2017 Integrated Report – Departure into a new era



Airborne pollutants

Air pollution that can have a detrimental effect on the environment. An airborne pollutant can be caused naturally or by people, for example NOx or SO₂.


Bus kilometers (bus km)

The journey of a bus over a distance of 1 km.


Capital employed

Includes the property, plant and equipment (including intangible assets) and the net current assets.


A non-profit organization which runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, countries and regions to measure and control their environmental impacts. It is now the world’s largest emissions register for business-related greenhouse gas emissions.

CO₂ equivalent

The greenhouse gas effect of gases such as methane or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is converted into CO₂ and added together.

Commercial paper program (CP program)

Contractual framework or model docu­mentation for the issue of short-term commercial papers.

Costs of capital

Based on market values as a weighted average of risk-adequate market returns for the minimum return requirement calculated for debt and equity capital. 


Not only weather, but also a snapshot of climate factors (altitude, relief, vegetation, etc.) and climate elements (rain, sunlight, etc.) at a location.

Combined transport (KV)

Combined transport of containers or entire trucks on rail and road. 

Contract logistics

Service packages comprising multiple logistics activities. The service provider not only organizes transport orders, but also assumes parts of the value-added chain at its own responsibility.

Credit facilities

Credit facilities granted by banks which can be utilized if necessary. These are firm commitments of credit lines with different maturities, some of which serve as liquidity reserves available at all times, while the umbrella lines are available in particular to foreign subsidiaries for working capital financing and as a
guarantee line.

Customer satisfaction

Satisfaction of customers and partners with a product/offer or a service, surveyed on a repre­sentative basis and evaluated on behalf of DB Group by independent market research institutes by telephone, in person or online.


DB traction current mix

Includes only the electricity supplied for DB’s own rail transport in Germany.

DBeco plus

Service for rail freight transport customers to have their goods transported CO₂-free on all electrified lines within Germany and Austria.

Debt issuance program

Contractual framework or template documentation for the issuance of bonds. This guarantees a high degree of flexibility in issue activity.

Derivative financial instruments (derivatives)

Financial instruments, the price or value of which depends on the future rates or prices of other goods, assets or reference values (interest rates, indices). These are contracts in which the contracting parties agree to buy, sell or swap assets at specified conditions in the future, or alternatively make value equalization payments.


Refers to the variation within the workforce, including with regard to sex, origin, nationality, age and physical  limitation.


Existing network

Existing rail network and therefore core of the infrastructure.

Evaluation of facilities

To ensure demand-oriented use of maintenance funds and to check the improvement resulting from measures performed, cyclical and event-­based checks are carried out regarding the status of the structural and technical facilities in the context of a status assessment.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)

Operating profit before interest and taxes.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)

Operating profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Equity ratio

Key financial indicator based on the balance sheet structure: proportion of equity in the balance sheet total as
a percentage.

Equity method/at-equity accounting

Procedures for the accounting of subsidiaries which are not included in the con­solidated financial statements on the basis of full consolidation with all assets and liabilities. The book value of the subsidiary is adjusted by the development of the pro-rata equity in the holding.

Employees with an immigration background

Foreign citizenship or country of birth different from the country of employment.

Employee satisfaction index

Calculated using questions about motivation, employee satisfaction and (emotional) connection on a scale of 1 to 5 (top value).

Energy mix

Composition of electricity broken down by type of energy generation (for example coal, renewable energies).

Environment Plus

Special offers for customers in passenger transport to conduct their travel CO₂-free.


Final energy

The energy form for which an end consumer receives an invoice, for example for the quantity of fuel added or the traction current obtained.

Floating rate note (FRN)

Bond with a variable interest rate.


Gross capital expenditures

Overall capital expenditures in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets – regardless of the type of financing.

German Sustainability Code (DNK)

Provides a framework for the reporting of non-financial performance which can be used by organizations and companies of any size and legal form.


