Indian Railways is a state-owned company owned by India's Ministry of Railways and headquartered in India. In 2020 its revenue was USD 18.66 billion. In the 2020-2021 reporting year the company was the fourth largest railway operator by revenue, carrying around 3.42 million passengers daily and transporting 1,234 million tonnes of freight, with a route length of 68,103 km.
Indian Railways has set a target to reduce emissions from its freight operations, but it is not clear whether this covers all of its freight emissions. If Indian Railways is to play its part in helping India meet its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) it needs to set a target that covers its entire transport activities for all scopes and align with a 1.5°C pathway. The company should also set intermediate targets at gaps of no more than five years to incentivise near-term action towards longer-term goals.
Indian Railways has introduced semi-high-speed trains and started to use more energy-efficient propulsion systems with regenerative braking, along with equipping 1161 diesel locomotives with auxiliary power units to reduce fuel consumption. Despite these investments, the company does not report its passenger and freight emissions intensities. Without this data, it is not possible to assess the company’s past emissions trends, alignment with its future 1.5°C scenario pathway, whether the company is projected to reduce its emissions intensity at a rate required by its 1.5°C pathway and whether it will remain within its future carbon budget.
There is no evidence that Indian Railways has a low-carbon transition plan. A comprehensive transition plan should include medium and long-term targets, verifiable and quantifiable key performance indicators and financial commitments. The plan should be informed by scenario analysis to ensure that the plan’s ambition is sufficient for a 1.5°C pathway. It should outline the impact of the plan on the current business, the actions it expects to implement as well as future considerations, such as a vision of what the company will look like in the future.
Although Indian Railway provides public transport services for the Government of India, the company does not publish a strategy for engaging with government agencies as a client. Although the company sets out rules for entering into supply contracts which cover public sector transport, it does not mention this engagement from an emissions reduction perspective. Indian Railways should set out a clear strategy to promote its low-carbon solutions to customers. This could include providing financial incentives such as discounts or marketing campaigns.
Indian Railways receives a trend score of -. If the company were reassessed in the near future, its score would likely decrease. Indian Railways does not disclose sufficient data to evaluate whether the company’s passenger and freight rail emissions intensities are aligned with its 1.5°C pathway or whether the company is projected to remain within its future carbon budget. Without the publication and implementation of a transition plan, the company lacks any form of decarbonisation strategy or any indication the company aims to align with a 1.5°C pathway.
Indian Railways has only set a target to reduce emissions from a portion of its rail freight operations and has not outlined any form of decarbonisation strategy. The company has not developed a vision, qualitative or quantitative, of what its business will look like in a low-carbon future.
Indian Railways aims to reduce its freight emissions by 457 million tons of CO2 and has a range of low-carbon business models (e.g. improve the energy efficiency of its rail network and its rolling stock, etc.) but it reports minimal details of these business activities.
Indian Railways started manufacturing semi-high-speed trains, introduced 25 ton-axles for greater capacity and improved its coach passenger capacity. The company disclosed insufficient emissions data between 2015 to 2020 to provide a meaningful assessment of its historic emissions intensity trend.
Indian Railways aims to support India’s achieve its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), but is yet to demonstrate any discernible action. Its lack of net-zero targets, evidence to evaluate its past performance and a transition plan is inconsistent with its aim to support India’s NDC.
No evidence was found of the company’s commitment to social dialogue or of the categories of stakeholders the company engages with on a just transition. Furthermore, no evidence was found to demonstrate the company’s ongoing social dialogue and meaningful engagement with affected stakeholders.
No evidence was found of the company undertaking low-carbon transition planning to mitigate the social impacts of the transition on workers, affected stakeholders and its business relationships. Additionally, no evidence was found to demonstrate the company’s engagement in social dialogue and engagement with stakeholders in its just transition planning.
No public commitment by the company was found stating its intention to create and support access to green and decent jobs as part of the low-carbon transition. Moreover, no evidence was found of the company’s action to promote these jobs in a way that ensures gender balance and inclusion of vulnerable groups. Additionally, no relevant disclosure was found of the company’s assessment of employment dislocation risks.
No public commitment by the company was found stating its intention to reskill- and up-skill workers displaced by the transition to a low-carbon economy. Additionally, no evidence was found that the company reskills- and up-skills workers in a way that ensures gender balance and inclusion of vulnerable groups.
No relevant disclosure was found to show if the company identifies impacts of the low-carbon transition on social protection for workers and affected stakeholders, nor how it contributes to social protection. Additionally, no evidence was found that the company expects its business relationships to contribute to the social protection of their workers and affected stakeholders.
No relevant disclosure was found to show how the company identifies any misalignment of its lobbying activities with policies and regulations that support the just transition, nor of the measures it takes to address misalignment. Furthermore, no evidence was found that the company lobbies for policies and regulations for green and decent job creation; retention, education and reskilling; and social protection for workers.
No policies or commitments of the company related to respect for human rights were found in the public domain. This includes the necessary policies and systems by which the company can ensure respect for basic human rights in its operations and supply chain.
No evidence of the company’s policies or commitments related to key decent work issues were found in the public domain. These issues include the provision of secure, safe and healthy workplaces, where workers are fairly remunerated and have a meaningful say in decision-making.
No policies or commitments of the company related to key ethical business topics – personal data protection, tax, bribery and corruption, and lobbying and political engagement – were found in the public domain. This includes ensuring ethical business conduct throughout its operations and in its relationships with business partners.