NS is one of the biggest electricity consumers in the Netherlands. We use 90% for running the trains and 10% for our buildings. Our aim is to be climate-neutral by 2020. That is why we want to use energy as responsibly as possible. As of 2017, travelling by electric NS trains in the Netherlands results in no net CO2 emissions. The electricity needed to run the trains is generated by wind farms in the Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia. We stopped running diesel trains for passenger transport at the end of last year. If buses are required in emergency situations, they do result in CO2 emissions. We also measure the emissions of replacement bus transport. The measured emissions include the distance between the fixed parking location and the place at which they are used. Overall CO2 emissions from transport at NS totalled 1.0 grams per passenger-kilometre in 2017 (2016: 9.5 g per passenger-km).
In addition to the trains, in 2017 the electricity used in all NS buildings in the Netherlands became completely ‘green’ as it was generated by wind power. In 2016, the figure was 73%. The gas used in our buildings will be fully climate-neutral by 2020, as determined by traceability and additionality (added environmental value).
In 2017, the tendering procedure started for climate-neutral replacement bus transport in the Netherlands in which we invited bidders to offer as sustainable a bus service as possible, preferably a climate-neutral one.
In 2017, an average of 71.6 Wh of energy was used per passenger-kilometre. This is less than in 2016 (71.9 Wh/passenger-km). Even so, we did not achieve our target for the improvement in energy efficiency. That is partly due to our efforts to offer passengers more seats (in peak periods): we put on more trains, which led to lower occupancy rates in the trains. Furthermore, in 2017 we once again had to temporarily deploy older, less efficient rolling stock. Despite the lower occupancy rates, we were still able to achieve a modest improvement in energy efficiency in 2017 due to the influx of new and upgraded rolling stock and consolidation of energy-saving driving and energy-efficient shunting.
Energy consumption of NS trains in the Netherlands (electricity, diesel, including replacement bus transport converted to GWh)
Grams of CO2 emissions per passenger kilometer in the Netherlands by NS trains
Energy consumption by NS trains in the Netherlands (Wh/p-km)
Efficiency of trains in the Netherlands
Green electricity for trains in the Netherlands
Green electricity for buildings in the Netherlands
Green gas for buildings in the Netherlands
Efficiency of NS buildings in the Netherlands (compared to previous year)
Influencing individual journey patterns
A key factor in addition to effective policies for making mobility more sustainable is influencing individual journey patterns. Letting people experience different modes of travel is an effective way of persuading them to change their choice of transport. NS allows companies’ employees to experience the benefits of sustainable mobility through the behavioural change programme “MEE!”. The ultimate aim is to achieve increases in the use of public transport and bicycles and in working from home, as well as a reduction in the use of cars, which will all result in considerable savings in costs and reduced CO2 emissions.