Management approach and targets
Circular economy principles frame our thinking about how we deploy, use and dispose of resources. Recycled materials are used and our material cycles are being optimized. Using our internal waste management system, we collect and dispose of almost every type of waste separately by individual fractions on the output side. For our other waste, in particular municipal waste, we will increase the recycling rate over the next few years by developing an improved waste management. In order to support the tasks necessary to the circular economy, we use a central IT tool called ZEDAL for hazardous and non-hazardous waste. A core principle of DB Schenker’s extensive global environmental management system is that the relevant locally applicable legal regulations for waste disposal are complied with as a minimum requirement. Corresponding contractual provisions are made and monitored at a local level.
We are redesigningno. 87 our production resources, especially our rolling stock, thereby extending their life cycle. Through the use of innovative 3D printing processesno. 149, we are contributing to efficient and resource-saving component production. In particular, this means that components that in the worst case could result in train downtimes can be manufactured at the touch of a button. We have now printed over 25,000 (replacement) parts in more than 300 different applications. At our maintenance depots, we are currently testing a new 3D printing material, known as a filament, that is made of 100% recycled plastic and is intended to be used in future to print tools and other implements.
We are looking at our entire value-creation chain – from procurement and operational use through to disposal. We are currently examining our resource flows in both procurement and waste management from a circular economy perspective. As part of this, in 2021, we conducted an extensive material flow analysis to identify the quantities and recirculation potential of DB Group’s main resources. We are also a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and apply its Circular Transition Indicators initiative, which is a framework for determining company-specific circular economy indicators.
As part of our environmental management system in accordance with DINISO 14001, clear rules regarding the circular economy have been laid out. For example, when materials and substances are no longer needed, we check whether they can be recycled and how they leave DB Group. For the Integrated Rail System in Germany, we are fundamentally a waste producer, which means that we manage and take active responsibility for implementing legally compliant and environmentally friendly waste disposal via third parties all the way through to final disposal. The contractual terms and management of external disposal services is carried out centrally by the Group function procurement. Fundamentally, specialist waste disposal companies are appointed that have the appropriate waste-related management and economic competences in accordance with section 56 (2) of the Circular Economy Act (Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz; KrwG).
Our target is to keep the recycling rate for our total waste steady at over 95%. Valuable resources such as metals and mineral construction materials are used in the construction and maintenance of our track infrastructure and vehicle fleet in particular, and waste is produced in the course of our business operations, such as used ballast and concrete from demolished structures. The majority of these resources are already recycled.