At GATX, we are committed to promoting sustainability. As part of our efforts to move towards a greener future, our in-house workshop in Ostróda (WSO – Wagon Service Ostróda) has embarked on an ambitious journey to reduce its environmental footprint. Three years in the making, this initiative aims to adapt the way we operate and approach energy consumption in our in-house workshop. Sławomir Garwacki, the Managing Director of our Ostóda Workshop, stated, “We started with an energy audit three years ago that revealed opportunities that could reduce the amount of energy used for heating and electricity in our operations, and so we launched a program to seek to reduce our carbon footprint and optimize energy costs.”
Portion of Electricity Expected to Come from Solar Panels on Workshop Roof
A major part of our workshop’s green transformation is the installation of solar panels on the roof, which began in March and is expected to be completed by the end of November. These solar panels are intended to provide a substantial portion of the workshop’s electricity needs. Sławomir Garwacki emphasized the dual benefits, saying, “This is both an economic and environmental decision, as we expect it to reduce our CO2 footprint in addition to cutting our costs. Our solar panels are also expected to be connected to the Polish electricity network, enabling our community to benefit from our solar panels when we don’t need the excess electricity.”
Beyond Solar: A Holistic Approach to Sustainability
While the solar panels are an important aspect of our workshop’s strategy to reduce our environmental footprint, we do not plan to stop there. Sławomir Garwacki outlined three additional sustainability initiatives: “We’ve exchanged our heating boilers for more efficient solutions, resulting in a reduction in gas consumption. We’ve also switched all lights in the workshop and office to LED, a change completed at the end of November. Additionally, we began utilizing the heat generated by the compressor in our wheelset refurbishment process to preheat the maintenance area, using a water heat exchanger that provides an additional heat source. These measures collectively result in electricity and energy savings.”
Next Steps: Water Consumption and Reducing Plastic Waste
We plan to move on to the next milestones in adapting our in-house workshop and further reducing the workshop’s overall environmental impact. Sławomir Garwacki adds, “Next we plan to take steps to address water consumption and waste generation, including efforts to reduce plastic usage.”
Recently, our colleagues at our in-house workshop in Ostróda celebrated its rich 150 year history. These sustainability initiatives represent some of the most significant changes in the history of this workshop. It not only demonstrates the importance of environmental responsibility to our operations, but also underscores the economic benefits of certain sustainable practices. As we continue to take steps towards reducing our environmental footprint, we are supporting the other workshops in our network and others in our industry to share best practices.
*Click here to review GATX’s Cautionary Statement and Forward-Looking Statements.