Green Construction Practice

Sustainability topics and contribution to SDGs

Sustainability topics and contribution to SDGs “Hitachi Rail will reduce its environmental impact, develop a sustainability culture and improve quality of life for our people and communities”

(A. Razeto, Group Head of CSR and Sustainability)

The UN Environment Programme’s Emissions Gap Report 2020 found that global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions hit a new high of 59.1 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 equivalent in 2019.

Over the past decade, emissions have continued to increase at a rate of 1.5% per year, rising in all major economic sectors.

Particularly, a closer look at GHG emissions breakdown by economic sector reveals that:

Power production today generates the largest share of GHG emissions (30%). About 50% of electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas.

▪ Industry represents the second-largest share of GHG emissions (21%), burning fossil fuels for energy, as well as GHG emissions from mineral products (such as cement) and other chemical reactions necessary to produce goods from raw materials.

▪ The Transportation sector contributes around 16% of global GHG emissions, with road transport being primarily responsible (94% of the sector). Rail, shipping and aviation are relatively smaller, with emissions in international territory comprising 4% of total.

▪ Agriculture contributes 16% of total GHG emissions, with most emissions coming from enteric fermentation (ruminant animals, such as cattle), nitrogen fertilizers on agricultural soils, and municipal waste.

▪ Buildings contribute to 7% of global GHG emissions, arising primarily from fossil fuels burned for heat.

Should this pattern continue, the world is projected to warm by 3°C to 5°C by 2100, with catastrophic effects on human civilization. To prevent this risk, a major turnaround in emissions trajectories is needed in all sectors (reduction of approximately 3-6% per annum between now and 2030) to limit the rise in surface temperatures and avoid catastrophic climate change effects.

In 2015, world leaders met in Paris and agreed to limit the global temperature rise by the end of the century to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires net human-caused carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to fall by 45% by 2030 and to reach net-zero by 2050. Even limiting the temperature rise to 2°C will need CO2 emissions to fall by 25% by 2030, requiring a turnaround of the present trend and approximately $75 trillion in investment.

In 2015, the United Nations presented 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. Combined with the company mission to contribute to society through the development of superior, original technology and products that power sustainable connectivity, Hitachi Rail is well-positioned to make a meaningful contribution to achieving the selected SDGs. Sustainability is at the heart of our business; we have an obligation to inspire and build a better and more sustainable future for employees, customers, and all users of products.