Environmental protection

Russian Railways is a major natural resource user operating in 77 regions of Russia.

In line with the government’s environmental priorities, Russian Railways’ efforts are focused on improving environmental safety, ensuring rational use of resources and preserving natural systems.

In 2018, Russian Railways had over RUB 8 bn budgeted for key environmental initiatives, with RUB 5.27 bn allocated for investments. The initiatives included:
  • upgrade of ca. 22 heat supply utilities using resource saving solutions;
  • construction and upgrade of nine treatment facilities for industrial, utility and sanitary effluents using best available technologies;
  • liquidation of 12 sites of accumulated environmental damage;
  • continued renovation of an industrial landfill.

As part of Russia’s obligations under the Stockholm Convention, Russian Railways, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and UNIDO Centre for Industrial Cooperation are running a pilot project to destroy equipment and materials containing highly toxic polychlorinated biphenyl.

Every year, Russian Railways’ employees ensure proper sanitary condition of the railway infrastructure area bordering specially protected natural territories. A special focus is placed on fire fighting measures. The railway infrastructure areas are regularly inspected for unauthorised waste deposits, firebreaks made, wood scrap and used rails removed, and dry wood and bushes cut down. Parts of tracks often crossed by animals are equipped with reflective tape, and are monitored together with forestry and hunting sector representatives.

In 2018, the Company’s environmental efforts were recognised by federal authorities and non-profit associations and received prestigious national and international environmental prizes and awards:
  • in February, Russian Railways was awarded a letter of recognition from the Russian President for its contribution to the Year of the Environment in Russia;
  • in August, the Railway Stations Directorate (branch of Russian Railways) received a diplloma for the Best Environmental Performance Tracking System from the Green Office 2018 initiative committee. It celebrates commitment to environmental management aimed at mitigating the negative impact through rational use of natural resources.

Air protection

As part of the corporate Environmental Strategy, the Company plans to cut its emissions from stationary sources in 2019 by 1.8 kt y-o-y. This will be achieved through:
  • construction of new and renovation of existing boilers;
  • transition of boilers to greener fuel (natural gas, pellets, renewable energy sources);
  • improved efficiency of fuel burning;
  • introduction of electric heating;
  • disposal of underutilised coal boilers;
  • upgrade of existing and installation of new dust and gas collectors.
Emissions from stationary sources, kt

Waste management

Up to 80% of waste generated by Russian Railways is reused or recycled. Most of it (ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals and used petroleum products) is handled by waste processing professionals. Waste is also reused within the Company.

Initiatives to reduce waste and increase recycling volumes include:
  • separate waste collection in service and office buildings and at train stations;
  • reduced paper consumption (transition to electronic workflow);
  • reduced polyethylene waste generation (transition to biodegradable bags);
  • reduced ash and slag generation (upgrade of boilers);
  • reduced mercury waste generation (transition to LED lighting).
Waste decontamination, kt

Reduction of GHG emissions

The Company works to reduce its GHG emissions by supporting the green economy. Its initiatives are focused on energy saving, green solutions, renewable and alternative energy sources.

As compared to the base year of 1990, Russian Railways’ GHG emissions in 2018 reduced by 29.1 mt of CO2, to 37.8 mt (down 43.5%). The effect was achieved through:
  • upgrade of existing boilers and their transition to greener fuel;
  • reduced fuel and energy consumption;
  • replacement of the outdated rolling stock with newer, more environmentally friendly options.