Our climate target
We are committed to a climate protection target of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. In order to achieve this target for the entire DB Group, we have set ourselves ambitious intermediate milestones. By 2030, we will have more than halved specific greenhouse gas emissions (that is emissions related to performance levels such as volume sold) worldwide compared to 2006. Across the entire transport sector in Germany, a shift in the mode of transport to rail by 2030 can save up to 10.5 million tons CO₂ per year.
Simultaneously, DB Schenker wants to grow in a climate-neutral manner. This means that we will keep the greenhouse gas emissions of our global logistics activities outside of Germany constant, despite the expected further increase in transport volume in the coming decade. Compared to 2006, DB Schenker intends to reduce specific greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 %.
Climate neutrality by 2050
To ensure we meet our long-term climate targets, we have been bringing together target-related activities from across DB Group and grouping them under the umbrella of “Climate-neutral DB” since 2020. The interdisciplinary project develops binding greenhouse gas reduction pathways (phase-out plans), improves trans - parency for planned measures, and optimizes the solution for overarching challenges in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to emissions from rail and road transport operations, the emissions from stationary buildings and facilities are also considered. New, climate-friendly technologies are being tested and piloted across all business units.
Specific greenhouse gas emissions
in comparison to 2006 (%)
We reduced specific greenhouse gas emissions (that is emissions related to performance level such as volume sold) by more than 34 % in comparison to 2006, which is slightly more than our adjusted forecast from the 2020 Integrated Interim Report. Our absolute greenhouse gas emissions have continued to decline. In 2020, increases in the number of renewable energy sources in the traction current mix helped us to remain on the path to achieving our climate target to at least halve specific greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Specific CO₂e emissions from journeys and transports of
Regional rail passenger
thereof in Germany
Long-distance rail passenger transport (g/pkm)
Bus transport (g/pkm)
thereof in Germany
Rail freight transport (g/tkm)
Road freight transport (g/tkm)
Air freight (g/tkm)
Ocean freight (g/tkm)
Well-to-wheel (WTW); scope 1 — 3; without pre- and onward carriage; rail transport companies are included with their own energy mix and/or European country mixes.
Data for 2020 are based on information and estimates available as of February 2021.
* Including additionally procured electricity for all of DB Group’s green services with 100 % eco-power (Hamburg S-Bahn (metro) or DBeco plus, for example) and taking into account a forecast based on the German Renewable Energy Sources Act subsidy.
Since January 1, 2018, all passengers on our long-distance electric trains across Germany have been traveling on services powered by 100 % eco-power no. 1. The Berlin S-Bahn (metro) has been climate-neutral since 2018 and contributes to the high share of eco-power in the DB traction current mix. Since 2020, six lines in Baden-Württemberg regional transport have been using eco-power. In rail freight transport, DBeco plus offers our customers the opportunity of climate-neutral transports driven by 100 % eco-power.
We continued to increase the share of renewable energies in the DB traction current mix in 2020.
In January 2020, we concluded a contract for the direct supply of solar power no. 30 to the DB traction current grid. The Wasbek photovoltaic park in Schleswig-Holstein will supply 38 GWh directly to the traction current grid per year.
However, adding renewable energies to our traction current grid’s energy supply not only poses challenges for procurement but also for the development of the energy supply infrastructure. Instead of a small number of large fossil-fuel power plants with a constant supply, we need to upgrade our infrastructure to accommodate an increasingly decentralized energy supply from smaller, renewable electricity producers with a more variable output. The LuFV, agreed with the Federal Government, gives us planning certainty to carry out the necessary infrastructure projects on the German traction current grid. By 2030 we will install, replace or expand the capacity of converters and inverters at eight locations. We also use sensors and artificial intelligence so that we can continue to manage the increased complexity of the traction current grid in future with high supply reliability
Specific primary energy
Regional rail passenger transport
thereof in Germany
Long-distance rail passenger transport (MJ/pkm)
Bus transport (MJ/pkm)
thereof in Germany
Rail freight transport (MJ/tkm)
Road freight transport (MJ/tkm)
Air freight (MJ/tkm)
Ocean freight (MJ/tkm)
Well-to-wheel (WTW); scope 1 — 3; without pre- and onward carriage.
Our most important long-term action to increase energy efficiency is extensively electrifying our rail network. In the short and medium term, we are focusing on the use of hybrid drives in our locomotives and multiple units, as well as on developing climate-neutral alternative drives and fuels.
Energy efficiency fell in passenger transport in 2020 due to the sharp decline in train utilization in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the key social decision was made to maintain at least a basic level of service at all times despite the severe drop in demand. We expect that as capacity utilization increases, we will once more reach the level of previous years and that the positive trend will continue over the next few years due to the increase in fleet efficiency. As passengers in long-distance transport travel on vehicles using 100 % eco-power, this remained the most climate-friendly means of transport, even in 2020. In addition, efficiency improvements were achieved in logistics. By using primary energy as a reference, we also take into account the processes required for providing the energy, such as extraction, processing and the transport of fuels or the generation of electricity. The main levers for reducing our energy consumption are equipping our freight train locomotives with driving assistance systems, as well as modernizing our electric vehicle fleets with new series vehicles with higher energy efficiency or the ability to convert kinetic energy into electricity during braking. With the recovery of energy from braking processes no. 19, our modern electric locomotives and multiple units make another important contribution to increasing energy efficiency. In 2020, the energy recovery rate increased slightly to 16.5 % (previous year: 16.2 %). Currently, the fleet vehicles that are able to “recycle” electricity is growing, for example with the introduction of the ICE 4 in passenger transport and the 185 series locomotives in freight transport. In 2020, we also drove forward the continuous replacement of old, decentralized transformers with modern electronic converters to increase energy efficiency in the generation of traction current.
Absolute primary energy
Rail network operation
Maintenance of rolling
Our 5,400 stations, our depots and buildings in Germany and more than 2,100 DB Schenker sites worldwide, together with the DB Arriva and DB Cargo sites in other European countries and DB Netze Track’s interlockings, make up 8.5 % of DB Group’s total primary energy consumption. To identify potential savings and measure energy consumption over the long term, energy audits were carried out in Group companies in previous years to implement the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and were also carried out in 2020. DB Energie GmbH, DB Regio AG, S-Bahn Berlin GmbH and S-Bahn Hamburg GmbH, DB Fernverkehr AG and DB Station & Service AG have each had an energy management system no. 78 as per ISO 50001 since 2016.