Our highest environmental priority is to protect the environment by preventing harm to it, while complying with all relevant laws and regulations as well as industry standards. Sustainable action is an integral part of the entire value-added process. In all of our activities, we promote biodiversity, we work to reduce environmental pollution as far as this can be achieved economically with the best available technology, and we emphasise these values to our employees as well as our suppliers.
The latest findings and requirements are incorporated into our plans and put into practice by our employees. Continuous information, training, and the regular recording of environmental indicators for CO2 emissions, energy, water, and waste are all part of our sustainability strategy. In this way, we not only contribute to raising awareness with regard to the consumption of natural resources, but also expand our reduction targets. We continuously invest in our technology to keep up with the latest developments.
As an organization, we contribute to climate protection not only through our commitment to the rail system and sustainable mobility, but also by keeping our own ecological footprint as small as possible. For this reason, we are gradually switching the power supply for our sites to energy from renewable sources as existing contracts expire.
Currently, in addition to the Großbeeren location, the Erlensee, Lehrte, and Leer locations also obtain 100% of their electricity from renewable energy sources. Additionally, SPITZKE itself is a producer of renewable energy, thanks to our own photovoltaic system.
For the work in the tunnels of the high-speed Mannheim–Stuttgart line (SFS4080), we have equipped our cleaning machine RM 900 S with an innovative dust filtering system. Developed in-house alongside ventilation specialist CFT in spring 2020, this innovation is currently unique in the industry.
The dust filtering required for tunnel construction projects is no longer carried out from the neighboring track, as was previously the case and was tested in previous pilot projects, but is now implemented inside the machine. In the future, this will ensure that single-track tunnel construction can also be carried out in compliance with the required air quality and occupational health and safety standards.
Numerous modifications to the track-laying machine were necessary for the use of the new technology. The most obvious of these are the enclosures, covered with yellow tarpaulin, at the points where dust is generated during construction, as well as the four extraction pipes leading from the respective extraction areas to the filter systems. These are located between the main and tamping units of the RM 900 S on two specially added wagons. The filter units come from the ventilation specialist CFT, with which we developed this innovative new technology.
Insects are enormously important to us humans. That’s why we take care to preserve, maintain, and build up their natural habitat.
After 5,000 to 10,000 bees moved into our beehive on the premises of our production subsidiary, SPITZKE FAHRWEGSYSTEME GmbH, in Möllenhagen in April 2020, another 14 swarms found their home in tree hollows in May. By then, a lot had happened: A bee house was built, tree trunks were hollowed out as housing for the bees, and bee pastures and nutritious shrubs were planted around the bee area.
On July 22, 2020, the time finally came — our first SPITZKE honey was extracted. Because most of the bees are kept in a species-appropriate way, the quantity of honey is lower than with conventional beekeeping.
With our company-owned beekeeping, we are strengthening our commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. By maintaining fallow land and sowing flower meadows, we counteract insect mortality and thus promote biodiversity. Greetings from the bees.
In 2019, we extended our own rail connection at the main site in Großbeeren (GVZ Berlin South) by four new tracks over a total length of approximately 1,200 m. For this, a plot of land (forest area) of approximately 6,900 m2 was acquired.
This extension is very important, as it is the only way to create the necessary parking space for the large track-bound machines, thus ensuring efficiency. By maintaining and servicing these large machines on our own premises, as well as safeguarding them from vandalism by keeping them in protected areas, we are better able to ensure the punctual completion of railway construction projects.
The survey of fauna, which we carried out in advance, revealed the presence of bats, a strictly protected green woodpecker, a nest of the wood ant, and at least one lizard species.
Within the framework of an intervention and compensation plan, we implemented the following avoidance and compensation measures:
We are aware of our responsibility for the climate, which is why we place great importance on monitoring, and when possible reducing, CO2 emissions. In particular, when we dispatch large machines and diesel locomotives as well as road-rail equipment, we pay careful attention to the distances to be covered.
With the introduction of a new scheduling tool at the beginning of 2017, it is possible for our dispatchers to shorten transport routes and simultaneously clock the use of the numerous machines in an ecologically and economically efficient manner.
In addition, we use environmentally friendly filters in our track-laying machines and rely on cutting-edge technology. For example, on July 25, 2019, we celebrated the naming and commissioning of the first electric locomotive in the company’s own vehicle fleet. The Siemens “Smartron” locomotive has since been used by SPITZKE subsidiary SLG SPITZKE LOGISTIK GmbH for freight transport in Germany.
The Smartron has an output of 5,600 kW and achieves a maximum speed of 160 km/h. These are exactly the performance parameters we need in order to carry out a wide range of logistics tasks for rail construction sites and for rail transport of all kinds in domestic German freight traffic. With the acquisition of the Smartron, we are making a further contribution to lowering CO2 emissions in rail freight transport, as our new electric locomotive runs with zero emissions. For us, efficiency and environmental friendliness go hand in hand.