An important part of Russian Railways strategy is to ensure the environmental safety of the company’s transport and industrial complex.
The overarching environmental goal of Russian Railways is to protect the health of the environment and the people. To achieve this goal, the company has set the following targets for 2017–2025:
- reduce pollutant emissions into the atmosphere from static sources by at least 18 per cent;
- reduce water resource use by at least 20 per cent;
- reduce the discharge of polluted wastewater into surface water bodies and onto the ground by at least 18 per cent.
Rail is one of the cleanest modes of transport. We constantly make efforts to improve our activities in the field of environmental protection.
- For more information about our environmental performance indicators, please see our corporate social reports.
The company’s main environmental risks are related to the negative impact that its assets could have on the environment, and well as its use of natural resources, including non-renewable resources.
Environmental Protection Activities
Russian Railways has reduced its environmental impact through the following key activities:
- introducing innovative technologies to protect air and water resources, improve waste reuse and treatment, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution;
- improving the management of environmental protection activities;
- conducting environmental impact monitoring.
Russian Railways’ share in the environmental pollution in Russia, measured as the share of atmospheric emissions, polluted effluent discharge into surface water bodies, and waste generation, is less than 1 per cent.
The environmental impact is reduced through technology modernization, such as:
- overhaul of diesel locomotives, including replacing obsolete engines with modern, more environmentally friendly power units;
- track overhaul, replacing wooden sleepers with environmentally friendly reinforced concrete sleepers;
- acquiring wooden sleepers impregnated with antiseptic solutions of hazard class 4, which means less harm to the environment;
- fitting passenger carriages with environmentally friendly holding-tank toilets;
- converting boiler plants so that they can use more environmentally friendly types of fuel (natural gas, fuel oil), installing dust and gas collectors;
- introducing new heating systems;
- using water-saving technologies, water recycling systems, water rationing and metering systems.
In 2018, Russian Railways spent more than 8.5 billion roubles on its environmental activities. The company reduced emissions of pollutants from stationary sources by 5 per cent (compared to 2017) and the discharge of polluted wastewater into surface water bodies by 10 per cent. A total of 22 energy-saving heat supply facilities, nine wastewater treatment and equipment cleaning stations and other facilities were commissioned.
The economic impact of resource saving efforts amounted to 25.1 million roubles.
Every year, Russian Railways recycles over 70 per cent of its industrial waste, including metal scrap, reinforced concrete waste and bottom ash waste, as well as paper, cardboard, oil and other waste. Waste wood, for example, can be used to produce fuel pellets or construction materials; plastics can be used to produce film, furniture, paving tiles and packaging; and oily sludge and bottom ash waste can be used in road construction.
Since 2014, Russian Railways has introduced separate waste collection in all its buildings, including railway stations. The programme is aimed at identifying valuable recyclables, reducing the amount of waste sent for disposal and streamlining waste collection at the group’s companies.