DB Group

Sustainability management

The importance of sustainability and, in particular, the importance of climate protection are reflected in our sustainability organization as well as being anchored in the Strong Rail strategy. The Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) is responsible for the issues of sustainability and the environment – and therefore also for climate-related opportunities and risks. The role is performed by the Chairman of the Manage­ment Board (CEO) of DB AG. The CSO’s perspective is therefore incorporated in a very central role in all important Group decisions. In his dual role, the CEO was also significantly involved in the development of the Strong Rail strategy with regard to climate-relevant decisions. A central component is the Green Transformation of DB Group, which is gradually making all products, services and operating processes more environmentally friendly. The Management Board and Supervisory Board set the climate-related tar­gets for DB Group and its subsidiaries. As part of the medium-term planning, the Management Board decided in 2022 on the starter packages for the diesel phase-out and the heat transition.

The central Sustainability and Environment organizational unit and its five specialist departments are responsible for overall coordination of Group-wide sustainability issues. The management of Sustainability and Environment is the highest position responsible for sustainability and climate-related issues under the Management Board and reports directly to the CEO. Specific tasks include the preparation of recommendations for action for DB Group, its business units and service units. In addition, among other things, the division is responsible for planning and monitoring the achievements of the respective targets, for example in relation to our climate pro­­tection and noise reduction targets. The business units are responsible for implementing the targets, strategies and measures. The Sustainability and Environment unit designs DB Group’s Green Transformation and ensures its implementation. In particular, it is responsible for defining the in­­tegrated sustainability and environmental strategy, the associated Group-wide targets and key figures, and for planning, managing and implementing Group-wide transformation projects.The respective specialist departments are responsible for the content of sustainability issues. All in all, we use environmental monitoring tools such as a watchlist, which we use to monitor ongoing environmental legislation developments, or a newsletter that summarizes current developments on the topic of sustainability on a weekly basis. The development of further environment monitoring tools, our involvement in sustainability networks, participation in ESG ratings and rankings and our participation in national and international committees ensure that trends and drivers, as well as opportunities and risks in the field of sustainability and the environment, including climate protection and climate resilience management, are monitored and are strategically and professionally addressed for DB Group.This ensures Group-wide access to expertise on sustainability and environmental and climate issues.

Sustainability and the environment are a top priority of the Strong Rail strategy. The Supervisory Board and the Management Board receive quarterly updates on the status of the Environment and 100% green electricity building block for the Green Transformation and thus about sustainability, environmental and climate issues. Progress in greenhouse gas reduction, noise reduction and in future also on resource conservation is reviewed at regular performance review meetings held during the year, which are attended by the Management Board and the executives of the business units. The CEO is informed about environmental issues through regular briefings, monthly jours fixes with the Head of Sustainability and Environment, and regular in-depth workshops on strategies and goals in the field of the environment.

The structure of the variable compensation of Management Board members and executives as well as other employee groups in DB Group is largely geared towards sustainability goals and in particular a significant reduction of CO₂e in the transport sector in Germany in accordance with the Federal government’s transport policy objectives. This is mainly due to significant shifts in the mode of transport to environmentally friendly rail. For this reason, in 2022 the contribution to climate protection was taken into account in the long-term variable compensation of senior executives and Management Board members in the form of volume targets for the implementation of shifts in the mode of transport, which have a positive impact on CO₂e reduction in the transport sector, but have no impact on DB Group’s CO₂e emissions. In addition, the short-term variable compensation of the other employee groups in 2022 also includes an explicit target for reducing DB Group’s CO₂e emissions. From 2023, the long-term compensation also includes targets for expanding the share of renewable energies in the traction current mix.

The first Group-wide sustainability trainee program no. 100 was launched in 2022. In the first year, a total of 12 trainees will take part, who will build up a wide range of skills in sustainability management in the 18-month program.

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