Implementation of the Company’s strategy is based on adapting its resources and organization to the requirements of the contemporary transportation market, taking into account the principles of sustainable development, in accordance with the adopted policy of the Integrated Management System (IMS): quality, occupational health and safety, environmental protection.
The Company’s environmental policy forms an integral part of its overall corporate management system. The strategic objective for responsible actions taken by PKP CARGO S.A. in the field of environmental protection is to ensure a safe carriage of merchandise using rolling stock that meets the applicable environmental requirements. The Company invests both in the purchases of new rolling stock and in the modernization of its existing rolling stock as well as in maintenance and repair facilities and devices for diagnostics of the Company’s rolling stock. These efforts are aimed at achieving high standards of rolling stock maintenance and protecting the natural environment against the possible consequences of breakdowns and accidents involving the Company’s rolling stock.
In the process of environmental review (conducted on an annual basis), the effects of the Company’s environmental initiatives are evaluated and specific environmental targets and tasks are formulated for subsequent years according to criteria selected based on:
The Company diligently monitors all environmental aspects considered to be significant. The following is the list of such significant aspects in 2017:
- Potential risk of a release of hazardous substances into the environment during the carriage of hazardous cargo and waste;
- Failures of installations and equipment resulting in a potential risk of a release of hazardous substances into the environment;
- Emissions from burning solid fuels in boiler plants that use such fuels;
- Consumption of diesel fuel for traction purposes and fugitive emissions from fuel combustion by locomotives;
- Fugitive emissions of volatile organic compounds (technological processes) from the installations that are subject to emissions standards;
- Traction electricity consumption and emissions from the consumption of traction electricity;
- Discharges of sewage into the sewer system;
- Discharges of rainwater and snowmelt into waters and soil;
- Discharges of sewage into waters and soil;
- Management of hazardous waste;
- Potential spills during the storage and transshipment of hazardous waste;
- Historical contaminations;
- Emissions of noise from traction rolling stock and rail cars.
The objective of the monitoring of significant aspects is not only to gain knowledge of the magnitude of impacts on the natural environment by tracking certain assumed indicators but also to implement the environmental protection program in order to improve the emission indicators (energy intensity).
Year by year, through the introduction of objectives and tasks in significant areas in relation to the adopted classification criteria, the Company keeps reducing its environmental impact.
The significant aspects are related to the Company’s core business of the carriage of cargo and the maintenance and repairs of rolling stock. Accordingly, the risk of sanctions in the following areas was evaluated:
1) Carriage of hazardous cargo
First of all, the Company is a rail freight carrier, hence the carriage of hazardous materials is subject to monitoring. In 2017, PKP CARGO S.A. did not record any events resulting in environmental damage, and because the Company is aware of the costs involved in restoring the environment to the required standards, it continuously monitors the quality of the safety of our transport. This process is supported by improvements in diagnostics and inspections of the rolling stock through earmarking considerable funds for that purpose, including purchases of diagnostic equipment, repair equipment, garage equipment for diagnostics and repairs of locomotives and rail cars and on purchases of new rolling stock and modernizations of the rail cars.
2) Emissions into the air
The Company consumes large amounts of traction electricity and traction fuel, hence this consumption is subject to monitoring. In recent years, as a result of a gradual replacement of engines, the traction fuel consumption ratio has been significantly reduced; despite an insufficient throughput of the lines and an insufficient commercial speed, the electricity consumption ratio has also been reduced. This translates directly into emission volumes and environmental fees. As at the end of 2017, the Company had 16 modern multi-system electric locomotives (15 EU46 SIEMENS locomotives and 1 EU45) as well as 138 modernized diesel locomotives with engines satisfying the requirements of stage IIIA in terms of gas and dust emissions. Capital expenditures aimed at reducing emissions from traction vehicles will be continued in the form of engine replacements, modernization of rolling stock, purchases of new locomotives and metering of electricity consumption.
