In reducing energy consumption, VR Group sets 2020 as the target year

By 2020, the aim of VR Group is to improve the energy efficiency of train traffic and its properties and to increase the proportion of renewable energy to more than 60 per cent of the Group's overall energy consumption. Energy efficiency of train traffic will be improved by 20 per cent.

Compared with 2012 levels, the consumption of electricity in Group-owned properties will be reduced by 30 per cent and the amount of energy needed for heating by 20 per cent. Heating and lighting of properties accounts for 14 per cent of the total energy consumption in VR Group.

Energy efficiency in properties will be improved by replacing oil heating with other forms of energy or by giving up oil-heated properties altogether by the year 2020. VR Group will also introduce more energy efficient lighting systems and equip more buildings with remote control systems.

Trains, buses and coaches will be made more energy efficient

The proportion of electric traction, capacity utilisation and filling rates, shunting, empty trains, economic driving and the properties of the rolling stock are the factors influencing the energy efficiency of the traffic.

A larger proportion of freight trains were electrically hauled, while in passenger services the percentage of electric traction remained unchanged. There was a decrease in the consumption of liquid fuels in rail traffic.

During the review period, VR Group made a decision to purchase a total of 80 new electric locomotives. Read more about the purchase .

Pohjolan Liikenne purchased a total of 111 new buses and coaches during the year. Five of the new vehicles are full-hybrid buses. A total of 14 motor cars were purchased for the change of drivers. Nine of them are electric cars and four hybrid vehicles.

There is a correlation between energy efficiency and the performance of rail passenger services

The performance of the rail passenger services decreased by 4.4 per cent, which led to a drop in energy efficiency. At the same time, however, passenger cars needed less heating because there was a warm period early in the year and at the end of the year.

In rail freight traffic, the average train size increased by 2.9 per cent and the proportion of electric traction by 3 percentage points, which helps to increase energy efficiency.

In road mass goods logistics, diesel oil consumption averaged 44 litres/100 kilometres, while the average filling rate was 33 tonnes.

Training an important economic efficiency factor

Economic driving training for train and road vehicle drivers continued during 2014. In the next few years, VR Group will put more focus on energy efficient driving in rail traffic. In train traffic, VR Group launched an energy project in which the focus is on the driving of trains and traffic planning and steering. Locomotives will be equipped with technology supporting economic driving which means that drivers will be better placed to anticipate traffic conditions.

VR Group has joined the Finnish energy efficiency agreements for public transport and freight transport that have the target of reducing energy consumption by nine per cent by 2016. VR Transpoint’s rail logistics has achieved this target well ahead of the deadline.

More efficient heating and lighting

There were energy saving projects in many localities around Finland during 2014. In Vainikkala, oil heating was replaced with ground source heating and LED lighting was introduced. Additional control systems required by building technology were also installed.

At Kuopio and Lahti railway stations, additional building technology control systems were installed and the energy consumption in the two buildings will be closely monitored for three years. Heating insulation in the Hyvinkää workshop and Helsinki and Tampere depots was made more effective. The ventilation machine in the Hyvinkää workshop was also replaced with a model that recovers the heat. In the Pieksämäki workshop and the Tampere depot, old light fixtures were replaced with LED lighting.

In 2014, the properties owned by VR Group consumed a total of 99.8 gigawatt-hours of heating energy and 43.4 gigawatt-hours of electricity.

Total energy consumption in VR Group

Consumption of electricity in VR Group was at previous year's levels. The electricity purchased by VR Group is generated by hydropower and its origin has been verified with certificates of origin. Total energy consumption decreased by 5.7 per cent.

Total energy consumption, petajoules (PJ) 2014 2013 2012
VR Group (Scope 1+2+3) 5.27 5.59 6.11
Train traffic (Scope 1+2) 3.45 3.63 3.71
Road traffic (Scope 1+3) 1.03 0.98 1.41
Non-renewable energy (Scope 1+2) 2.07 2.30 2.52
Renewable energy (Scope 1+2) 2.66 2.70 2.73
Proportion of Group's energy consumption in % 56.30 53.90 51.90
Direct energy consumption (Scope 1+3) 2.31 2.41 2.88
Indirect energy consumption (Scope 2) 2.95 3.17 3.21
Bulk cargo logistics subcontracting (Scope 3) (Note: the figures for 2012 also include groupage subcontracting) 0.54 0.58 0.85

Read more about the definition of emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3).