Travelling by rail is better for the environment, saves resources and uses less energy.
To carry 15% of passenger traffic and 37% of freight, railways need just 5% of all the energy consumed by overland transport in Switzerland. However, SBB would like to do even more for the environment. It has therefore decided to make even greater efforts and implement a three-stage action plan.
SBB’s trains already draw 90% of their energy from hydropower. The remaining 10% is nuclear power. By 2025, all rail power is to come from renewable sources. To that end, SBB will procure renewable energy, including the relevant guarantee of origin certification, for the 10% that is not yet renewable. Negotiations are currently under way on this matter and SBB will provide further information in due course.
By 2030, SBB plans to increase its energy efficiency by 30% compared to 2010. That would be the equivalent of 850 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy, or the amount of electricity used by 200,000 homes in one year. To ensure that this ambitious goal is achieved, SBB is putting comprehensive energy-saving measures into effect in all areas: its passenger and freight operations, its buildings and its infrastructure installations. More details can be found in the ‘Energy efficiency’ section below.
Since 2018, SBB has been reviewing and tapping into its potential to generate new renewable energy from photovoltaic systems. As per an SBB decision, this should lead to the production of 30GWh of household energy and up to 120GWh of traction power by 2030. Other potential opportunities for generating power from wind turbines or small-scale hydropower plants are being tested. Details can be found under ‘New renewable energies’.
SBB decided on the last step at the beginning of 2020. Fossil fuel use will be gradually reduced and technical gases in switchgear and cooling systems will be replaced by more climate-friendly variants. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to 2018 levels, with the remaining emissions being offset from 2030 on. More details can be found in the ‘Climate friendly energy’ section below.