Pacific National is committed to conducting business activities in a way that minimises adverse environmental impacts and delivers continual improvement in environmental performance. Rail freight is safer, greener, more cost effective and can reduce passenger congestion compared to other modes of transport. Moving freight by rail produces 16 times less carbon pollution per tonne kilometre than by road.

Rail freight transport has significant inherent benefits for the economy and community relative to the road and imposes far fewer costs to the community in terms of accidents, congestion and emissions.

A 2017 Deloitte Access Economics report found:

  • Road freight incurs 14 times greater accident costs than rail freight per tonne-kilometre and 16 times as much carbon pollution as rail freight per tonne-kilometre.

  • Moving freight by rail instead of road generates benefits for society of around 1.45 cents per tonne-kilometre.

At a time when government policies are increasingly focused on rolling-out heavier and longer trucks, it is worth reflecting – Australians want safer roads, less traffic congestion and lower carbon emissions.

Our business is rail freight and we are committed to conducting business activities in a way that minimises adverse environmental impacts and delivers continual improvement in environmental performance.  We welcome feedback, please use this form to get in touch.

Energy and GHG emissions

Rail freight produces 16 times less pollution than road per tonne kilometre, so here at Pacific National we are doing our bit to move Australia’s economy with fewer emissions.

Pacific National has a strong focus on improving the way we do business, that includes maximising the efficiency of our locomotives.

Our fleet strategy is an enterprise plan that will renew aging fleets with state-of-the-art locomotives to deliver lower emissions and operating costs, improved productivity, reliability and availability.

We are also working on a wide range of transformation projects to deliver operational, commercial and environmental improvement.

Pacific National recognises the requirement to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) and reducing fuel use and associated emissions is a high priority.

Pacific National has a number of projects and systems in place to improve the resilience of the business and strengthen our environmental performance including:

LEAN Railroading

The LEAN Railroading continual improvement methodology provides a suite of standardised business wide set of visual performance metrics designed to enable continual improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of the freight task. Daily, weekly and monthly LEAN Railroading meetings are conducted to monitor, review and improve the operations performance and total emissions intensity of the freight operations.

Low friction bearing seals

Having tested a range of bearing seals from a variety of manufacturers, Pacific National determined that certain seals lower wheel friction in our wagon wheels. Less friction lowers the required power to haul wagons and delivers an estimated 1 per cent reduction in fuel consumption. A change in bearing overhaul standard will now see these low friction seals fitted when the bearings are reconditioned, which is typically every three years.

Optimised wagons design

Pacific National has been working with the manufacturers of our wagons to maximise wagon design within the limits of the Rolling Stock Outline, and have been able to decrease the length of the wagons, while maintaining capacity. This means Pacific National is able to increase the number of wagons per train while increasing the total train load delivering improvements in fuel intensity.

In November 2015, Pacific National was successful in securing a Carbon Abatement Contract at the second Emissions Reduction Fund auction with the Clean Energy Regulator. Initiatives such as these contribute to the delivery of our contracted GHG emissions of 362,500 tCO2e over a 7-year period.

Pacific National continues to explore energy and emission reduction opportunities in other parts of the business too. The Nebo Train Support Facility (NTSF) is the largest consumer of electricity power in Pacific National’s Queensland coal business. We have recently completed an energy efficiency lighting upgrade and installation of solar panels to reduce the imported electricity supply by over 400 Mwh per annum. We are currently reviewing other large electricity consuming sites across the business to assess expansion of the solar and lighting efficiency initiative.

Improving Industry Emissions

Pacific National has worked with other rail industry operators through the Freight on Rail Environmental Policy Group (FOREPG), a sub group of the Freight on Rail Group (FORG) to develop and implement a rail industry locomotive diesel exhaust emissions Code of Practice.

Our CEO Dean Dalla Valle is currently Chair of FORG of Australia – a rail freight industry advocacy group established in 2015 to engage with government and key stakeholders on major public policy issues.

Additionally, the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) Code of Practice – Management of Locomotive Exhaust Emissions was published in December 2018, with all rail operators now committed to meeting the Code and reporting against the Code annually.

Recycling Initiatives

Pacific National is committed to reducing the amount of waste generated through our daily operations. Several waste reduction and recycling initiatives are in place across the business including a partnership with OneSteel Recycling to collect and recycle the metal backing plates off used brake blocks at our Port Kembla, Port Waratah and Greta facilities. To date 52 tonnes of waste brake shoes have been diverted from landfill.


With the construction of the Greta Train Support Facility, Pacific National participated in the Federal Government and NSW Biobanking scheme (https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/biodiversity/offsetsscheme.htm) which offsets the land clearing associated with the development by conserving areas of similar habitat. Under the Federal scheme, Pacific National is required to publish commitments and annual reports relating to the Biodiversity assessment. The reports are available here.