Top marks for environmental protection

The coronavirus pandemic may have nudged environmental protection and the surrounding debate into the background for now, but DB Cargo has defied these times of crisis to transport goods reliably while using its Eco Solutions to outgreen other modes of transport. The CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), an international rating agency, has once again confirmed this fact for Deutsche Bahn AG as a whole, awarding the company a top grade of "A".

The A rating singles the DB Group out as one of the greenest companies in the transport and logistics sector worldwide. CDP is the world’s most prestigious climate protection rating agency. In 2019, it reviewed the climate protection activities, climate change strategies and reporting transparency of 8,400 companies around the world. Participating companies currently account for over 50% of global market capitalisation. The international non-profit organisation also has the most extensive collection of company climate data.

Eco Solutions

Environmental and climate protection take pride of place at DB's freight operating company, too. For instance, DB Cargo offers the DBeco plus and DBeco neutral products to its customers. DBeco plus lets customers carry out their transports CO2-free to actively contribute to climate protection. It works by fully covering the electricity needs of transport with renewable energy. Customers who use DBeco plus protect the climate in two ways at once: They get CO2-free transport, and 10% of the proceeds are used to promote the expansion of renewable energy sources, such as a hydrogen hybrid power plant. The technical inspection association TÜV-Süd checks the process all the way through, and DB Cargo awards a TÜV certificate to its customers to certify the emissions they have avoided. DBeco plus is available on all electrified routes in Germany and Austria. 

However, it is not always possible to avoid CO2 emissions altogether. That’s where DB Cargo’s DBeco neutral comes in. It compensates for unavoidable emissions, such as those generated by pre-carriage and onward carriage by truck. Climate protection certificates offset the carbon emissions generated by transport. The certificates meet today’s strictest standards for climate protection projects, CDM Gold. The compensation projects not only help cut CO2 emissions; they also promote sustainable development in the project regions. They have been used to encourage the use of efficient wood-burning cookers in Rwanda, for example.

Greener living facts

Yet even the most efficient transport is pointless if goods are moved unnecessarily. After all, the only way to effect real change is to act together, and that starts with each individual. This crisis in particular has shown DB Cargo to be a reliable partner for the supply of basic goods, especially food. However, considering that the average German throws away 80 kilograms of food worth roughly EUR 230 every year, huge potential CO2 savings remain untapped. This food, which is essentially produced for the waste bin, is the world’s third largest source of greenhouse gases. It is responsible for 3.3 billion tonnes of unnecessary CO2 each year. Consumers can apply some very simple fixes to turn this trend around. First and foremost, of course, they can try to shop more selectively and waste less. 

Meike Hillenbrand
Marketing Manager, DB Cargo