3) Emissions into waters
PKP CARGO S.A. is taking actions aimed at renovation and reconstruction of the existing sewage and rainwater discharge system in its Rolling Stock Maintenance Centers in Rybnik and Żurawica, which will have a direct impact on a reduction in fees charged for the discharge of wastewater without treatment.
4) Protection of the earth’s surface
The Company’s operations exert an impact on the ground water environment. This fact prompted the implementation of the Company’s program of the construction of container fuel stations which has led to the decommissioning of all fuel stations with single-shell tanks leased from PKP S.A.
In 2017, 2 more new container fuel stations were accepted for operation (Toruń, Ostrów Wielkopolski). At the same time, the Company is implementing a plan to decommission old tanks for used oil and build in the Rolling Stock Maintenance Centers of all the Company’s Units forced-drain installations for used oil (to tighten the process). In 2016, technical documentation was developed for new tanks in 17 locations along with administrative decisions permitting development. In 2017, construction of 9 tanks was launched (Kamieniec Ząbkowicki, Wrocław Brochów, Jaworzno Sz., Czechowice Dz., Bydgoszcz, Tarnowskie Góry, Rybnik, Poznań Franowo, Szczecin). According to plan, the works launched in 2017 will be completed at the beginning of the Q2 2018. The construction of the remaining 8 tanks is scheduled for 2018.
The provision of rail transport services requires subjecting the rolling stock to regular inspections, repairs, modernizations and withdrawals from service, which involves generation of waste (including hazardous waste). Due to its volume (thousands of tons per year) and diversity (potentially, over 100 various types of waste may be generated), the conduct of waste management without appropriate legal regulations and monitoring the situation on the ground would significantly increase the Company’s exposure to the risk of sanctions.
Accordingly, on an ongoing basis, in accordance with existing needs, updated or obtained are decisions concerning generation, collection and recycling of waste and internal regulations. The creation of an internal waste management system resulted in assigning responsibility to each of the main employee groups at successive stages of the waste management process, thus effectively minimizing the risk of waste disposal in a place not intended for this purpose.
As a significant environmental aspect, asbestos storage places are subject to strict documentation and inspection.
In accordance with the applicable legal requirements, the Company assesses the situation and the possibility of a safe use of products containing both construction asbestos and asbestos used in its assets (electric locomotives), and submits the required reports to the competent environmental protection authorities. Asbestos is being gradually withdrawn to comply with the statutory deadline for its disposal (by 2032).
No sanctions are envisaged due to any irregularities in the management of asbestos.
5) Organizational actions
In response to changes in legislation in the area of environmental protection management, the Company runs annual inspections and updates of the following:
- Instructions for handling installations and equipment causing emissions and for handling waste at PKP CARGO S.A.
- Company’s internal regulations related to generation of municipal and industrial waste
- transmission of data, drafting of information on the extent of use of the environment and its protection.
Internal control over the proper use of the environment in all aspects is exercised by the environmental protection division.
The PKP CARGO Group runs its business throughout the country and beyond its borders. The consumption of materials, fuels and electricity during the conduct of business operations causes an extensive impact on the environment. In order to avoid any breaches of environmental protection laws and minimize the risk of sanctions against the Group’s member companies, continuous monitoring and inspection of the conduct of their operations are required. Aware of their impact on the environment, the companies take actions aimed at preventing environmental pollutions. Moreover, they make efforts aimed at ensuring the constant raising of environmental awareness among their personnel by training all staff responsible for performing tasks associated with the transport of cargo, supervision and maintenance of installations causing emissions into the environment and waste management.
The Group is involved in achieving compliance of its actions with the applicable laws and regulations, has in place a program of environmental measures and achieves measurable results of these activities, has qualified personnel conducting environmental matters with the use of instruments in the form of software for calculating environmental fees, which constitutes an up-to-date database on the extent of the use of the environment. The employees have access to up-to-date regulations and instructions, and their environmental awareness is growing every year due to training and information processes conducted.
All this means that serious sanctions for the use of the environment are rather unlikely to be imposed against members of the PKP CARGO Group.