Understanding the goals and needs for the use of eco-labels in the European railway sector

Célia Cannappah*, Willem Haanstra, Jan Braaksma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


With growing concerns around climate change, the railway sector is committed to improving the circularity and reducing the emissions of its products and services. In this exploratory case study, fourteen European railway partners, including suppliers, operators and infrastructure managers, are collectively working on energy and eco-labelling initiatives to continue these improvements and communicate their progress. Such labels can be used to collect and share the most relevant pieces of information related to energy efficiency, material use, and environmental impact, which are often fragmented in the supply chain.
The case study includes a literature review combined with interviews to better understand the current state of European railway eco-labels and validate if they are an appropriate tool for the sector. It reveals the need for new or updated eco-labels for the railway sector that better suit their developing goals and requirements. This research outlines a set of recommendations for the development of future European railway eco-labels.
Five categories of goals were identified in the relevant literature, (i) the evaluation of the environmental impact of a product, (ii) the behavior-change of customers and (iii) the supply chain, (iv) the push for positive change and (v) the potential marketability of a product.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Jan 2024
Event31st CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, LCE 2024 - Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy
Duration: 19 Jun 202421 Jun 2024
Conference number: 31


Conference31st CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, LCE 2024
Abbreviated titleCIRP LCE Conference
Internet address


  • Eco-label goals
  • European railway sector
  • Eco-label requirements
  • Sustainability communication
  • Environmental label


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