Green Transformation

Nature conservation

More rail transport also means that infrastructure needs to be further developed. This means it is not always possible to avoid intervening with nature. For us, nature conservation and the protection of biodiversity is an important commitment, which we take into account from planning through to construction and operation of our facilities. In our activities, for example, in the construction and expansion of the track in­­frastructure – wherever an intervention cannot be avoided – adequate compensation areas are created to ensure we fulfill all of our legal obligations under nature conservation laws. As part of the planned Frankfurt—Mannheim new construction line, we are compensating for areas that will be used in future construction measures. For this purpose, we are converting the pine forest near Pfungstadt into a climate-stable mixed forest with the help of plant nests. To this end, the Hessen Ecoagency will plant more than 100,000 new trees and shrubs over an area of around 250 
hectares on our behalf by 2030. As of May 2023, more than 26,000 deciduous trees have already been planted. In rail transport, too, we set ourselves ambitious targets on protecting biodiversity and in our vegetation control efforts. For example, we use combined optical and acoustic game warning devices at regional agglomeration points, which significantly reduce wildlife accidents.

Discontinuing Glyphosat use

Safe railway operations as well as climate and environmental protection are our highest priorities. A crucial step in this di­­rection was to discontinue the use of glyphosate in Germany: as of 2023, we no longer use glyphosate and now operate a glyphosate-free rail transport in Germany. In doing so, DB  Group has consistently implemented the discontinuation it announced in 2019. Instead, we rely on comprehensive sustain­able vegetation management, which provides for a coordinated interaction of various measures. We are also in close discussions with other European railways. The measures in­­­clude digital vegetation control, the use of mechanical-manual methods, such as a further technological advancement of mowers, and the use of pelargonic acid. The approval of the latter was granted in February 2023 by Germany’s Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety in close coordination with the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture and the Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport.

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