Sustainability in Alstom’s design process

Alstom promotes a lifecycle approach, maximising environmental and economic benefits over time.

Sustainability is fully integrated in the design of our products and services through deployment of our ecodesign policy. 

Ecodesign processes ensure compliance throughout project execution, thanks to a large network of experts involving amongst others ecodesigners, acoustics experts, materials experts and energy engineers.

An ecodesign policy for improved environmental performance

Number of eco-designed productsEcodesign aims at improving the environmental performance of our solutions over their entire lifecycle. It allows the emerging expectations of our stakeholders to be met, contributes to strengthening the competitiveness of our systems and solutions and reduces their lifecycle cost.

All Alstom’s product platforms define objectives, action plans and indicators to improve the lifecycle environmental performance of solutions which focus on:

  • energy efficiency
  • use of clean, recyclable or natural materials
  • noise and vibrations reduction
  • air emissions reduction
  • easy end-of-life management

Lifecycle assessments support technical choices and Environmental Product Declarations provide customers with an in-depth view of impacts throughout the lifecycle. Extensive  efforts  have been   made  to  rationalise  and  optimise practices across the technical platforms, which will help deploy lifecycle assessments in a more efficient and systematic way in the future.

Alstom pursues deployment of environmental performance dashboards in line with its ecodesign policy. They allow to record and track the performance of Alstom solutions versus targets set in terms of noise reduction, energy efficiency and use of recyclable materials.

These dashboards are progressively deployed for urban trains and will be extended in the future to main lines trains  and infrastructure solutions. 

The monitored products are considered to be ecodesigned as per the latest Alstom ecodesign policy. To date, 25 solutions of the portfolio are considered ecodesigned. This indicator will be tracked and published on a regular basis.

Energy-efficient railway systems

Commitment to reduce the energy consumption of our solutionHigh-speed trains, metros and regional trains generally consume up to 20% less energy than previous generations, thanks to:

  • weight reduction through composite materials and re-design of parts;
  • reduced aerodynamic drag;
  • more efficient traction systems, either electrical or diesel (permanent magnet motors, optimised power packs control system, new traction chains, efficient traction auxiliaries);
  • energy‑efficient  comfort  auxiliaries  (lighting,  heating  and  air conditioning);
  • enhanced electrical braking including electrical braking until standstill;
  • efficient energy storage solutions;
  • optimised sleep modes.

Alstom is making constant efforts to reduce the energy consumption of its trains and systems. It is the first manufacturer to announce a commitment to  reduce energy consumption of its transport solutions by 20% by 2020 (compared with baseline 2014). As of March 2018, Alstom has reduced the energy consumption of its portfolio by 14% compared to 2014.

To reach this target, Alstom has defined its energy action plan along 3 pillars : 


  • Systematic of monitoring of solutions’performance;
  • Innovation for energy efficiency;
  • Collaboration with other actors of the value chain.


To  reduce the energy  consumption  of  existing  systems, Alstom also provides services for energy efficiency which include energy mapping, to identify improvement areas and implementation of optimisation solutions, such as ecodriving tools, enhanced energy management systems, braking energy recovery, or energy storage.

Noise reduction

Noise is a key concern, crucial for acceptance of railway projects and to optimise passenger comfort. Alstom’s key solutions include:

  • re-designed traction motor rotors (silencers, upgraded traction control strategies); 
  • redesigned HVAC (resonators, micro-perforated ducts) for reduced interior noise;
  • optimized wheel designed to improve noise radiation (ex : Pendolino for Polish operator PKP);
  • development of test benches for transformers to obtain noise performance in real operating conditions;
  • psychoacoustic studies for the high speed passenger seats;
  • doors optimisation (Metropolis for Amsterdam);
  • optimised ventilation: natural rather than mechanical fans or switched off during stops;
  • development of specific silencers for air-conditioning systems (e.g. Riyadh Metro); 
  • high attenuation sleepers to mitigate vibrations from the track. These deliver an equivalent performance to floating slab track systems at a lower cost.

High recyclability

Average recyclability and recoverability rates of new productsAlstom is proactive in design choices to favour recyclable materials and anticipate end-of-life by:

A consequence of the latest ecodesign developments is that, on average, trains are now 92% recyclable and 97% recoverable (including energy recovery)

Putting passengers first – accessibility for all

New products offer large gangways and windows, reduced noise emissions, video-surveillance, new information systems and accessibility for all.

  • Accessibility is an important element of passenger comfort. Trains are designed to suit the users of tomorrow. Increased height of future passengers and the needs of ageing populations are already taken into account
  • Alstom is committed to facilitate access and on-board movement, adapt ergonomics (for example with touch-sensitive and visual push-buttons) and improve passenger information systems through active line maps, auditory or visual signals.
  • Alstom is also working on improving train capacity and flexibity to integrate future development while ensure an enhanced level of acoustic, visual and thermal comfort.