Reporting standards

Annual financial statements

The annual financial statements and management report of DB AG, as prepared by the Management Board, and the consolidated financial statements and Group management report for the period ending on December 31, 2021 were audited and awarded an unqualified audit opinion by PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft (PwC), the auditor appointed by resolution of the Annual General Meeting.

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Sustainability reporting

The 2021 Integrated Report refers to the year under review, this being calendar year 2021. For the purpose of comparison, most of the key figures are also presented for 2020 and 2019. The Integrated Report is published on an annual basis. The 2021 Integrated Report was published on March 31, 2022 (2020 Integrated Report: March 25, 2021). The Integrated Report addresses the material stake­holder ­groups of Deutsche Bahn Group (DB Group). The reporting covers all material economic, social and environmental aspects. All fully consolidated DB Group companies are included in the reporting. Deviations from this reporting scope are noted as such.

The data collection methods and bases of calculation used for the data in the Integrated Report are based on the relevant standards:

  • The Integrated Report was prepared in accordance with the core option of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. Content regarding general and specific standard information is referenced in the GRI index.
  • At the same time, the information also serves as a communication on progress regarding the implementation of the UN Global Compact's Ten Principles.
  • Moreover, DB Group follows the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) on the reporting of climate-related information. The TCFD index lists references to the relevant passages in the Integrated Report.

Material contents, indicators and passages of text were audited by an independent third party, PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft (PwC), with limited assurance.

Selection of sustainability topics

Through our Strong Rail strategy, we have set the schedule for DB Group for the coming years. It forms the super­ordinate framework for our reporting.

We are also reliant on the support and acceptance of our stakeholders in order to successfully implement the Strong Rail strategy. In 2019, as part of the comprehensive materiality analysis (2019 Integrated Report), we therefore asked them for an assessment of 16 important areas of action for sustainability. These 16 areas of action reflect the focus points of our strategy and supplement them with other topics that our stakeholders deem relevant. In 2021, we verified whether our set of material topics remain the same for our stakeholders and so surveyed representatives of our stakeholder groups as part of a validation process. The executives of DB Group’s Sustainability unit were also informed of the survey results. The results show that our set of relevant sustainability topics continues to apply. Our sustainability topics are made up of:

  • the material topics under the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI),
  • an internal materiality assessment (additional topics), and
  • our comprehensive transparency aspiration towards our stakeholders (topics from the transparency aspiration).

Non-financial statement

DB Group has opted for the voluntary submission of a non-finan­­cial statement (NFS). As part of our integrated report approach, we provide comprehensive reports on all material sustainability issues.

Three areas of action were identified in the materiality analysis as material within the meaning of the CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-Richtlinie-Umsetzungsgesetz; CSR-RUG); these also remained material in 2021:

The contents of the NFS can be found in the relevant chapters of the Group management report and in the Notes on sustainability, and were prepared in accordance with the international standards of the GRI in the core option and taking into account the reporting requirements of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). In addition, we provide additional voluntary disclosures on further matters.

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DB topics

Business model

Business model

Environmental matters  

Climat protection

Social matters  

Capacity expansion of the infrastructure and vehicle fleet

Other matters
(economic performance capability)

Business development



Environmental matters  

Natur conservation, Air quality controlWater consumption

Employee matters  

Work of the future, Employment conditions, Group security, Transformation

Respect for human rights  

Human rights

Combating corruption
and bribery  


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