Our sustainability performance

On 20 June, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima travelled by royal train from Den Haag Holland Spoor station to Belgium for their state visit. This was its last ride. The royal train has reached the end of its useful life and has been offered to the Railway Museum.

Travelling on an NS train is carbon neutral: since 2017, all our trains have been powered by 100% green electricity from Dutch and Swedish wind farms that generate power almost exclusively for NS.

Since last year, we have also been receiving electricity from Dutch solar farms. Research agency CE Delft concluded last year that our trains produce CO2 emissions of 0 g CO2-eq/passenger-kilometre, excluding emissions from electricity generation infrastructure. Since 2019, we have also offered carbon-neutral replacement bus services during emergencies and breakdowns: these buses run directly and indirectly on renewable fuels. However, the biggest climate impact NS makes is getting people to travel by train instead of by car. Despite the fact that our trains do not emit CO2 directly, there is still room for improvement. After all, manufacturing trains does involve CO2 emissions, for example through the use of steel and energy. We also emit CO2 by heating our buildings. We are therefore taking steps not only to offer carbon-neutral transport, but to become carbon-neutral as a company, and also include our supply chain in this effort. We are taking steps to achieve and promote zero-emission, circular and green enterprise for ourselves and our partners in our supply chain.

New method for calculating CO2 emissions

At NS, we have been using a new method since 2023 to calculate how much CO2 passengers avoid if they travel by train instead of by car. We also calculate how much CO2 NS emits in its business processes. This provides an insight into how we are performing against our targets. It also allows us to more effectively manage our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. This will enable us to continue our role as a leader in offering sustainable mobility.

Avoided CO2 as a performance indicator in the new franchise

The new main rail network franchise includes a new performance indicator: ‘avoided CO2 emissions’. This increases the focus on improving occupancy rates where and when possible, and on reducing our own CO2 emissions. For this PI, we use the guidelines from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the global standard for determining greenhouse gas emissions at a company level.

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