.
3. The Railways is training employees and relevant stakeholders, on environmental awareness and going green.
4. Two railway stations, two railway schools and administrative buildings including IRICEN, ICF, and SCR headquarters have been certified green, thanks to this initiative.
Thus, the GreenCo rating has helped the Indian Railways workshops and manufacturing units achieve Rs 10 crore in savings per year.
Thus, the GreenCo Rating system has been encouraging ‘go green’ best practices both in the Indian Railways as a whole, and railway employees as individuals. In fact, now the Railways is even exploring areas that weren’t in focus earlier and is putting in the efforts to improve performance.
It isn’t easy to be green, sustainable and still ferry millions of passengers on a daily basis across the length and breadth of India. The Railways, going green is a commendable effort and a great example of a government body setting an example in eco-friendly practices.