Actor in sustainable mobility
The STIB tram, bus and metro lines transport more than 370 million passengers a year. Using public transport is making the right statement in favour of the environment.
Compared to the same journey done by car, travelling with STIB decreases the CO2 emissions by 75%.
The new STIB buses, which gradually replace the oldest vehicles, meet the strictest environmental standards. As for the metros and trams, they are electrically powered and, therefore, do not produce any direct polluting emissions. The ratio of green electricity used, which experiences a continuous growth these last few years, has reached 100% since 2013.
An eco-friendly company
Since many years now STIB seeks to control and reduce the impact of its activities on the environment. For 2017, STIB wishes to obtain the ISO 14001 certification for its activities. This certification specifies the environmental management requirements, i.e. encouraging the companies to manage the impact of their activities on the environment and to demonstrate the efficiency of their management system and of the continuous improvement in line with the legal compliance and taking into account the context and the stakeholders.
In 2015, STIB launched an environmental management system in the various divisions of the company, appointed of key roles and established a register of the environmental impacts. The ISO 14001 methodology is namely based on this register that lists the implication of the different STIB functions for the environment, depending on the environmental field on which the job has repercussions: waste, energy, water, soil ou air pollution, etc.
The Belgrade workshop as a test site
In 2014, the Belgrade workshop located in Saint-Gilles and specialised in vehicle and equipment maintenance became a test site by applying the ISO 14001 approach. In January 2015, its efforts (initiated 10 years ago as part of the initiative of the "eco-dynamic company") bore fruit since Belgrade obtained the ISO 14001 certification. The audit personnel underscored the proper control of the environmental processes, an efficient local operational management and, mainly, a particular commitment and awareness of the staff.
The Carbon and Energy Strategy by 2030
STIB has therefore committed itself to the twofold challenge of enhancing its transport offer while reducing CO2 emissions and energy consumption, by applying a carbon and energy strategy by 2030.
By 2030 STIB strives to reduce the emission of direct and indirect greenhouse gases, caused by the journeys on its network, by 40%. In order to achieve that goal, no less than fifty actions have been identified, going from rolling stock to buildings, acquisitions, a mobility plan for its workers, waste and production of renewable energy.
Hence, STIB actively participates to the Brussels' target to reduce the Region’s emissions caused by public transport, not forgetting the other advantages such as a decrease in congestion and the improvement of air quality that this action plan will bring about.
STIB is one of the largest energy consumers in Belgium, with a yearly consumption of nearly 425 GWh (240 GWh electricity and 185 GWh gas) for its vehicles and infrastructure. In order to reduce consumption and the associated impact on the environment, STIB works on two fronts at the same time, namely a change in behaviour and the use of advanced technology. Since 2005, the company has developed an energy strategy that was integrated with its Carbon Strategy in May 2014.
The following projects illustrate STIB’s engagement:
- Secure Drive Bus: In October 2015, STIB installed on-board indicators in the buses. The box informs the driver about his driving, warns when he starts to fast, if he takes his turns too sharply or brakes too abruptly or if he leaves his engine running to long at a standstill. This system is linked to a "coaching". The purpose of the Secure Drive project is threefold: reduce the polluting emissions, lower the fuel burn and offer more comfort to the travellers. What's more, since 2008, STIB has integrated the principles of "eco-friendly driving" into its drivers' training.
- Eco Drive Metro: Early 2008, STIB introduced a more eco-friendly driving mode based on reducing the maximum authorised speed. The results are spectacular: the electricity consumption has dropped by nearly 13% without any significant lengthening of the travel times. In addition, the Eco Drive project also leads to less irregular driving thanks to more gradual braking and accelerations. Moreover, this improves the comfort of the passengers.
- Metro braking energy recovery: When metros brake, the mechanical braking energy is transformed into electric power that can be transmitted to another accelerating vehicle. STIB wishes to go further by recovering the energy from a train entering a station to power other infrastructure such as escalators, elevators, waiting time indicators, etc. This project was developed as part of the European project Ticket to Kyoto, financed for 50% by the Interreg IVB NWE program.
- Cogeneration : A cogeneration unit was installed in the Delta complex in 2012. Cogeneration is recovering the heat from an electric generator to heat a building. This production combining heating and electricity delivers much higher overall yields. This project was developed as part of the European project Ticket to Kyoto, financed for 50% by the Interreg IVB NWE program.
- Eliptic: Eliptic is a new European partnership into which STIB has engaged along with other public transport operators, private companies, universities and research centres. This cooperation is based on the exchange of best practices and studies to see whether the energy recovery rate from the tram brakes can be increased by re-injecting the energy on the 11 kW network (to reuse it for other infrastructure, like for the metro) or by using storage technologies. The Eliptic project also aims to exchange best practices regarding the transition of public transport towards operating electric buses and, specifically for STIB, realising an electric bus line simulator with the cooperation of the VUB.
