2018 Integrated Report – On track towards a better Railway


Our aspiration for climate, noise and nature conservation

We are working on the issues that are material to us and our stakeholders. You can find an overview of our material sustainability themes in the section entitled “To our stakeholders.”

Environmental and climate protection are among our strategic goals and are a matter of course to us as a sustainable mobility and transport service provider. By 2050, all our transport services will be climate-neutral, thereby re­­ducing our specific emis­­sions to zero.

Our new climate target of halving our specific green­­house gas emissions by 2030 represents an im­portant milestone on the way to this goal. To achieve this, we are increasing the proportion of renewable energies in the DB traction current mix in Germany to 80% by 2030. We are therefore increasingly operating our transport services using electricity from renewable sources. One significant measure that we have put in place in the year under review is the supply of DB Long-­­Distance in Germany entirely with renewable energies no. 1. This means that since January 2018, all passengers in DB Long-Distance electric trains on all routes have been travel­­­­ing CO₂-free.

In addition, we are continuously increasing the proportion of more energy-efficient means of production, for example as part of the modernization of our vehicle fleet.

This is green.

The slogan this is green de­­scribes how DB Group sees itself in terms of environmental protection: not only do we want to play our own part, we also want to help our customers protect the environment by providing green solutions and products in all areas. This is why we are pur­­suing ambitious targets in the fields of climate, noise and nature conservation. In 2018, we increased the number of green measures that form part of our daily activities to about 150. DB Group is thus living up to its responsibility for a successful transport transition in Germany.

We will continue to use attractive offers to expand the market share of rail transport in the passenger and freight sectors and provide incentives to get more traffic onto the rails. The Berlin–Munich high-speed line, which was put into service in December 2017, and our quiet digital freight cars, which allow freight to be tracked in real time, are two examples of this approach.

The shift of transport services to the rails not only affects the emissions of our own logistics, it is essential to helping Germany achieve its national climate targets in the transport sector. To monitor our progress, we have defined energy efficiency targets in each business unit, which are measured at regular intervals. We do not use any further climate compensation instruments to achieve our climate target.

Our climate-protection indicators are specific green­­­­­house gas emissions compared to 2006 and the proportion of renewable ener­­­­­­gies in the DB traction current mix.

Our contribution to the Climate Protection Plan 2050

With the Climate Protection Plan 2050, the Federal Government is aim­­ing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector by up to 42% by 2030 compared to 1990, as a first step. We have aligned our new climate target to this aspiration and aim to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by about 11 million t CO₂e by 2030. This will increase the climate protection gains of shifting transport to environmentally friend­­ly rail. In contrast to passenger cars and aircraft, a DB long-distance train running on 100% eco-power emits virtually no greenhouse gases. And, in the freight sector, DB rail freight transport produces only one-quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions of trucks.

Another important topic for us is noise reduction. We want to relieve residents noticeably of rail transport noise. This is crucial if we are to increase acceptance of the shift from road to rail. Our goal is therefore to halve rail noise by 2020. To achieve this, we are im­­plementing a two-pillar strat­­­­egy for noise reduction based around infrastructure and freight cars.We are building noise barriers no. 25 along our track infrastructure and fit­ting apartments with passive sound insulation no. 101. We are also re­ducing the noise of our freight car fleet by retrofitting freight cars with quiet brake shoes no. 5 and by purchasing new quiet cars. These measures are being carried out by the business units DB Netze Track and DB Cargo.

We measure our progress based on the indicators of track kilometers noise remediated in total and quiet freight cars in Germany.

We can make a significant contribution to nature conservation by the efficient use of resources. We have therefore set ourselves the target of maintaining a recycling rate of over 95%. Thanks to comprehensive recycling we are achieving a particularly high rate for construction wastes. We also aim to increase the recycling rate for our other wastes, in particular municipal waste, in the coming years. In addition, we are redesigning our own production equipment to extend its life cycle, using recycled materials and continuously optimizing our material cycles.