Planes, Trains and Supply Chains: Bombardier's Holistic View of Sustainable Transportation

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Planes, Trains and Supply Chains: Bombardier's Holistic View of Sustainable Transportation

"I think the internal combustion engine will disappear from the streets of our cities in the next thirty years because transportation will be mass transportation, or probably electrical power." -- Gaylord Nelson, April 1990[1]
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Why #transportation must remain the main focus of sustainable development: @Justmeans #sustainability
Monday, July 30, 2012 - 1:15pm



Unless something really amazing happens in the next eight years, the prediction of the late Gaylord Nelson—former governor of Wisconsin, U.S. senator and founder of the original 1970 Earth Day—will not come true.

Still, transportation must remain a main focus of sustainable development, as it represents a big chunk of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). According to a 2010 World Resources Institute report, the transportation sector accounted for over 14 percent of global GHG emissions in 2005, behind electricity and heat (25 percent) and industry (15 percent ), but still more than agriculture, land use change and waste.[2]

So it makes sense that the Montreal-based transportation company Bombardier (TSX: BBD)—the world's only maker of both planes and trains and one of the world's largest rail-equipment manufacturers—has made sustainability a key strategy. Listed on both the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes, and with FY2011 revenues of USD 18.3 billion, Bombardier is recognized as a market leader in sustainable transport.


"Rail is the most sustainable mode of transit," asserts the company on its website, noting that for every passenger-kilometer that was moved from the road to the rail, 70 percent of carbon emissions would be avoided.[3]

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Reynard is a Justmeans staff writer for Sustainable Finance and Corporate Social Responsibility. A former media executive with 15 years experience in the private and non-profit sectors, Reynard is the co-founder of MomenTech, a New York-based experimental production studio that explores transnational progressivism, neo-nomadism, post-humanism and futurism. He is also author of the blog 13.7 Billion Years, covering cosmology, biodiversity, animal welfare, conservation and ethical consumption. He is currently developing the Underground Desert Living Unit (UDLU), a sustainable single-family dwelling envisioned as a potential adaptation response to the future loss of human habitat due to the effects of anthropogenic climate change. Reynard is also a contributing author of "Biomes and Ecosystems," a comprehensive reference encyclopedia of the Earth's key biological and geographic classifications, to be published by Salem Press in 2013.