Euskotren’s environmental policy establishes the reference framework to deploy its strategic environmental vision to protect citizens' current and future quality of life by guaranteeing an environment with clean and healthy air, water and land, thanks to the responsible management of natural resources and properly managing the waste generated. The goal is thus to limit the impact of climate change, by focusing on protecting biodiversity and the functionality of ecological systems.
In 2021, Euskotren's environmental expenditure was around €966,925 (€939,246 in 2020), including spending on preventing and reducing the environmental damage caused by its activity, along with that arising from the organisation's voluntary environmental commitments.
Euskotren has added different elements and measures to its assets, for the purpose of the saving and efficient use of resources. These include energy efficiency measures such as modernising the lighting systems and the improvements to the wash tunnel at its Zumaia facilities, along with fostering renewable energies with the purchase of an electric van.
Furthermore, it has purchased equipment to store products and automatic fire detection, along with means for waste prevention and recycling, in order to help to protect and improve the environment in the conducting of the organisation's activity.
It also awarded the contract for two hybrid buses, along with a further two electric buses and two electric minibuses, and four buses that meet the Euro 6 Vehicle Emissions Standards. The emphasis is on replacing oil-based fuels, aimed at avoiding or, as applicable, reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and of certain pollutants to the atmosphere, to improve the quality of the local air.
Additionally, the latest Series 600 tramway unit has come into service. The units of this series include technical improvements aimed at energy efficiency, adjustable lighting depending on the outside light, and a system to automatically switch to "night mode" when units are not being used, with the aim to control and cut that consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Euskotren's environmental expenditure comprises different activities aimed at protecting and improving the environment: waste treatment and management; controlling wastewater parameters; environmental management; environmental audits; equipment maintenance (equipment and facilities with environmental impact); and pollution prevention measures (self-protection plans and measures to prevent leaks and spills).
The 2021 investment programme included the installation of energy efficiency measures at the Ibaiondo facilities (Vitoria-Gasteiz). The Ibaiondo works got underway in December 2021 and were completed in January 2022.
In turn, the Euskotren Environmental Management Plan 2021-2024 develops the planning of the environmental activity for that period. This new plan focuses on the energy management, circular economy and environmental management challenges to fulfil a sole objective of "progressing towards low-carbon and resource-efficient activity".
The environmental management is deployed from a continuous improvement approach, as per the criteria established in the UNE-EN-ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems standard, implemented in the organisation and certified for the transport of passengers by rail, tramway and bus at the Lutxana, Leioa and Zumaia facilities and the Elgoibar, Atxuri and Vitoria-Gasteiz depots.