2017 Integrated Report – Departure into a new era

#Climate protection

Environmental and climate protection are part of our DNA. By 2030, we intend to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 2006. Moreover, we plan to be a climate-neutral Group by 2050.

Our new climate protection target for 2030

Train travel is climate protection. Starting in 2018, about 140 million passengers will travel using DB Long-Distance transport with 100% eco-power. This is the precursor to successfully achieving our climate protection target for 2030, namely to more than halve the specific greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. 

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This is green.

Environmental and climate protection are part of our DNA, because as an international mobility and logistics service provider, DB Group takes its responsibilities very seriously. There’s no doubt about it: DB Group sees environmental protection as a 360-degree responsibility. This is why, for a number of years, we have played an active part in climate and noise protection, as well as in issues relating to species protection.

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The most modern ICE maintenance facility in Germany

ICE facility in Nippes, Cologne: qualified project for KlimaExpo

The first CO₂-free ICE facility has been built in Nippes, Cologne, and will start operations in early 2018. By using state-of-the-art environmental technologies, DB Group has developed the first climate-neutral maintenance facility in Germany and completely renounced the use of fossil fuels. Instead, we use geothermal energy, highly efficient air-conditioning systems and a 2,100 m² photovoltaic system. Employees can charge their electric cars at charging points.  

New routes
Among other developments, ICE4 trains can be expected to arrive at the maintenance facility in Cologne in the future. 

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CO₂-free to the 23rd World Climate Summit 

On November 4, 2017, the delegation of the Federal Government and other guests traveled to the UN Climate Summit in a special CO₂-free train. This was the third time that DB Group, along with the Federal Ministry for Environment, Construction and Reactor Safety, had sent a climate train to the venue of the UN Climate Summit.

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Emissions-free goods distribution 

First series-produced fully electric truck
In December 2017, Daimler officially provided the first series-produced light truck to its first customers in Europe. In the future, DB Schenker will primarily use the Fuso eCanter in inner-city transport. In 2018, DB Schenker is testing the distribution of goods in Germany with significantly reduced emissions by using Fuso eCanters.

  • Fuso eCanter – the technology

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Sustainable in urban transport

Environmentally friendly buses in use 

DB Arriva is using more and more hybrid buses throughout Europe, which have a conventional combustion engine and an electric drive. They are therefore more energy-efficient and cleaner in comparison to diesel buses. They are also quieter than standard buses. Since 2014, DB Arriva has been operating an electric bus fleet in London. Electric buses can also be seen on the roads in the Netherlands and in the Czech Republic. In comparison with previous diesel vehicles, they do not directly produce any pollutants or noise..

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Managment approach - Climate protection (DB06) 

Environmental and climate protection is in our genes. We set ourselves a new and ambitious climate target in the year under review. It represents a huge step toward becoming a completely climate-neutral Group. To achieve this goal, we are further raising the share of renewable energy in DB’s traction current mix in Germany. DB Environment, one of our central Group divisions, is working closely with the environmental officers and production functions in the business units to implement it. By using energy-efficient production equipment and by continuously replacing our fleet, we are striving to use energy as efficiently as possible. We want to further increase the environmental benefits of rail transport and, in addition, create incentives to bring more traffic to the rails. Shifting traffic to rail is the key to meeting the national climate targets in the transport sector. To monitor our progress, we have defined proprietary energy efficiency targets in our business units, which are measured at regular intervals.

Our climate protection indicators are specific CO₂e emissions (carrier) compared to 2006 and the share if renewable energies in the DB traction current mix.

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CO₂-free transport

Emissions-free mobility and logistics solutions are establishing themselves on the market and are gaining market share. Alternative drive technologies and new mobility concepts can reduce pollution and thus greatly improve quality of life, especially in cities with significant traffic congestion. Politics plays a driving role here: the German government is under pressure from EU regulations and the diesel exhaust scandal. At present, inner-city driving bans for older diesel and gas vehicles are being discussed and some of them are already being implemented (in Stuttgart, for example). New business models are being developed around climate-neutral transport, especially as a result of increasing regulatory intervention. The spectrum ranges from emissions-free delivery vehicles and electric cars to electric scooters and retrofit kits for internal combustion engines. We have also set ambitious goals for ourselves: we plan to be completely climate-neutral by 2050.

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Progress in climate protection

The Paris climate agreement is an important milestone in the reduction of global greenhouse gases. In order to achieve the climate targets set in the Paris Agreement and the associated environmental targets of the German Federal Government for the transport sector, it is essential to strengthen low-emissions rail transport. We are making our contribution to this with the continuous increase in energy efficiency in our TOCs and the increasing use of electricity from renewable energies.

