Rail is one of the greenest and most efficient modes of transport. Therefore, with its limited impact on the environment, rail is well positioned to meet the growing need for low-carbon freight transportation, due to its lower greenhouse gas emissions1 and low rates of energy consumption.
Globaltrans recognises its operations have the potential to impact the environment. The Group is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its activities, recognising it has a responsibility to protect the environment on behalf of the communities it serves, its stakeholders and society as a whole. To this end, we focus not just on controlling emissions but also on other areas such as energy efficiency, water management, and waste recycling.
The Group is fully compliant with all applicable environmental laws, industry regulations and requirements, and we continually seek to improve our environmental performance to stay compliant. Our overall environmental management approach is underpinned by the Group’s formal ESG Policy and Environmental and Energy policies. These policies define our commitment to conduct our activities in an environmentally responsible way. We ensure that all of our employees understand and act in a manner consistent with our policies.
Guided by these policies, we are constantly investigating ways to improve our subsidiaries' environmental management and reporting systems to better monitor, measure and assess the environmental aspects of our activities.
We are also raising environmental awareness among our employees’ and suppliers and improving transparency for our investors. To support this, we disclose the Group’s environmental performance over a number of metrics consistent with external reporting frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Annual data and information on monitoring and progress are included in our integrated sustainability reports, which are publicly available on the Group’s website.
Our 2021 results are set out below. There were no violations of environmental legislation or regulations during the reporting period.
At Globaltrans, our focus is always on energy efficiency. We are determined to use energy prudently and strive to be climate conscious. This goal is something that we are working to promote and improve at all levels of the organisation. The Group’s operations use different forms of energy, including diesel, electricity, gas, and we are constantly working to improve our energy efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint.
In 2021, our pattern of energy consumption showed mixed dynamics due to several factors. There was a 5% year-on-year increase in electricity use, primarily attributable to the reopening of offices, following the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. Also, increased locomotive operations due to the post-pandemic recovery in demand in oil products and oil segment contributed to an 11% year-onyear rise in diesel consumption.
Total consumption of energy resources by type, 2020–2021
Use of water
As part of our commitment to conserve resources, we monitor water usage to optimise its use and consumption. While Globaltrans is not a major user of water, we recognise that it is a vital resource for society and we are committed to using it responsibly. Our internal management systems and practices ensure effective oversight of water use in our everyday operations.
Since 2018, we have been improving our monitoring, collection and processing of water usage data across the Group’s subsidiaries. In 2020, we released our first annual water consumption results. In 2021, water consumption declined by 2% year on year to 16,279 m3 (2020: 16,627 m3)1. Globaltrans continues to look for ways to improve water use and adopt practices to help its employees manage and use water efficiently.
1This excludes data from AS Spacecom and BaltTransServis (except for data from the BTS railcar repair depot in Ivanovo which is included).
Paper consumption and recycling
We are very familiar with the issue of office waste because the Group consumes relatively large quantities of paper. Consequently, we actively promote the value of a green workplace and encourage employees to reduce the frequency and volume of printing. We have focused on digitising business processes and using electronic documentation over recent years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated these trends. In 2021, we further reduced employee paper consumption by 14% year-on-year, as most of our office activities remained "virtual".
Greenhouse gas management
Our industry is among the greenest and least polluting forms of transport from an energy and emissions perspective. Rail remains the most fuel-efficient mode of transport. Nevertheless, we recognise that we can do more to minimise our impact on the environment.
From a strategic standpoint, Globaltrans’ core operational and environmental objectives align perfectly: delivering efficient logistics and carefully managing assets are our top priorities. Since its creation, Globaltrans has focused on operational efficiency, in particular on reducing the number of empty railcars transported as part of the Group’s logistics movements. This not only helps us achieve solid f inancial and business results, it also helps us improve our environmental performance. We have led the industry for many years in terms of efficiency, consistently delivering one of the sector’s lowest gondola Empty Run Ratios, which speaks to our commitment in this area.
In the freight rail industry, GHG emissions are directly linked to fuel consumption and, therefore, the primary source of emissions is from locomotives. The Russian state railway company JSC Russian Railways (RZD) retains a monopoly in the provision of rail infrastructure, and is by far the largest provider of locomotive traction services. Globaltrans runs one of Russia’s largest privately-owned locomotive fleets, providing a specialist service for its clients primarily in the oil products and oil segment. Therefore, we only measure, report and record those emissions (Scope 1) directly attributable to our fleet of 71 mainline locomotives. Operating a modern and well-maintained fleet also helps reduce our environmental footprint. Of our locomotive fleet, 14% consists of new, more fuel-efficient and cleaner diesel locomotives.
Since 2018 we have made significant progress in measuring, managing and disclosing direct GHG emissions information in our operations, and this process is ongoing. In 2021, our GHG emissions were impacted by greater utilisation of our locomotive fleet due to a post-COVID-19 recovery in oil product and oil volumes. Direct GHG emissions at 153,794 tonnes of CO2 equivalent1 were 11% higher than the COVID-affected levels of 2020 (2020: 138,198 tonnes of CO2 equivalent). However, they were still 5% lower than the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 (2019: 161,299 tonnes of CO2 equivalent).
We are constantly working to improve the quality and consistency of our data. In recent years, we have been working toward a better understanding of our carbon footprint. For the first time, we calculated the indirect GHG emissions generated by our energy purchases (Scope 2) using Scope 2 GHG Protocol guidelines. In 2021 the Group’s indirect emissions totalled 1,555 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. We will continue to take action and explore ways to improve fuel efficiency and lower our emissions. For instance, we will investigate whether different diesel additives can help us achieve the goal of lower emissions in the future. In addition, in 2022, we are investing in a small environmental project that may expand in the coming years: BaltTransServis, which operates the bulk of our locomotive fleet, will be planting trees to help offset our CO2 emissions. Minimising our environmental footprint is a fundamental part of our sustainability strategy. Therefore, we will continue to monitor our environmental practices and performance, improve our energy efficiency and explore appropriate options and proposals to reduce our GHG emissions.
 The Group’s greenhouse gas emissions were calculated in accordance with IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (2006).