Environmental Impact Calculation of Transport

Environmental Impact Calculation of Transport


C Eickmann, University Hannover; M Halder, Deutsche Bahn AG, DE



Freight traffic causes energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and exhaust emissions. Progressive transport planners wish to know the eco-impacts of transport services according to transport mode in order to reduce these impacts. For this reason railway companies from Germany (DB CARGO), Sweden (Green Cargo), France (SNCF), Italy (TRENITALIA) and Switzerland (SBB/CFF/FFS) initiated a joint project to develop an environmental database as well as a methodology and an internet-based tool for their calculation. The objective of the project ?EcoTransIT? is an assessment of the transport modes road, rail, inland waterways, sea, and air for individually specified transport services. EcoTransIT (Ecological Transport Information Tool) provides an analogue tool to ?UmweltMobilCheck? for passenger transport, initiated by Deutsche Bahn AG (www.bahn.de/umweltmobilcheck). EcoTransIT is realized by a consortium led by Rail Management Consultans (RMCon), Hannover, involving also HaCon, a Hannover based consultancy, and the Institute of Transport, Railway Construction and Operation (IVE), University Hannover. The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (ifeu), Heidelberg, is involved as scientific consultant for methodology and environmental data.

EcoTransIT is a tool for the calculation of energy consumption and emissions caused by a user-defined transport inside Europe. The user can compare the results of the chosen transport by road, rail, inland waterways, sea or air according to the transport modes provided for the route chosen. Further EcoTransIT calculates the impacts of multi-modal transport chains individually designed by the user.

The ecological data base consists of specific consumption and emission values for every transport mode according to
* the specific commodity weight;
* the topography;
* road categories and emission classes (road transport);
* type of vehicle (road and rail);
* type of railway traction (diesel, electric);
* type of energy production and energy provision.

All data differentiate between respective nations. Thus it is possible to consider the energy mix for electrified traction by nation. This data base is actually generated by ifeu.

The second data base provides five independent infrastructure networks consisting of nodes and edges. To date the nodes include the most important cities in Europe, the edges represent the physical transport links between each two nodes including the attributes. The database can be refined gradually. A sophisticated routing system calculates the shortest route between origin and destination of a transport service. The five networks for every transport mode are linked in multi-modal nodes. All nodes where freight transfer between modes is possible are defined as such. The user can individually design a route and define the nodes in which the transport mode shall change. The EcoTransIT tool enables the user as well to define feeder services (lorry or train) between the precise origin and destination and to the nearest nodes of the networks. These feeder services are characterized by several parameters (type of vehicle, emission class, traction etc.).

The results are represented in graphics and tables. They are:
* Primary energy consumption to describe the transport related resource consumption
* Carbon dioxide (CO2) and Methane (CH4) as greenhouse gases emissions
* Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions with effects such as acidification, eco-toxicity and human toxicity
* Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions with additional effects such as eutrophication and summer smog
* non-methane hydro carbons (NMHC) as indicator for summer smog and human toxicity as well as particulate matter (e.g. diesel soot). The user can compare the results of all transport modes including an individually designed multimodal transport route in one graphic. The impact of the feeder service is highlighted separately.

EcoTransIT enables companies to assess the environmental impacts of their transport services. This is an important requested for sustainable transport solutions. The results of EcoTransIT can be used by companies for their environmental communication and help them to meet the criteria of Eco-Audits (EMAS or ISO 14000). The project will be completed in early 2003 and is at present being audited.


Association for European Transport