Key financial indicator which, as a structural indicator, describes the ratio of net financial debt to equity as a percentage.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

An international organization which is committed to the dissemination and improvement of sustainability reporting. The GRI guidelines are regarded as the most widely used and most internationally recognized reporting standard for sustainability.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol

A globally recognized standard for the qualification and management of greenhouse gas emissions which is used by many companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governments.

Gross profit

Amount of revenues remaining after deduction of the variable costs (= revenue-related) or direct costs (= contract-related).


Health rate (according to downtime)

Shows the proportion of lost labor not due to illness in the overall performance (as a percentage and broken down by business units) and therefore only includes employees who are still paid a salary.

Hydrocarbons (NHMC)

These are found in, for example, crude oil, natural gas or coal. Their emissions are regarded as harmful to the environment.


Intermodal competition

Competition between different modes of transport, for example between rail and air transport.

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

Internationally recognized accounting standard. Since 2002, IFRS has been regarded as the overall concept
of standards adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board. Previously adopted standards are still cited as International Accounting Standards (IAS).

Interoperability (multi-system capability)

Ability of rolling stock to adapt to different technical standards (for example track gauges or power systems) and therefore to run as seamlessly as possible between different rail networks in individual countries.

Intermodal competition

Competition between different modes of transport, for example between rail and air transport.

Investment grants

Financing contributions from third parties in specified capital expenditure projects without future repayment requirements.


K brake shoes

Brake shoe made from composite materials (K), see also V brake shoes.


Long-distance transport

Transport services with the products ICE and IC/EC.

LL brake shoe

Brake shoe made from composites (LL: low noise, low friction), see also V brake shoe.

Lost time injury frequency (LTIF)

Describes the relationship between accident frequency and effectively rendered working hours based on one million working hours.


Methane (CH₄)

Greenhouse gas, colorless and odorless hydrocarbon, main component of natural gas.

Modes of transport

Transport medium such as road or rail.



Disruptive or harmful noises for persons and the environment.

Noise reduction

Reduction of noise by active (for example noise barriers) and passive (for example soundproof windows) noise control, as well as noise reduction measures in vehicles.

Noise remediation program

Voluntary program of the Federal Government implemented by DB Group to reduce noise on existing rail lines.

Noise prevention

Legal claim to noise-protection measures on new construction and expansion lines.

Nahverkehr Verkehre mit den Produkten IRE, RB, RE und S-Bahn.

Net financial debt

Balance of interest-bearing external liabilities and liabilities from finance leases, as well as cash and cash equivalents and interest-bearing external receivables.

Net capital expenditures

Gross capital expenditures less investment grants from third parties, for example for infrastructure capital expenditures.

Nettable plan assets

Assets that are netted against total pension obligations on the balance sheet.

Noise barrier

Means of active noise abatement on rail lines, usually made from materials such as aluminum, wood, concrete. New noise barriers are walls made from wire baskets filled with stones (gabions).

Nitrogen oxides (NOx)

Air pollutants produced when fossil fuels are burned which can be dangerous to health.


Ordering organization

In general, the Federal states that, as public transport authorities, order regional rail passenger transport services from transport companies.

Overall punctuality

Covers all rail transport on DB Netz AG infrastructure at DB Netze Track.

Operating leases

Off-balance-sheet financing instruments: leased or rented assets.

Operating income after interest

Profit figure, that includes costs of financing for a sustainable assessment of profits (in particular relevant for infrastructure business units). Te net operating interest is additionally included compared to the EBIT calculation.



Small parts, such as dust.

Passenger kilometers (pkm)

Unit of measurement for the volume sold in passenger transport: product of the number of passengers and the average travel distance.

Primary energy

Energy calculated from the energy source in its natural form, for example including production, transport and conversion.


Share of punctual stops in relation to all stops along and at the end of routes in Germany. A stop is considered on time if the planned arrival time has been exceeded by less than 6 minutes in passenger transport or less than 16 minutes in freight transport.


Rate of people making connections on long- distance transport/long-distance transport

Percentage of connections in long-distance transport shown in the schedule that are actually made.

