Implementing Strong Rail

Under our Strong Rail umbrella strategy, we have acknowledged our social responsibility and defined our contribution to the transport and climate policy goals of the Federal Government. The guiding principle behind the Strong Rail strategy is the shift in the mode of transport towards rail with the aim of a sustainable change in climate and mobility policy. We have formulated this claim in the form of our inner ambition: “Germany needs a strong rail system. For the climate. For people. For the economy. For Europe.”

The ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court, which calls for earlier and more specific climate policy measures, will, in our view, provide another major boost to the implementation of the strategy.

A differentiated picture emerged in the first half of 2021 regarding the achievement of major DB targets. Volume sold in rail freight transport is again on a significant growth course. In contrast, passenger volumes in long-distance and local rail passenger transport continue to be adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we have already seen significant trends toward recovery as restrictions have been gradually lifted.

Overall, the first half of 2021 has shown that our Strong Rail strategy is an important and effective guiding principle for our activities, even in times of crisis.

In the first half of 2021, further progress was made in the three strategic areas: more robustmore powerful and more modern.

Strategic area: more robust

With the strategic area more robust, we have set ourselves the target of expanding capacity in terms of infrastructure, vehicles and personnel to transport significantly more people and goods with a higher level of quality.

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Strategic area: more powerful

The strategic area more powerful has formed the anchor for our claim to increase our impact as an organization. We are focusing on achieving a high and sustainable level of performance by means of structural changes and a consistent focus on the common goal of achieving a strong rail system.

The fifth employee building block

We involve our employees in the implementation of our strategy as part of “15 employee building blocks.” The objective is to develop additional building blocks that reflect the central concerns of employees and support the implementation of the strategy. These building blocks are created in a participation process that takes place every six months.

Four building blocks selected in 2020 were further ­developed:

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Strategic area: more modern

With the strategic area more modern, we are meeting the needs of our customers for more modern and attractive products and services. We firmly believe that new forms of mobility, similar to conventional mass public transport, are part of public services and therefore only offer real added value for customers, society and climate protection if they are provided as an integrated public transport service.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been less demand for products and services using new forms of mobility. Since transport services are mainly used at the start and end of the travel chain (first and last mile), there is a high dependence on public transport demand. Notwithstanding this, there was progress in a number of projects in the more modern strategic area:

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Green Transformation

Within the framework of the building block Environment and 100% green electricity, we have set ourselves the goal of pushing forward the Green Transformation in climate protection, conservation of resources, noise remediation and nature conservation. In the first half of 2021, for example, we concluded more contracts for the supply of renewable energy, including wind powerno. 47. In addition, we have set ourselves the new goal of making DB Group climate-neutral as early as 2040. In doing so, we are making a major contribution to the adjusted climate targets of the Federal Republic of Germany and the EU, which so urgently need to be achieved.