ARA paves path for net-zero transport 

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has released its strategy to guide its development of key sustainability initiatives over the next three years.

ARA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said it reflected the industry’s growing commitment to support Australia and New Zealand’s sustainable development. 

“The rail industry provides inherent sustainability benefits to support the development of long term, low carbon infrastructure in our cities and towns,” Ms Wilkie said. 

“As the infrastructure sector moves to net zero, the strategy will help drive action to further enhance the rail industry’s contribution to this effort. 

“It outlines our commitment across six themes to ensure a continued focus on leading industry engagement on key sustainability issues.” 

The strategy sets out a three-year action plan to be implemented across the themes of leadership, people, carbon and energy, environment, resource efficiency and resilience. 

It identifies areas where the ARA’s existing initiatives support the achievement of sustainability outcomes under these themes, and confirms a range of new activities to be implemented to further this work. 

Ms Wilkie said the strategy’s release followed extensive work by the ARA Sustainability Committee following its creation in 2020. 

Work is now underway to progress the strategy, with planning for the development of a rail sustainability play book already being progressed. 

Further activities were planned to expand the ARA’s diversity inclusion focus, including increased engagement with First Nations people, while a new network would be established to promote information sharing to support the eradication of modern slavery. 

Additional initiatives to promote the rail industry’s contribution to net zero carbon across its supply chain, prioritise opportunities for circular economy outcomes and support climate risk and adaptation planning would also be progressed., 

Ms Wilkie also welcomed the announcement that the ARA would join forces with Roads Australia and the Infrastructure Sustainability Council to deliver a new environmental sustainability project for the transport sector. 

The sustainability strategy is available here. 

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