WE at Siemens Mobility understand that sustainability is a crucial topic in today's society. In particular, it holds increasing importance in the transport industry, including rail. As a global leader in sustainability in the rail industry,1 we are dedicated to expanding our sustainable lifecycle services to meet the needs of our customers.

We have a strong commitment to reducing CO2 emissions, waste and water, and embracing circular economy principles throughout the entire lifecycle of our products and services, which can last for up to 50 years. Decarbonisation and improving energy efficiency are the key focus of our sustainability efforts. We want to reduce energy consumption and to make rail even more environmentally-friendly.

Constantly exploring innovative solutions that will enable us to achieve our sustainability goals is a high priority. Here are some examples of the strategies we are employing:

Eurostar's London - Paris service has successfully offset carbon emissions from short-haul flights.
  1. More with less: Maximising efficiency and availability

With our data-driven and efficient Railigent X services, we combine domain know-how, an expert network, and digital capabilities to increase system capacity, achieve 100% availability, and ensure the highest possible reliability of rail assets. Railigent X offers a suite of applications that provide an intelligent approach to connect, analyse, and optimise rail assets for operators, maintainers, and asset owners during the entire product lifecycle.

This approach not only reduces emissions and the depletion of natural resources, but also delivers significant financial benefits, including up to a 15% reduction in maintenance costs and up to a 40% saving in costs caused by service delays. Additionally, we can achieve up to a 30% reduction in unscheduled depot visits, further improving efficiency and reliability while reducing consumption of resources.

Example of modal shift: Our sustainable transport alternatives to short-haul flights

Demographic change and sustainability are driving the growing demand for rail travel. Modal shift from air and road to rail is required to reduce CO2 emissions from transport, which account for 27% of all global emissions. Siemens Mobility has successfully implemented modal shift solutions that are offering substantial environmental benefits. For example, in our project with Eurostar on the London - Paris route, we are guaranteeing fleet availability and reliability, which is helping to grow ridership. Indeed, our Velaro E high-speed trains are successfully shifting passengers from planes to trains, enabling a significant reduction of more than 29,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, or up to 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than if passengers had taken comparable short-haul flights.

2. Lifetime extension at component, vehicle and fleet level: Optimal asset management

Siemens Mobility's asset lifecycle management strategy seeks to optimise maintenance and operations over the entire lifespan of rail assets. By modernising, repairing, upgrading, and refurbishing existing rolling stock and infrastructure assets, we are able to extend their lifespan while significantly reducing the consumption of natural resources and the creation of excess waste.

In our project to update vehicle control systems for Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) we are addressing the customer’s request to increase the life of the vehicles from 30 to 35 years in a sustainable manner. Our Easy component is designed to offer part repair and part overhaul for the KM-DIREKT vehicle control system that has been fitted to 125 vehicles. We prefer to repair rather than replace, which is possible in 96% of cases and results in resource efficiency and decarbonisation. In cases where do have to replace, we have sufficient spare parts in stock. This service solution is offering long-term fleet availability, often over decades, and is reducing CO2 emissions by a third compared with new build.2

Example: Sustainable supply chain management

One way to achieve lifetime extension is to employ additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, for spare parts. By implementing this technology, Siemens Mobility is not only able to drive down the CO2 footprint associated with the manufacturing of complex legacy parts but also introduce a digital warehousing concept that is based on print on demand through a worldwide printer network, which helps to avoid overstock.

The use of AM allows the production of spare parts in a more sustainable manner compared with conventional manufacturing methods3: With AM Siemens Mobility has observed a decrease of up to 10% in CO2 emissions.4  Using low power consumption, reduces CO2 emissions by 35% compared to conventional manufacturing methods. Furthermore, the use of green power consumption results in a reduction of up to 90% in CO2 emissions. In 2024, Siemens and LEHVOSS released a jointly developed new polymer powder (“LUVOSINT® PPS 9268 BK”) with excellent flame retardancy according to EN 45545-2 and 100% powder reusability for cost efficient and sustainable production of spare parts by AM.
By leveraging AM for mobility spare parts, Siemens Mobility as a 3D printing technology leader in railways5 significantly reduces the environmental impact associated with conventional manufacturing processes. This technology not only drives down the CO2 footprint but also reduces the depletion by fossil resource by 15% (low power consumption by -37% and green power consumption by -86%).

