Three blue VTG standard freight wagons.

Sustainability is more than "being green"

In 2021 and 2022, VTG achieved a top result in the GRESB rating, a leading international rating system for measuring sustainability performance. However, it is not only in terms of certifications, but above all in our business that we can and want to become even greener. But what does that actually mean?

Our business - rail transport - uses rail, one of the most sustainable modes of transport. And VTG is doing well: VTG offers a diverse fleet of wagons for the CO₂-saving transport of all kinds of goods and is continuously working on sustainable and innovative solutions to make a modal shift to rail easier and more attractive.

In view of the climate crisis, however, this is not enough. As a company, VTG must and would also like to save its own emissions and take measures to significantly reduce or completely avoid them in the future. You can read about these measures and how we are tackling this major challenge in this story.

 What exactly is sustainability and what does ESG stand for?

"Sustainability is a broad term. Many associate it with the environment or simply "being green". But sustainability is much more than this and consists of three dimensions: the major issue of the environment, but also social issues and responsible corporate governance. This is what the abbreviation ESG is made up of. VTG has developed targets for all three dimensions and drawn up a roadmap - this is bundled in our sustainability strategy", reports Eike Furkert, Sustainability Manager at VTG.

Climate-neutral by 2040: our Sustainability Report

VTG is committed to a vision: VTG wants to be climate neutral by 2040! For 2030, there are interim targets to halve Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. In addition, we are currently working on surveying Scope 3 emissions and initiating measures to reduce these as well. You can read our Sustainability Report with all VTG sustainability targets here. For the implementation of the sub-targets set out in the Sustainability Report, 2021 represents the base year - the reference against which we will always compare ourselves.  The targets set pay off in different areas, so they are subdivided and VTG shows in the Sustainability Report to which of the UN's 17 development goals they belong.

Taking responsibility in society

As an employer of over 2,000 employees, the company is aware of its great responsibility. For this reason, VTG is committed to equal opportunities and a work-life balance. VTG also promotes occupational safety - both in the workshops and at the office locations. In our apprentice workshop in the port of Hamburg, we train young people as part of the VTG RailTrain program. In this way, VTG explicitly supports young people and young adults who have a difficult time on the labor market due to social circumstances. 


How our carbon footprint can help us become more climate-neutral:

The classification into Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions comes from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol). This is a standard for measuring, categorizing and communicating greenhouse gas emissions that takes the entire value chain into account.

Scope 1 comprises all emissions caused directly by us as a company. Example: the emissions generated by burning oil or gas to heat our workshops.

Scope 2 describes indirect emissions released through the generation of electricity, steam, heat or cooling. Example: emissions generated by the electricity used by our Retrack locomotives.

Scope 3 encompasses all upstream and downstream emissions. These include, for example, emissions generated during the transports of our logistics units or on the way to and from work and during business trips by our employees.

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