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Sep 06, 2023 Rail

Zero-waste metrics unveiled for the rail industry

When we think about waste, our thoughts often gravitate towards post-consumer origins such as plastic packaging. However, 40% of the world's solid waste by weight is generated through construction and demolition activities annually. 

This figure surges even higher to 62% within the United Kingdom.

Numerous enterprises within the space have set objectives for waste reduction, yet many grapple with defining the parameters of an ambitious goal and establishing means of tracking progress. 

In response, the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has partnered with Ricardo, fostering the creation of zero-waste metrics tailored specifically for the rail industry.

Encompassing assets, infrastructure, and day-to-day operations, these metrics encompass a spectrum ranging from major construction projects to everyday waste. Furthermore, they cover different locations, such as depots and stations.

As we peer into the future, the potential exists to introduce supplementary metrics centering around material efficiency and the use of critical materials and minerals, including those embodied in batteries.

The RSSB’s sustainable rail strategy lead Thom Rawson said: “This project has established tangible and measurable metrics for the rail industry’s management of waste and recycling, and represents a significant step forward towards achieving the goal of zero waste.”

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