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Bombardier Transportation’s sustainability journey

Even as early as the 1940s, Bombarider's founder Joseph-Armand Bombardier was already developing innovative mobility solutions to environmental challenges.

 In the days before recycling drives, air quality indexes, and climate actions, people had more immediate concerns, like ‘How can rural Canadians cross snow-covered roads in the middle of winter?’

Today, we have a new challenge. This time, we are facing global climate change occurring in the context of a growing population and mass urban migration. But our founder left us a guide, we’ve inherited his spirit to innovate and an ability to create practical solutions.  

Joseph Armand Bombardier's passion for creating mobility innovations was driven by tragic loss.  Sadly, one of Joseph-Armand's beloved children fell sick and died when a harsh Canadian winter blizzard kept the family from receiving much-needed medical attention.  But this experience was a catalyst for change and, already tinkering with  mobility prototypes as a hobby, Joseph-Armand began our journey by developing the world's first seven-passenger B7 snowmobile. 

You can visit the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Museum of Ingenuity for the full story behind one of Canada's most renowned inventors and entrepreneurs.

Joseph Armand Bombardier's work designing, building, and manufacturing mobility solutions included a desire to help people overcome the challenges of harsh envirnments.

We are facing global climate change occurring in the context of a growing population and mass urban migration. But our founder left us a guide, we’ve inherited his spirit to innovate and an ability to create practical solutions.

The Bombardier Glacier can be found in Antarctica's Graham's Land, near the southern tip of to South America

 

Joseph Armand’s work earned him a unique honour. In 1964, the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee named an Antarctic glacier in Graham's Land after our founder.

Located at the following coordinates: 64°19′00″S 59°59′00″W, the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Glacier is a daily reminder of our obligation to continue our founder’s work by developing innovative solutions that enable humans to coexist in balance with the planet we call home.

Railway as a key to a sustainable future

In 1964 Joseph Armand sadly passed away and a few years later, his son-in-law, Laurent Beaudoin took over leadership of the company and began preparing it for a larger global role.

Coincidentally, as the global oil crisis of the 1970s struck, Bombardier was already making its first forays into new sustainable transport solutions with its acquisition of Lohnerwerke in Austria in 1970. Our first contract came a few years later in 1974 when we signed a contract to begin building vehicles for Montréal’s subway.

 

In 1974 we won our first rail contract, a deal to build cars for Montréal’s subway system. Today have delivered around 500 cars to help support the city's sustainable mobility vision. Photo: Maxime Caron

A new millennium focused on sustainable approaches 

During the 2000s, we launched our The Climate is Right for Trains initiative to emphasize the benefits of low-emission rail transport. Under this sustainability effort, we developed the innovative ECO4 technology package, a mixture of products, solutions and technologies that boost energy efficiency while  improving overall train performance. Fully customizable to any fleet, the ECO4 solution could provide operators with up to 50 per cent in overall energy savings.  

In the new decade, we are continuing our drve by developing and delivering sustainable mobility solutions that directly address global megatrends and respond to the environmental challenges of our generation. 

The world's first hybrid train

The AGC Autorail Grande Capacité

Bombardier Transportation airports automated people movers

We developed the world's first hybrid train at our Crespin site in France

In 2007 our first Autorail Grande Capacité (AGC) train for French National Railways (SNCF) entered passenger service. The world's first dual-mode and dual-voltage AGC train provided operators with a new sustainable mobility solution. These hybrid trains, able to capture electric power from any accessible outlet, helped French rail operator SNCF reduce CO2 emissions and cut the energy required for its regional service.     

Limiting land use

The INNNOVIA monorail 300

Bombardier Transportation airports automated people movers

The INNOVIA monorail 300 is the ideal mass transit solution for areas with scarce or protected land resources


Another key innovation and sustainability milestone was the introduction of the third generation of our INNOVIA driverless systems. These included state-of-the-art people mover systems, monorails and automated metros. New products such as the efficient INNOVIA monorail system offerred operators tools like a lighter carbody, magnet motors, automated operation, and a slim guideway that required minimal land use.

 Sustainability at high speed

The ZEFIRO Express train

Bombardier Transportation airports automated people movers

The ZEFIRO Express can run up to 250 km/h, providing passengers with fast transportation to their destinations, while offering a mobility solution that reduces emissions.

Our ZEFIRO Express train is another of our latest modern and sustainabity-focused mobility solutions. This high-speed train seats 800 passengers comfortably and is the ideal transportation solution for intercity routes. It also offers best-in-class energy performance and can be equipped with MITRAC traction batteries, making it a great substitute to diesel-fueled trains.

Batteries included

The TALENT 3 battery-powered EMU

Bombardier Transportation airports automated people movers

When combined with renewable energy sources like wind or solar energy, our BEMU train is 100 per cent emission-free.

Perhaps our most impressive sustainability innovation has been our new TALENT 3 battery electric multiple unit (BEMU) train. Our flagship project to offer new transport solutions that address modern environmental challenges, the BEMU project has enabled us to set the standard for future sustainable mobility. It also consumes 35 per cent less energy compared to diesel-powered multiple units. 

Fast fact: our environemntal impact in 2018

4% less absolute energy consumption

8% lower water consumption compared to 2013

8% fewer relative emissions per working hour

11% reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions

35% of energy requirements provided by renewable electricity sources

Looking ahead

We recognize the important responsibility we have to minimize the impact our products and operations have on the environment. 

That’s why we are reducing our environmental footprint and improving how we use our resources to increase our efficiency and do our part to protect the environment. In 2003, we became the first rail manufacturer to sign the International Association of Public Transport’s (UITP) Charter on Sustainable Development.

Today all our eligible sites are certified or in the process of obtaining their certification by external parties according to the ISO 14001 Standard for Environmental Management. We've also successfully completed the adaptation of our systems to the revised 2015 version of ISO 14001.

We urge you to explore our Sustainability Page to learn more about how we are helping deliver a more sustainable future.