IRS 30345

New IRS 30345 updating UIC Leaflet 345 “Environmental specifications for new rolling stock”

Project information

  • Acronym: IRS 30345
  • New IRS 30345 updating UIC Leaflet 345 “Environmental specifications for new rolling stock”
  • Project director: Lucie Anderton
  • Project manager: Isabelle De Keyzer
  • Status: ongoing project

Project description

With the Green Deal, the European Commission (EC) adopted its Circular Economy Action plan in March 2020 to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. According to the action plan, the EC also announced its intention to implement the Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria while procuring goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their lifecycle.

Therefore, applying a circular economy approach to the products from the design to procurement phases is of high importance. With the publication of the EC’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility strategy, various discussions are being had and studies are being carried out, within the framework of UIC sustainability, to achieve these ambitious goals.

The UIC Circular Economy (CE) Sector has closely reviewed UIC Leaflet 345 which addresses all of the relevant aspects for integrating environmental specifications into the procurement process.

Leaflet 345 dates back to 2006, and covers four key environmental areas for railways, which are listed below, and provides detailed specifications:

  • Noise
  • Energy
  • Diesel Exhaust Emissions
  • Material/Recycling/Waste

In addition to revising UIC Leaflet 345, the new IRS should include recent developments in the field of sustainability.

For this reason, this project aims to address the following questions:

  • Do the four key environmental areas mentioned above still encompass the relevant information?
  • Are the environmental specifications mentioned still relevant and up to date?

Additionally, and in line with the‘Design a better future’ Vision 2030 for Railways published by the UIC Sustainability Taskforce, the output of UIC projects should contribute to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the vision statement for sustainable railways, green recovery should be supported to make the railway sector the backbone of sustainable mobility. Connectivity that contributes to healthy and sustainable lifestyles and economies on every continent, and has zero emissions, is resource efficient, a community hub, accessible for all, and is both biodiverse and a good neighbour.

Initial analysis on the expected results of the transformation of UIC Leaflet 345 into a new IRS, show that it is likely to have the greatest demonstrable impact on Sustainable Development Goal 12 “Responsible Consumption and Production”.

The results of the project will determine the internationally recommended priorities for all UIC members who plan to add environmental and circularity standards to the technical specifications prepared during the procurement of new rolling stock. It will also define how this should be done on a technical level. In addition, the project participants, who may already have responsible procurement approaches, will contribute to strengthening the position of the railway sector as the most sustainable mode of transport.

Therefore, the UIC Sustainability Unit will work in close collaboration with UIC advisors from other working groups and forums to ensure that the specifications of the new IRS can truly be implemented in procuring new rolling stock.

Project objectives

This project’s objective is to create a worldwide standardised environmental, and circular specification for new rolling stock, to ensure that rail transport remains the most sustainable, fully circular, and environmentally friendly mode of transport. This project will additionally provide the rail community with an international platform to reach a consensus on environmental specifications, as railway stakeholders should align their procurement processes with the UN SDGs.


  • To develop a harmonised framework regarding environmental and circularity requirements in technical specifications for new rolling stock.
  • To ensure harmonisation and economic efficiency on the railways.
  • To ensure realistic and measurable environmental data is requested in technical specifications.
  • To develop an environmental framework that is applicable to railway operators (and infrastructure managers) in their procurement processes.
  • To blend a range of technical environmental solutions to support the procurement process for new rolling stock designs.
  • To achieve compatibility between emerging trends, environmentally friendly specifications, and universal and global objectives while also incorporating regional variations.
  • To improve new rolling stock procurement while reducing energy consumption, GHG emissions, and increasing sustainable resource management and responsibility along the whole supply chain.
  • To enable all UIC members to use a common language and specifications in regard to the supply industry when tendering rolling stock.
  • To push the standardisation of rolling stock components to allow the reuse of “as good as new” decommissioned parts, if they comply with the appropriate quality and safety controls.
  • To rely on the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as stated in Directive 2018/851 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 2008/98/EC on waste. Railway companies will be able to take advantage of the components’ eco-design and therefore improve the sustainable management of raw materials along the whole supply chain to close the raw material loop.
  • Helping secure product supply and market availability with the global recognition of standardised environmental specifications.

Project members

UIC contact

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Here is a list of the planned deliverables:

  • State-of-the art on the UIC environmental procurement process for new rolling stock, estimated date of delivery: 12/2023, deliverable for WP1 and WP2
  • UIC Strategy on the new procurement process for the preparation of environmental specifications, estimated date of delivery: 06/2024, deliverable for WP3 and WP4
  • New IRS 30345 on environmental specifications for new rolling stock, estimated date of delivery: end of 2025
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Wednesday 24 May 2023