Requirement plan

New construction and expansion lines in the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan.

Renewable energy

Energy sources which are renewable and in principle unlimited, for example, water, wind and sunlight.

Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG)

Federal law to promote the supply of electricity from renewable energies.


According to the Geneva Convention, this is a person located outside of their country of nationality or permanent residence. The person must also have fled due to their ethnicity, religion, nationality, membership of a certain social group or due to their political convictions due to fear of persecution. The individual is not protected in their home country and cannot return.


Classification of creditworthiness provided by rating agencies which impacts the refinancing options and expenses of a company.


Further utilization of substances, for example of waste.


Aid, fund, reserve, raw material.

Return on capital employed (ROCE)

Key performance indicator for value-based management. Equals the return on capital employed for business operations. Percentage ratio of (adjusted) EBIT to the capital employed.

Redemption coverage

Key financial indicator that describes the ratio between the ongoing financing strength and financial obligations of the company (adjusted net financial debt).


Scope of consolidation

Group of subsidiaries included in the consolidated financial statements.


Mission statement for the reconciliation of environmental, social and economic targets with a view to achieving viable development that accounts for the needs of all generations.

Soot particles

Emissions produced during the combustion of diesel fuels. Diesel emissions also include particulate matter.

Sulfur dioxide (SO₂)

A colorless gas causing irritation of the mucous membrane, generated by the combustion of coal and oil. It is a cause of acid rain.

Scope 1 – 3 (in accordance with GHG)

As part of carbon accounting, emissions are divided into three scopes. For DB Group: scope 1 = CO₂ emissions from our own vehicles, scope 2 = traction current supply, scope 3 = transport services of our subcontractors. Due to our business model, scope 3 includes only transport-related emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.


Relative, for example based on the volume sold.


Interest groups and representatives.

Stationäre Anlagen Gebäude und Anlagen wie Werke und Bahnhöfe.

Supply chain (value-added chain)

The stages of production illustrated as an orderly sequence of activities. These activities add value, consume resources and are connected with each other in processes.

Sustainable development goals (SDG)

Political targets set by the United Nations with a view to assuring sustainable development at the economic, social and environmental levels. The targets came into force on January 1, 2016, and run until 2030. They apply to all countries.


The basic concept for financial instruments that involve the exchange of future cash flows. This allows financial risks (interest, currencies, raw materials) to be hedged in a targeted manner.


Traction current mix

Contains the traction current of train operating companies supplied by DB Netze Energy.

Tank-to-wheel (TTW)

Fuel calculation excluding conversion processes.

Ton kilometers (tkm)

Unit of measurement for the volume sold in freight transport: product of the freight carried (tons) and the distance (kilometers).


Propulsion to move trains. Depending on the energy source, drive unit and power transmission, a distinction is made, among other things, between electric, diesel-electric and diesel-hydraulic traction. Traction units that, in addition to electric traction, also have diesel-assisted traction are also referred to as hybrid vehicles.


Route of train as defined in the schedule.

Train-path kilometers (train-path km)

See volume produced.

Train-path pricing system (TPS)

Transparently regulates the prices for use of the rail network by non-Group and Group customers on a non-discriminatory basis, taking into account the specific characteristics of the infrastructure used. 

Transport contract

Agreement between the ordering organization and train operating company on the provision of regional passenger transport services.


United Nations Global Compact

The world’s largest and most important initiative for responsible corporate management. On the basis of its ten universal principles, it pursues the vision of an inclusive and sustainable global economy to the benefit of all people, communities and markets, today and in the future.


Volume produced

Distance traveled by train operating companies on the rail network. Unit of measurement: Train-path kilometers (train-path km).

Vegetation control

Checking and cutting/removing vegetation in and on the tracks using mechanical and chemical (only in the immediate vicinity of the tracks) procedures.

Volume sold

Key indicator for measurement of the service provided in passenger and freight transport. Units of measurement: passenger kilometers (pkm), ton kilometers (tkm).


Whisper brake

See K and LL brake shoes.