On 12 November 2018, the kick-off meeting dedicated to Eco Scoring specifically applied to the funding of rail projects was held at UIC headquarters in Paris. The goal was to present and discuss with interested members the future aim and scope of the project.
Eco Scoring has been named after the initiative of the UIC chairman, with the aim to support and assess environmental efficiency to facilitate the access of railway projects to green finance.
The attendees were introduced to:
- A voluntary carbon offsetting system, by the start-up Climate Seed
- Environmental Social and Governance rating, by Vigeo Eiris
- SNCF’s and FS’s past and ongoing experience on the issuing of green bonds
- How Eco Scoring could help the rail sector to define performance criteria in order to be competitive on the green finance market and for securing efficient PPPs, by Infraboost, and
- The implications of external costs of transport in assessing rail projects’ environmental performance, by CE Delft
Participants were given the possibility to ask speakers some questions and a round table was organised to identify the next steps. A strong need for a common railway strategy, methodology, and metrics to enter the green finance market emerged from the discussions. The speakers and participants agreed this would be a prerequisite to secure the funding of rail projects to the benefit of railway companies.
Concluding the meeting, Carole Escolan-Zeno, Head of the UIC Sustainability Unit, informed the participants that UIC would be happy to take the lead of the project and that an ad hoc working group gathering partners having an interest in the topic shall be created. The outcome of the project could help develop a future International Railway Solution.