Environmental protection at Deutsche Bahn

Carbon-neutral rail transport, padded sleepers, whisper brakes and a hybrid power station are just some examples of Deutsche Bahn's sustained commitment.

DB wants to be a convincing environmental protection pioneer by its measures to reduce noise, make efficient use of resources, air pollution control and nature conservation and thus meet its particular responsibility as Germany's largest employer. Deutsche Bahn has made protection of the environment a major corporate objective as part of its "DB2020" strategy.

Emissions and renewable energy

Zero emissions, 100% renewables

Deutsche Bahn has set itself some particularly ambitious objectives in respect of climate change. We have been able to reduce specific carbon dioxide emissions in the rail sector by approx. 38% in the last nine years, and we have cut absolute CO₂ emissions by 10 million tonnes. This corresponds to the annual emission figures of a major city such as Cologne. We plan to achieve a 30% reduction (based on 2006's levels) in specific CO₂ emissions from carriage by road, air and water by 2020 by modernising the fleet and constantly increasing the proportion of renewable power in the traction current mix.

DB is aiming at zero-carbon rail transport using 100% renewable energy by 2050. Many customers are already travelling with 100% renewable energy, but Deutsche Bahn is still having to buy in green electricity. We would like to avoid this in future by building a hybrid power station. Deutsche Bahn is collaborating with the wind energy generator Enertrag on a solution for storing wind energy and making it available 24/7.

Noise reduction
Whisper brakes with LL brake blocks

Quietly does it...

Noise reduction is another prime concern, particularly where rail freight is concerned. In this case, DB wants to cut rail noise by half from 2000 levels by 2020. Technical innovations - extending from trackside noise control to reducing rail noise and abatement at source - should render this possible.


An electrifying success

Fewer particulates and less soot - Deutsche Bahn is well on the way to meeting this target. Over 90% of the fleet is electric and therefore does not emit any pollutants directly. Over a third of the diesel locomotives have low-pollution engines. We will continue to reduce pollutant emissions, and not just of our rail services, but also of our lorry, bus and car fleets. Our target is for 2020's figure to be 55% below that of 2010 in terms of absolute emissions, i.e. this quantity of pollutants will no longer be produced. We succeeded in cutting emissions by 41.7% by 2015.

Resources and recycling

Turning old into new!

A shortage of resources represents a great economic and ecological challenge to Deutsche Bahn too. With the objective of keeping its own consumption of raw materials as low as possible, it has set a triple focus: a high proportion of recycling of materials used, a high level of recycling of refuse and long-life materials in vehicles. In this way, a saving of 80% can be made in material costs if an older ICE unit is reconditioned instead of purchasing a new one.

Nature conservation

Nature conservation takes priority

800 of the 34,000 kilometres of the Deutsche Bahn rail network run through nature reserves and about another 2,300 km through protected flora and fauna habitats. A sensitive approach to nature and consideration of flora and fauna take precedence over economic aspects for Deutsche Bahn, even in the planning phase. In this connection, Deutsche Bahn has developed a geographical information system (GIS), which produces documentation on conservation areas. If interference with the natural world cannot be avoided, DB considers itself responsible for providing adequate compensation and safeguarding he habitats of rare species of flora and fauna.

The railway as an eco-pioneer

Protection of the environment is an essential key to corporate success for Deutsche Bahn.

You will find more details on "Environmental protection and railways" on the relevant DB AG website page.

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