Through sustainable supply chain management practices like this, Siemens Mobility is leading the way in promoting a greener and more sustainable approach to manufacturing in the rail industry.

Siemens Mobility has embraced the use of Additive Manufacturing to produce spare parts.
  1. Circularity: Reducing waste and promoting efficient material use, from cradle to cradle

Siemens Mobility is committed to circular economy principles, focusing on the efficient use and continuous reuse of materials. To support this, we have developed MoBase, Siemens Mobility’s e-commerce platform for railway products and solutions. The platform brings together buyers and sellers from the railway and supplier industry into a single marketplace where third-party vendors are able to sell their products. This offers customers the benefit of fast and easy spare part procurement and supply from a single source.

MoBase is increasingly emphasising repair and reuse in order to conserve valuable resources. This is reflected in the introduction of the Repair Service and MoBase Resale categories. Both offerings not only provide a meaningful expansion of the portfolio, but also represent an active step towards sustainability with their focus on resource efficiency and the circular economy.

Repair Service - Efficiency and transparency in the field of repairs:

Repair Service is MoBase’s first direct order e-service and enables customers to receive fast repairs to defective items. Repair is typically the most cost and resource-efficient solution for the customer, extending the lifespan of materials and products while also reducing environmental impact. Through MoBase, specific repair services can be directly commissioned by service providers with fixed prices for specific work orders clearly visible and always up to date. After a successful order on MoBase, the repair process is handled directly by the customer who is in direct contact with the service provider. This requires minimal effort and helps to conserve valuable resources while avoiding costly new production and waste.

MoBase Resale - A second life for unused materials:

MoBase Resale is the platform’s new customer-to-customer selling function, which promotes the efficient and sustainable use of resources. With this free service, customers become vendors with the ability to resell surplus materials and products independently through MoBase. Products from other vendors are also available to purchase. Customers or interested parties can start uploading and publishing product information with pictures within minutes of successfully registering on MoBase. As well as maximising the value of existing materials and reducing the need for new production, the service helps to optimise the use of storage space by selling unused inventory, reducing storage costs and avoiding often labour-intensive disposal processes. With MoBase Resale what is no longer needed is sold, and surplus products are used responsibly. MoBase Resale sets an example for the circular economy and the preservation of valuable resources.

Further developments include introducing take-back options, such as recycling, in collaboration with partners, to encourage responsible material management. And in line with our commitment to sustainability, we are evaluating the integration of a digital product passport, such as a battery passport, and AI-based decision-support for sustainable strategies. Through these initiatives, we aim to reduce waste, promote efficient use of materials, and contribute to a circular economy.

The MoBase platform has simplified the process of ordering spare parts.

Siemens Mobility's sustainable lifecycle services in rail are driven by a commitment to reducing CO2 emissions, embracing circular economy principles, and prioritising the wellbeing and safety of employees, customers, and communities. With sustainability now an integral part of our business, we are making significant strides towards a greener and more sustainable future in rail transport by combining expertise, digital innovations, and collaboration to provide service solutions for rail assets with a lifespan of up to 50 years.

Further information on Siemens Mobility’s approach to sustainability can be found here.

References

  1. Ecovadis rating score 2023: 83 points Platinum medal, Top 1%; EU Taxonomy Reporting 2023: 86% aligned revenue (audited by Ernst & Young); Sieger Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis 2023; Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP): only rail player with highest ranking “A-List.”
  2. Approved by Lifecycle Assessment of the vehicle electronics assembly in an ISO14040-certified tool.
  3. Conventional spare parts manufacturing shows global warming related GHG emissions of 652kg CO2-e.
  4. Approved by Lifecycle Assessment of Combino front cover: comparison additive versus. conventional manufacturing.
  5. Awarded by German Rail (DB).