Energy-efficient transportation necessary to reach climate goals

ett tåg

We are currently facilitating many companies in attaining their environmental targets. In 2023, we transported 20 million tonnes of goods, the equivalent of 880,000 truckloads. In other words, our efforts are not limited to a comprehensive reduction of CO2 emissions, but also include reducing congestion and improving road safety.

Sweden aims to become one of the world’s first fossil-free welfare nations with no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045. Sweden also has a target of reducing emissions from domestic transportation by at least 70 percent by 2030 compared with 2010.

Among modes of transport, rail freight is the most space- and energy-efficient and has the least negative impact on the environment. An average freight train (wagon load) transports as much freight as around 20 trucks. Other forms of transportation are also gradually reducing their environmental impact, but transition takes time and is largely counteracted by increases in volume. If climate goals are going to be reached, more freight needs to be transported via rail.

The key to sustainable logistics is in collaboration between different forms of transportation. Rail freight should be chosen when possible and connected with other forms of transportation when needed. Space- and energy-efficient transportation are high priorities if we are to meet the climate goals of both the EU and Sweden.

Low climate impact

98 percent of Green Cargo’s tonne kilometrage is carried out by electric trains. Transportation with diesel trains and trucks account for less than four percent, collectively. Electricity from renewable hydroelectric plants, together with a high level of energy efficiency, means that the climate impact is very low. A normally loaded Green Cargo freight train carries about 500 tonnes of goods, and we operate around 400 trains every weekday.

If these transports had been made with trucks instead, it would have led to a caravan of trucks 220 kilometers long. Moreover, our efforts are not limited to a comprehensive reduction of CO2 emissions, but also include reducing congestion and improving road safety.

We’re improving all the time

Green Cargo is certified in accordance with ISO 14001:2015. We work systematically to constantly reduce our remaining environmental impact. As per the requirements in the standard, the basis for the company’s activities in this area are our environmental policy and the environmental topics we have identified.

We have clear ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions per tonne kilometrage carried out, reduce diesel consumption and increase energy efficiency.

We work continuously to review and develop our existing vehicle fleet, wagons as well as locomotives, using technologically innovative solutions for transportation that is even more energy-efficient and sustainable.

Two climate-smart examples

A typical intermodal route is between Malmö intermodal terminal and Norrköping intermodal terminal, approximately 450 km by truck and 560 km by rail.

Example 1: A single truck shipment between Malmö and Norrköping results in 730 kg of CO2 emissions. This is the equivalent of 1,200 trains with an average Green Cargo train carrying around 500 tonnes of goods. ​

​Example 2: The CO2 emissions from an electric train between Malmö and Norrköping weigh half as much as a milk carton. If an equivalent amount of goods were to be transported with truck on the same route, it would result in approximately 20 tonnes of CO2.​