Erneuerbare Energien aus Wasserkraft | © DB AG / Faruk Hosseini

Climate protection

Everyone at Deutsche Bahn is dedicated to an ambitious climate protection goal: Being climate neutral by 2050.

We have established successive stages designed to help us reach our overall objective. For example, by 2030 we want our CO2 emissions to be at least 50 percent lower than the 2006 figure, and we are also working to increase the portion of renewably generated electricity in our traction current mix to 80 percent. By 2038, we will have completed the transition for traction current, and all of this energy will then come from renewable sources.

We have already scored a lot of successes with this mission, and today, we are the most environmentally friendly mobility company in Germany.

Taking the entire DB Group into consideration, our specific CO2 emissions for 2020 were already down by around 34 percent on our 2006 figure.

The share of renewable energy in the traction current mix already stood at about 61 percent in 2020. 

61 %
100 %
Share of renewable power in the traction current mix

This result is due to our hard work and investments, above all in increasing the use of renewable power, raising energy efficiency, ending the use of fossil fuels, and launching new mobility offerings.

Increasing the use of renewable power:
We have identified a broad range of renewable energy sources that will help us make the switch to 100 percent green power for our trains by 2038.

  • All-green long distance services: Since 2018, trains carrying our passengers have been powered only by electricity from renewable sources.
  • All-green regional services: In Berlin and Hamburg alike, S-Bahn suburban rail services are powered completely by electricity from renewable sources.
  • All-green major stations: Starting in 2019, we have set up 33 of Germany's railway stations – in Berlin, Munich, Cologne and elsewhere – to use only electricity from renewable resources.

Raising energy efficiency:
Not only do we aim to increase our use of green power, we also want to make this use more efficient.

  • Brake energy recovery: Our new trains use a system that feeds power from braking maneuvers back into the overhead lines.
  • Energy-efficient driving: Our train drivers use methods to drive more energy-efficiently and cut energy consumption by up to 10 percent.

Ending the use of fossil fuels:
As part of our mission to transform Deutsche Bahn into a climate neutral company, we plan to end all use of fossil fuels. Despite everything, however, it is not possible to electrify every route, so we are looking into alternative drive systems based on an open technology approach.

  • Introduction of innovative drive systems: The HELMS locomotives, Toshiba hybrid locomotives and H3 hybrid locomotives in our fleet represent our first steps toward low-emission alternatives to conventional propulsion equipment.
  • The next stage will see us end the use of diesel as a fuel and instead operate battery- or hydrogen-powered vehicles on our non-electrified routes.

Launching new mobility offerings:
We are constantly introducing new intermodal mobility products so that our customers enjoy climate-friendly transport services door-to-door, i.e. before and after their train journeys as well.

  • Autonomous vehicles: Mobility of the future will include self-driving, climate-friendly forms of transportation. ioki is an innovative concept that we have developed at DB, and it is already in use at different places such as Hamburg, Berlin and Bad Birnbach.
  • e-sharing options: We are the company behind the Flinkster fleet, one of Europe's leading electric mobility offerings. CleverShuttle is another sharing service that we have developed, and it has already done away completely with internal combustion engines – instead, its vehicles rely purely on electricity.
  • Call a Bike: Thanks to our nationwide range of bicycle options, people in around 80 towns and cities get to enjoy climate-friendly mobility.

These successes are just the starting point for us. Together with the German government, we are investing in renewing the country's rail infrastructure and increasing capacities on existing routes. Digital technology is just one of the many tools we have at our disposal, but all of our strategies serve a single purpose: To ensure that Deutsche Bahn meets its national and European climate targets.