The shift of passenger car, truck and air traffic to the green rail system will result in less climate-damaging greenhouse gases. We support the shift of traffic with new attractive offers, such as the Berlin – München high-speed line or the exclusive use of eco-power at DB Long-Distance. From January 1, 2018, all passengers will be traveling on our electrically powered long-distance trains using 100% renewable energies across Germany.

In a first step, we want to keep greenhouse gas emissions from our worldwide transport outside Germany constant until 2030, despite increasing transport volumes. To this end, our carriers are increasing the efficiency of transport services and are working on more sustainable transport solutions.

New air quality strategy in Great Britain 

The British Government confirmed its final air quality strategy in July 2017. The strategy requires local authorities to develop plans to improve air quality where the existing legal limits are exceeded. Local authorities have until March 2018 to submit their plans to the UK Government on how they will improve air quality, with those plans being confirmed by November 2018. DB Arriva is working with local authorities to minimize the policy risk of restricting the use of older and more polluting buses and taking advantage of government funding opportunities to retrofit existing vehicles, procure new low-emissions buses and adopt local strategies to support bus travel.

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Additional environmentally friendly buses

DB Arriva operates Electric buses NO. 63 in Great Britain, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

  • Under the term of the contract with the Dutch province of Limburg, DB Arriva will operate a complete fleet of zero-emissions buses by 2026. Sixteen of these are already in operation. The necessary charging infrastructure has been introduced at convenient locations along the routes so that buses can be recharged in just 30 minutes or charged overnight at bus depots. 
  • In the Czech city of Třinec, DB Arriva has begun offering transport services with ten electric buses. DB Arriva operates a total of 17 electric buses in the Czech Republic. This is the largest electric fleet in the country.
  • DB Arriva has also run the first all-electric bus in Portugal as part of a trial to learn about the technology.
  • In Great Britain, more than 467 buses were put into operation in the year under review. They are all Euro VI standard, gas, hybrid or electric. 
  • In the year under review, DB Arriva signed a contract for the construction of 18 environmentally friendly trains for use in the Netherlands. Stadler will initially supply the new trains with low-emissions diesel engines. With the partial electrification of the line, these will be replaced by electric motors. Innovative power storage will also allow the trains to travel on sections without an overhead wire. In addition to the emissions-free trains, the existing fleet (51 trains) will be overhauled and equipped with state-of-the-art battery technology.

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Further measures to improve the environmental impact

At bus depots in Great Britain, Poland and Slovenia, we are pushing ahead with the conversion to LED Lighting No. 50 and the installation of EFFIcIENT WASHiNG systems with water RECYCLINGNo. 94 to reduce consumption of water and energy. Solar modules were installed at the bus depot in Rhyl/Great Britain to generate electricity. UK Bus also works closely with its waste service provider to test innovative recycling solutions.

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Anticipated development




Specific CO₂e emissions 1) 
compared to 2006 (%)




Share of renewable energies in the DB traction current mix (%)




Noise-remediated track kilometers in total (rounded) as of Dec 31 (km)




Quiet freight cars in Germany as of Dec 31




1) According to the newly defined climate target for 2030 including stationary energies.

We set new, ambitious climate protection targets in the year under review to be achieved by 2030 in the environmental dimension. 

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Greenhouse gas footprint in overview

Our expanded CO₂ footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that DB Group generates in a year. It consists of the emissions from all journeys and transports of DB Group by rail, road, air transport and shipping, and the emissions of stationary facilities such as stations or workshops and of the fleet, which includes, for example, company cars. These figures provide the basis for calculating specific greenhouse gas emissions and determining the results of our climate targets within the limits set. They also act as a benchmark for our efficiency improvement measures and provide a basis for comparison with other companies.

Absolute greenhouse gas emissions by
journeys,transports and stationary facilities
(million t)




Regional rail passenger transport




      thereof Germany 




Long-distance rail passenger transport




Bus service




     thereof Germany 




Rail freight transport




Road freight transport 1)




Air freight 1)




Ocean freight 1)




Other transport 2)




Stationary facilities








Well-to-Wheel (WTW), scope 1 – 3.
1) With pre- and onward carriage.
2) Including DB Connect, internal traffic.

Absolute greenhaus gas emissions
by scope 1 – 3 
(million t)








     Share of scope 1 in %




     Share of scope 2 in %




     Share of scope 3 in %




The scope 2 emissions of 5.12 million tons of CO₂e consider market-based mechanisms, meaning that this figure includes all contractually regulated instruments for generating and trading electricity from renewable energies. In accordance with the scope 2 guidelines of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol on dual reporting, we also report location-based scope 2 emissions. Based on the respective national energy mixes, the scope 2 emissions total 6.08 million t CO₂e.

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