Union Pacific Lowers Emissions, Tests Hybrid-Electric Locomotives - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Energy Resources, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  May 1, 2024

Union Pacific Lowers Emissions, Tests Hybrid-Electric Locomotives

Union Pacific Railroad lowered absolute GHG emissions for Scopes 1 and 2 by 19.1% since 2018.

In 2023, the company reduced its absolute GHG emissions for Scope 1 and 2 by 0.8% vs. 2022 and also lowered its absolute GHG emissions for Scope 3 categories by 0.8% vs. 2022. Cumulatively, the Scope 3 target categories’ total GHG emissions have experienced a 12.1% absolute reduction versus the 2018 baseline, including a 21.9% cumulative absolute reduction in Scope 3 fuel- and energy-related activities.

The railroad company also worked with the Science Based Targets Initiative to update its target to the SBTi’s revised guidance, resulting in a commitment for Union Pacific to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50.4% by 2030 from a 2018 base year. 

Union Pacific committed to lower Scope 3 absolute emissions from its purchased goods and services, capital goods and fuel- and energy-related activities by 50.4% by 2030 from a 2018 base year.

The company’s full-year average utilization of biofuels in 2023 increased to 6.1% compared to 4.5% in 2022, and Union Pacific continued its partnership with locomotive manufacturers and fuel suppliers to test higher levels of renewable biofuels in its locomotives. This led to permission from those manufacturers to utilize blends of up to 50% renewable diesel and 11% biofuel in locomotives going forward. 

Union Pacific also began a partnership with ZTR, a rail technology company, to design and build hybrid-electric locomotives. The company will test six of these new locomotives, and the first locomotive will be deployed for testing in May. This innovative locomotive will run similarly to a hybrid car and is one example of Union Pacific’s continued research and development efforts to build a more sustainable future.

Details were released in its annual Building America Report.

“The Building America Report is a comprehensive reflection on our daily drive toward operational excellence, our ongoing commitment to providing the safe, reliable service we promised our customers and our goal to provide meaningful work with best-in-class benefits for employees,” said CEO Jim Vena in a statement.

Union Pacific earned high scores for its leadership on climate initiatives and data disclosures, receiving an A- from CDP.


Keywords: Union Pacific

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