2018 Integrated Report – On track towards a better Railway

Sustainability management

Social acceptance resulting from open stakeholder dialog

Clear guidelines for stakeholder dialog

The acceptance of stakeholders is an essential prerequisite of our sustainable business success. For this reason, we are committed to holding collaborative dialog with stakeholders as partners and working with all stakeholder groups in an atmosphere of mutual trust. Our stakeholder charter provides the foundation and guidelines for all dialog activities. It serves as the basis for an open discussion of our stakeholders’ expectations and for fostering cooperation, so that we can learn from each other and develop viable solutions.

Regular dialog with policymakers and the public

Being one of the largest mobility and logistics services providers, DB Group attracts a lot of public and political attention in Germany. We have an important role in advancing the railway system in Germany and Europe. We are therefore sought after as a dialog partner in public discussions, and also actively engage in dialog with the entire sector. We establish our own transport policy positions at the national and international level in dialog with political and administrative institutions as well as parties, associations and relevant scientific areas. DB Group seeks to use logical arguments to contribute to a constructive debate process. The following memberships have particular relevance for political dialog at a national and international level:

  • Pro-Rail Alliance (Allianz pro Schiene; ApS)
  • Mobility and Transport Services Association (Arbeitgeber- und Wirtschaftsverband Mobilität und Verkehr; Agv MoVe)
  • Comité international des transports ferroviaires (CIT)
  • Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER)
  • German Transport Forum (Deutsches Verkehrsforum; DVF)
  • Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer (UIC)
  • Association of German Transport Companies (Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen; VDV)

The principles of the stakeholder charter also apply to dialog with policymakers. In addition, we have set strict internal standards for participation in political processes, which are summarized as “Group Principles Ethics Code of Conduct” and which are binding Group-wide.


Key topics in 2018

Key dialog formats


  • Schedule alterations and improvements
  • Punctuality
  • Digitalization (WiFi/route agent)
  • Journey comfort/customer service/improvements
    to passenger information
  • Integration of local fare calculation into the DB Navigator
  • Vehicle modernization/Idea Train
  • New vehicles (S-Bahn (metro) in Munich and Berlin)
  • Passenger advisory board
  • Online dialog platforms/social networks
  • Customer dialog (telephone)/customer enquiries
  • Dialog forum with BahnCard 100 customers/top customer events
  • Own dialog events and customer events
  • Trade fairs and product conferences (Innotrans 2018)
  • Train or bus labs
  • Labs (d.lab, DB mindbox)

Business customers

  • Punctuality and reliability
  • Digitalization
  • Customer dialog
  • Innovative freight cars
  • Green logistics
  • Implementation of Railway of the Future @ DB Cargo
  • Direct exchange with customers, including trade fairs and discussions
  • Own dialog and customer events
  • Customer workshops
  • Annual customer satisfaction survey at DB Schenker and DB Cargo
  • Surveys, e.g. monthly satisfaction check


  • Infrastructure development and financing
  • Digitalization
  • Germany in sync (Deutschland-Takt)
  • Intermodal competition
  • Future of financing public transport
  • Regulatory frameworks
  • Climate protection in transport
  • Parliamentary evenings
  • Association activities
  • Participation in discussion rounds and expert presentations
  • Participating in dialogs arranged by the BMVI
  • Our own events, such as competition symposiums or fireside evenings


  • Collective bargaining negotiations
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Talent acquisition
  • Demographic preparedness/generation management
  • Digitalization
  • Knowledge management
  • Targeted group employer branding campaigns
  • Generational contracts as a sponsorship model
  • DB Planet (exchange platform)
  • DB Lernwelt (central learning platform)
  • Employee-specific conferences and network formats
  • Worldwide employee survey


  • Competitive situation/regulatory environment
  • Indebtedness
  • Development of factor costs
  • Profitability
  • Roadshows
  • One-on-ones
  • Direct contacts
  • Investor relations Web site


  • Quality/qualification
  • Innovation/digitalization
  • Antitrust law
  • Ombudspersons
  • Supplier management
  • Cooperation in mutual trust
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Reviews of business partners
  • Sustainability in the supply chain
  • Innotrans (including supplier rating, Supplier Innovation Award)
  • Direct supplier development meetings
  • Innovation workshops
  • Roundtables and specialist presentations on compliance-dialog
    with business partners
  • Railsponsible industry network
  • Dialogs on competition
  • Innovation partnerships
  • Dialogs regarding supplier sustainability assessments
  • Supplier days in the product areas

specialist public

  • Infrastructure development and financing
  • Energy policy framework
  • Noise remediation
  • Compliance/anti-corruption
  • Climate protection in transport
  • Annual conference of the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV)
  • Environmental Forum workshop
  • High-level talks and exchanges on special topics with passenger,
    environmental and industry associations and the public transport authorities
  • Member of the Administrative Board of the German Compliance Institute (Deutsches Institut für Compliance e. V.; DICO)
  • Corporative member of Transparency International Deutschland e. V.


  • Railway of the Future
  • Employer attractiveness
  • Digitalization projects
  • Upgrade of digital services
  • Quality in the existing network
  • New climate targets, species protection
    and noise remediation activities
  • Press Web site
  • Press trips and dates
  • Background discussions
  • Interviews
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter)

Passenger Advisory Board makes a valuable contribution

Since its founding, the Passenger Advisory Board has made valuable contributions from its 30 meetings and numerous workshops and surveys, and it has also successfully initia­­ted measures. The Passenger Advisory Board, which is comprised of 30 private customers of DB Group, convenes for ordinary meetings twice a year, and it provides support and advice on numerous projects in all areas related to customers. In the year under review, the Passenger Advisory Board continued to be involved from an early stage in issues surrounding the strategic direction of various projects. The key aim of this collaboration was to improve passenger information during widespread distributions and to optimize the catering offer on board trains.