The Green Quest: ProRail
In 2016, So Now was invited to contribute to the Green Quest; developing a future vision on sustainability for ProRail.
ProRail is a government agency that maintains and extends the national railway network infrastructure in the Netherlands. Whilst the construction and maintenance of railways is a necessity for public transport, it does have considerable impacts on the environment due to large quantities of carbon emissions, noise and dust pollution during construction, and the release of toxic chemicals from trains and rail cars, to name a few.
Hence, a team of five sustainability experts from the Green Quest, a program on BNR News Radio in the Netherlands, along with other technical specialists developed 21 recommendations for ProRail that would make the nation-wide organization more sustainable. Some solutions included making the sleepers on the track out of recycled plastic instead of concrete and steel, designing tracks that generated their own energy, and installing solar panels at the Inktpot, ProRail’s infamous head office in Utrecht.
If implemented, these suggestions for sustainable construction and operations would allow ProRail to save € 450 000 on energy and waste bills per year. Moreover, the Inktpot would be transformed into a completely carbon-neutral headquarters, a major step towards sustainable development.
So Now's advice was taken up into the resulting publication.
More information on ProRail’s case: