Mobility & Transport

The Environmental Impacts of the mobility and transport

Mobility & transport sector has a high impact on climate change and air quality, due to their massive use of fossil fuels. Transport vehicles are responsible for 14% of world GHG emissions. This sector also accounts for a growing share of total energy consumption (29% in 2016 compared to 23% in 1971) and it represented 65% of oil product consumption in 2016.

Much of transport services’ environmental impacts are concentrated in the use phase: more than 70% of greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollutant emissions occur in the use phase for passenger cars, and more than 80% for heavy duty vehicles. This concentration is even greater for aircraft since, from a life cycle assessment point of view, the manufacturing phase represents less than 1% of aircraft climate change impacts .

Since the transport sector is both a driver and a result of economic growth and international trade, it continues to grow rapidly as the global population and demands for services increases. Following a “business as usual” scenario , passenger transport volume between 2015 and 2050 will double and freight volume will at least triple.

This high impact intensity framework covers the entire value chain of both freight and passenger transport across all modes of transportation (road, rail, water and air) and all means including cycling and walking: it encompasses part and vehicle manufacturers, transportation infrastructure and operators of transportation services, such as leasers, transporters, logisticians, car sharing services.

How the NEC measures impacts of mobility and freight

In brief, the methodology used to calculate these environmental impacts is based on transport means and vehicle type performances. These performances are assessed using greenhouse gas and air pollutants emissions per passenger.km for mobility and par ton.km for freight.

Key Performance Indicators

The environmental stakes that stand out as key for the transportation and mobility sector and that are measurable at company level are climate and air quality. Three performance indicators are aggregated for the existing vehicle fleets and for the new fleets delivered by vehicle and parts manufacturers. The transported unit used is one passenger for mobility and one ton for freight. The performance is then reported per passenger or ton and per km, as follows:
+ For climate, level of GHG emissions, from upstream to use phase, in g of CO2 per transported unit over 1 km
+ For air quality, level of NOx and PM10 emissions, during use phase, in mg of NOx and PM10 per transported unit over 1 km

As expected, walking, bicycle, metro, tram and train appears to be by far the most efficient environmental solutions fully aligned with environmental transition and climate goals. As a result, they are qualified as eco-solutions and are set at +100% default NEC.

How the NEC measures impacts of infrastructures

According to the generic NEC methodology, the NEC of infrastructures is derived from their final use. A motorway, an airport, a harbour, a train station or an EV charging point has a NEC based on the vehicle mix that it serves. When the detailed vehicle mix is unknown, 4 default values are used, as follows:

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Designed to inform and empower investment decision makers, it uses physical data from across the whole value chain to provide a snapshot of an activity’s net environmental contribution and it can be applied at a company, portfolio, index or product/source level.

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