Rail travel reduces the impact on the environment, spares resources and saves energy.
To carry 16 percent of passenger traffic and 37 percent of freight, railways need just 5 percent of all the energy consumed by 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. In addition to ensuring guarantees of origin for renewable energy supplies, which is standard practice in the industry, SBB will also make physical efforts to ensure the remaining 10% can be sourced from its own facilities or at least from facilities under contract. SBB is currently in related negotiations and will communicate updates in due course.
SBB aims to save 850 gigawatt hours of electricity by 2030; this equates to some 30 percent of its total energy requirement or to the annual electricity consumption of 200,000 households. To ensure that this ambitious goal is achieved, SBB is putting comprehensive energy-saving measures into effect in all its divisions: its passenger and freight operations, its buildings and its infrastructure installations. More details can be found in the "Energy efficiency" section below.
At the end of 2017, SBB adopted an action plan as part of the federal government's Exemplary Energy and Climate initiative to make better use of the potential of new renewable energies, i.e. photovoltaics, wind power and small-scale hydro power. More details can be found in the "New renewable energies" section below.
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 percent by 2030, with the remaining emissions being offset. More details can be found in the "Climate-friendly energy" section below.