Sustainability management

Clear guidelines for stakeholder dialog

We believe in partnership-based dialog and trusting engagement with all our stakeholder groups. Our stakeholder charter provides the foundation and guidelines for all dialog activities. On the basis of this, we discuss with our stakeholders openly about their requirements and at the same time contribute our positions to the dialog.


2020 topics

The most important dialog and communication formats


  • Information on measures for safe travel during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Further development and digitalization of ticket offerings (10-day tickets, e-tariffs)
  • Schedule and frequency improvements
  • Punctuality and connection reliability
  • Digitalization of customer interface (WiFi/route agent/train portal)
  • Personalized real-time travel information b Vehicle modernization/Idea Train b Digital services b Environmental and climate protection
  • Passenger Advisory Board
  • Online dialog platforms/social networks
  • Customer dialog (telephone)/customer enquiries
  • Virtual and/or hybrid dialog formats and product conferences
  • Digitally expanded road shows/product presentations
  • Labs (d.lab, DB mindbox)
Business customers
  • Maintaining operation during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • New strategic orientation (Strong Cargo)
  • Initiative for further development of production
  • Digital automatic coupling
  • Punctuality and reliability
  • Digitalization
  • Innovative freight cars
  • Green logistics
  • Direct exchange with customers (including trade fairs and conferences along with alternative digital formats)
  • Own dialog and customer events
  • Customer workshops
  • Annual customer satisfaction survey
  • Monthly satisfaction check
  • Social networks
  • Link2rail digital customer platform (e-services for customers)


  • Pandemic management
  • Master Plan for Rail Transport
  • Environmental and climate protection
  • Infrastructure development and financing
  • Digitalization
  • Germany in sync (Deutschland-Takt)
  • Intermodal competition
  • Financing public transport
  • Regulatory frameworks
  • Parliamentary evenings
  • Association activities
  • Participation in discussion rounds and expert presentations
  • Participation in BMVI dialog formats, such as the Rail Future Alliance
  • Our own events, such as competition symposiums or fireside evenings


  • Expansion camps (Ausbaucamps) for further employee strategic building blocks within the framework of Strong Rail
  • Covid-19 crisis management
  • “Mobile working of tomorrow” project
  • Network of Women at Deutsche Bahn
  • Collective bargaining
  • Digitalization of recruiting, onboarding qualification and training
  • DB Planet (digital information and exchange platform)
  • DB Learning World (virtual learning platform)
  • Events and networks around the topics of new work and diversity, such as “Week of New Work” and “Diversity Week”
  • Target group-specific employer branding campaigns, for example #wirsindin (#wearein)
  • Global employee survey


  • Competitive situation/regulatory environment
  • Dividend policy/capital increase
  • Indebtedness
  • Development of factor costs
  • Profitability
  • Virtual road shows
  • Virtual one-on-ones
  • Direct contacts
  • Investor relations Web site
  • Quality/qualification
  • Innovation/digitalization
  • Antitrust law
  • Ombudsmen
  • Supplier management
  • Cooperation in mutual trust
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Reviews of business partners
  • Sustainability in the supply chain
  • Shortage of skilled labor
  • Railway Forum Digital Edition
  • Direct supplier development meetings
  • Innovation workshops
  • Discussions and expert presentations
  • Compliance dialog with business partners
  • Railsponsible industry network
  • Dialogs on competition
  • Innovation partnerships
  • Dialogs regarding supplier sustainability assessments
  • Supplier days in the product areas
  • Railway Construction Initiative for the Future (Zukunftsinitiative Bahnbau; ZIB)

Associations/specialist public

  • Environmental and climate protection/Green Transformation
  • Infrastructure development and financing
  • Acceleration of planning and construction processes
  • Energy policy framework
  • Noise remediation
  • Compliance/anti-corruption
  • Annual meeting of the Association of German Transport Companies
  • Top-level discussions and expert exchanges with passenger, environmental and industry associations as well as public transport authorities, for example top-level discussions with the most important environmental associations, passenger association workshops and the Quiet Rail Forum of the Pro-Rail Alliance
  • Membership in the relevant bodies such as the 2 Degrees Foundation and ecosense
  • Member of the Administrative Board of the German Compliance Institute (Deutsches Institut für Compliance; DICO)
  • Corporative member of Transparency International Germany


  • Increasing employer attractiveness
  • Upgrade of digital services
  • Expansion and digitalization of the infrastructure
  • Expansion of fleet or procurement of trains
  • Environmental and climate protection, nature and resource conversation, noise remediation and social responsibilit
  • Press Web site
  • Press and photo events, including digital and hybrid formats
  • Background discussions, in some cases also digitally
  • Interviews, in some cases also digitally
  • Social networks

The topics and dialog formats are not presented in any order of priority.

Dialog with policymakers and the public

DB Group has an important role in advancing the railway system in Germany and Europe. We are therefore sought after as a dialog partner in public discussions, and actively engage in dialog with the entire sector. We discuss our own transport policy positions at the national and international level and seek to use fact-based arguments to contribute to the opinion-­forming process. Working in and with associations plays an important role in this. The following memberships are particularly relevant for political discourse:

  • Pro-Rail Alliance (Allianz pro Schiene; ApS)
  • Mobility and Transport Services Association (Arbeitgeber- und Wirtschaftsverband der Mobilitäts- und Verkehrsdienstleister; AGV MOVE)
  • Comité international des transports ferroviaires (CIT)
  • Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER)
  • German Transport Forum (Deutsches Verkehrsforum; DVF)
  • Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer (UIC)
  • Association of German Transport Companies (Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen; VDV)

The principles of the stakeholder charter also apply to dialog with policymakers. In addition, we have set strict internal standards for participation in political processes, which are summarized as “Group Principles Ethics – Code of Conduct” and which are binding Group-wide.

The Passenger Advisory Board makes a valuable contribution

The DB Passenger Advisory Board provides impetus for improvements to products and services in workshops, surveys and discussions. Twice a year, the committee, which consists of 30 private customers, comes together for ordinary meetings. In addition, it advises on and supports numerous projects relevant to customers. In 2020, the involvement of the DB Passenger Advisory Board was entirely digital for the first time – this enabled the DB Passenger Advisory Board to be involved in various DB Long-Distance and DB Regional projects; its members also took part in events focusing on internal affairs and brought customers’ direct perspective into the discussions.

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