Carbon footprint calculator

22. 10. 2020

To help our customers find out just how much our rail freight transport services protect the environment from CO2 emissions, Helmut Tschida and his team calculate exactly how much is produced by every single transport order.

How do you work out the size of their rail transport’s carbon footprint?

Based on RCG data, we use the EcoTransIT World tool to calculate how much energy is used and how many environmental emissions are produced by a single transport consignment. This lets our customers know how many tonnes of CO2 they save when they transport their goods by rail. The scientifically proven method behind it calculates the energy consumption and emissions of the corresponding supply chain. 

What’s the method behind it?

Based on the tonnage transported, the energy source used on the particular stretch of the journey (incl. upstream and downstream processes i.e. their creation and usage), the length of the journey, the freight allocation, load bearing capacity and the number of empty wagons in use, the EcoTransIT World software lets us know how much energy is needed and how many emissions each consignment produces. The RCG’s production system lets us know the transport parameters. In addition, a database containing the emission intensity of different modes of transport, country-specific energy mixes and vehicle usage trends acts as the foundation for our emissions calculations. The more customer-specific transport information we can include in the calculations, the more detailed the results are.

How many calculations have we made this year?

Every piece of cargo we can shift to rail helps our world breathe again. Together with our customers and partners, we were able to save 1.1 million tonnes of CO2 in Austria in 2019. This year to date, we have already saved 1.13 million tonnes (as of 22.10.2020). This year, we have already made calculations for about 40 of our customers.

How much CO2 on average do our customers save with rail freight transport?

Our customer’s carbon footprint can be measured clearly: if you compare it with transporting the same volume by road, you will see that together with our partners, we save about 1.1 million tonnes of CO2 a year with our rail freight transport services through and within Austria. On average, the emissions produced for each consignment by rail work out at around 2.5 tonnes less CO2 than by road. Having said that, you do have to take into consideration that one consignment can consist of many wagons.

What is the added value for our customers and for the environment?

Traction current is produced by renewable energy sources, energy consumption at high performance is six times lower than road and air pollution is eight times less than road transport. This means rail transport plays an important role in protecting the environment. Our goal is to drive forward the modal shift from road to rail. Businesses that make the decision to transport their goods by rail make a significant contribution to us reaching this goal together.

Why is it so important to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions?

The transport industry is responsible for producing some of the highest volumes of CO2 emissions. This means it contributes to the greenhouse effect. Only when transport becomes much healthier and much more climate friendly will we have better air quality, less noise pollution and fewer traffic jams. This makes rail freight transport crucial to overcoming the challenges of climate change.

If you want to find out more about our CO2 calculations, click on Add-ons at and you’ll find it listed under our Extras.