Method for calculating the CO2 quantity
STIB applies the following mathematical formula in order to know the average quantity of CO2 emissions (in grams) of a journey by public transport: the journey's length in kilometres is multiplied by the average emission factor per passenger and per kilometre of the STIB vehicles.
The average emission factors of the STIB vehicles are the following:
- Metro: 20 gr CO2 /(km*passenger)
- Tram: 30 gr CO2 /(km*passenger)
- Bus: 110 gr CO2 /(km*passenger)
- Train (SNCB): 26 gr CO2 /(km*passenger)
The result is then compared to the emissions of the same journey by car. The journey's length in kilometres is multiplied by the average emission factor per passenger and per kilometre of a car.
The average emission factors of a car is 158 gr CO2 /(km*passenger)
During the winter, Belgium has to deal with pollution peaks on a regular basis. These peaks can have implications for our health. They are caused by the build-up of pollutants of the exhaust gas from the cars, by industrial activity and by heating houses and offices.
They appear between October and March, when the weather conditions hinder the dispersion of the air pollutants: this entails low temperatures, no wind and mostly the inversion phenomenon (the lower air layers are colder than the upper air layers). In this case, one notes a general degradation of the air quality which can lead to the worsening of the health of fragile persons but also of the population in general. The peaks can last several hours or days.
They are not to be confused with the ozone peaks which appear during the summer.
Three levels of emergency measures
In order to avoid these peaks, one has to take emergency measures. These actions are meant to reduce the emissions of pollutants so that the foreseen peak is not reached (48 hour forecast). There are three levels of intervention depending on the duration and the intensity of the peak that has to be avoided.
||First level: speed limit at 50 km/h (or less if indicated) for every vehicle in the Brussels-Capital Region.
||Second level: driving ban for the vehicles with odd or even license plates in the Brussels-Capital Region, lorries are prohibited during peak hours, STIB metro, tram and bus lines are enhanced and free.
||Third level: total driving ban for motorised vehicles in the Brussels-Capital Region, STIB metro, tram and bus lines are enhanced and free.
Usually, the first level is reached 2 to 3 times a year, whereas the second and third levels a much rarer (level 2 is reached only once every 2 to 3 years).
How do we need to react in case of pollution peaks?
Whether you are a private individual or a company, you are victims of the deterioration of the air quality, particularly during periods of pollution peaks. You can nevertheless also play a major part to reduce, or even avoid, these peaks.
Below, you will find some advice for low level pollution peaks (level 1):
As an individual:
- to move about, choose public transport, walking or travelling by bike
- do not take your car for short distances (25% of travel by car in Brussels involve a distance under 1 km)
- if you decide to travel by car after all, apply an eco-friendly driving by using reduced speed, avoiding abrupt accelerations and decelerations, etc. Thanks to this way of driving, your vehicle consumes and emits up to 20% less.
- lower the temperature in your house or the building you work in (1 degree corresponds to 8% consumption)
As a company, school or institution, you can also act:
- encourage your staff to use an alternative, more environmental, means of transport (public transport, bike, walking, car sharing, etc.)
- inform your employees, students and parents about the pollution peak, the measures to be taken and the existing options (via the intranet, newsletters, posters, etc.)
- implement incentive actions to raise awareness
- offer your staff the possibility to organise their work flexibly
- reduce the energy consumption in your work spaces (lower the temperature, organise a "warm sweater" action, etc.)
- include these measures in your Mobility Plan
Our cell Key Account is at your disposal for information and advice about simple and efficient measures for your company, school ou institution.
Contact: 02 515 54 00 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ticket to Kyoto
Between 2010 and 2014, STIB has been the partner and initiator of the project Ticket to Kyoto, a European project to reduce the CO2 emissions of the public transport sector.
This European project was co-funded by the INTERREG IVB NWE program and brought together 5 public transport operators: TFGM (Manchester - GB), moBiel (Bielefeld - Germany), RATP (Paris - France), RET (Rotterdam – Netherlands) and STIB (Brussels - Belgium).
The five partners united to fight against climate change by reducing their energy consumption and, in doing so, their CO2 emissions.
How can we improve the air quality?
The goal of the emergency measures is to tackle a specific situation and they are not intended to improve the air quality structurally. The best way to stop pollution peaks is to adapt one's behaviour all year long.
- Adopt a soft mobility: public transport, short distances on foot or by bike, car sharing (Cambio).
- Save energy by insulating your home (energy primes) and by changing your habits: lower the temperature by one or two degrees, wear warm sweaters, etc.
- Change the work organisation: mobility plans for companies, telecommuting, car sharing, living close to work, etc.