2018 Integrated Report – On track towards a better Railway


Air quality control

Reduction of pollutant emissions

We have set ourselves the objective of reducing the soot particulate emissions of our own rail and road vehicles by 55% by 2020 compared to 2010. These particulate emissions are especially dangerous to health and are caused by burning fuel.

The ongoing modernization of our fleet of vehicles is our main action toward achieving this goal. The high electrification rate of our rail network plays a major role here because the vehicles themselves do not produce local pollutant emissions, except for particles; the generation of traction current only causes decentralized emissions in power plants. By the year under review, we had already reduced soot particles by 47.7% (previous year: 44.5%). The calculation is based on the energy consumption and composition of our fleets by pollutant categories. By mid-2018, we fully implemented the regulation on the use of low-emissions vehicles and construction machinery no. 11 in urban construction sites.

DB Groupʼs combustion-related pollutant emissions are also largely influenced by our ocean and air freight activities – for example, these activities emit over 81% of soot particles. We constantly strive to make improvements in this area as well in cooperation with carriers. We are expecting there to be a sharp reduction as a result of gradually switching our truck fleet to electric vehicles. We launched a “low sulfur” program in the ocean freight sector that allows our customers to move their container transport to low-sulfur marine diesel in unregulated ports for a small surcharge.

additonal Information

Absolute airborne pollutants from 
journeys and transports




 Particulate emissions




Nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions




Sulfur dioxide (SO₂) emissions




Hydrocarbon (NMHC) emissions




Combustion-related, well-to-wheel (WTW), scope 1 – 3. 
Previous year’s figures adjusted.

Our vehicles comply with stringent emissions standards

Our rail and road vehicles meet high Euro standards and thus ensure a lower level of pollutant emissions:

  • About 97% of the long-range trucks in use have the highest Euro standards 5 and 6 (previous year: 99%).
  • Almost all of our car fleet meets Euro 5 and 6 emissions standards.
  • About 18% (previous year: 20%) of the rail vehicle fleet continues to have the lowest pollutant level UIC 0. The share of rolling stock with low-pollutant electro-traction rose slightly to about 61% (previous year: about 59%).
  • The share of our buses meeting the Euro 5 and 6 standards increased to about 66% (previous year: about 63%).