"Saving energy is more important today than ever before," says 34-year-old sustainability manager Meike Friedrich, describing the essence of her primary responsibility at DB Cargo. Her work makes an important contribution to a global issue, our climate. Green rail is just one solution for "more sustainability and fewer carbon emissions", as she puts it.
The DB Group aims to be climate neutral by 2040. To achieve that goal, Friedrich works both within the Group and beyond to demonstrate the need for the climate projects DB has launched. "My job, first and foremost, is to raise awareness", she says, "and to show people the environmental value of rail freight transport." Friedrich convinces customers to choose climate-friendly rail with the help of transport information that can be used to calculate carbon emissions.
"The issue of sustainability has taken on even greater significance during the energy crisis," she says. “We use customer-specific carbon dioxide calculations to show our customers just how much Eco Solutions can cut their emissions."
Steckbrief: Meike Friedrich
How I came to DB Cargo:
During my business administration studies, I researched which company would allow me to get a practice-based master's degree. As part of the work to complete my thesis, I then got a job in rail freight transport at DB Cargo. When I was offered a job afterwards, I accepted right away because I was immediately impressed by the team spirit and the variety of work there.
What special challenges come with my job:
The wide range of topics and their complexity are always a big challenge for me. Especially when you have to clearly communicate something technical to a customer. You need to have good analytical and communication skills. It's not easy to make the abstract world of maths tangible, but that's exactly what I find fascinating about the job.
How my job affects my private life:
When you're a sustainability manager, you're faced with sustainability issues every day. I haven't changed all my habits, but I do live more conscientiously now. For example, I think it's important to buy from regional producers and order fewer things online.
My hobbies and interests:
I'm very interested in learning new languages and getting to know other cultures. I'm also passionate about cooking. I especially love exotic food from India and Korea!
Advertising climate-neutral logistics
Her work as a sustainability manager includes other responsibilities too. One of them is her involvement in enhancing the Eco Solutions product portfolio. "Our smart solutions make environmentally friendly transport by rail even greener," she points out. "We create climate-neutral logistics chains to reduce the environmental footprint. Our DBeco plus service offers customers the carbon-neutral option of transporting their goods with 100% renewable power."
Friedrich has noticed a real change of thinking in the logistics industry. Green rail is in high demand, she says. She and her colleagues are not only working on the international expansion of Eco Solutions, but were also involved in the recent development of DBeco fuel. "My job is diverse and demanding at the same time. But it's the dialogue with technology experts that lets me be a part of game-changing innovations."
DBeco fuel offers 90% fewer CO2 emissions
Diesel locomotives are reducing their carbon footprint thanks to hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), a recently developed biofuel. In the past, the shunting services fleet ran on conventional diesel fuel. HVO makes it possible to reduce carbon emissions by 90% compared with diesel without any loss of performance. When biofuel undergoes combustion, it only releases the amount of CO2 that the plants removed from the atmosphere when they were growing.