Rail is the most sustainable mode of transport per unit transported and the least pollutant with reference to emissions. In particular, freight train transport emits nine times less CO2 than road transport and 160 times less than air carriage. Modal transfer of freight to our trains is therefore key in any sustainable transport strategy.

In 2018, savings generated thanks to Renfe Mercancías (Renfe Freight) business amounted to 258 million euros in external costs, i.e. the monetisation of consequences generated through the transport of goods: emission of pollutants into the atmosphere, energy consumption, accidents, noise pollution and traffic congestion. We also afforded an energy saving of 1,631 GWh and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 405,000 tonnes. 

30% target for 2030

If we take into account that, in Spain and the rest of Europe, the transport sector is one of the main causes of emissions, choosing the train as a logistics partner is a decisive actions in the fight against climate change. At Renfe Mercancías (Renfe Freight), we are fighting against climate change and are part of the Rail Freight Forward coalition. This European organisation was created at COP24 in Katowice, Poland, with the aim of increasing the train's share of freight transport to 30% in the next decade. 


Trains currently account for an 18% share of freight transport in Europe, and just over 4% in Spain. On a global scale, with a market share of only 7%, rail freight consumes and emits less than 2% of the total energy and greenhouse gas emissions from transport. An increase in our share would not have to mean an increase in these emissions, as the railway is currently more than 70% electrified, so it can implement renewable energy without changing technology. At Renfe Mercancías (Renfe Freight), 65% of our fleet of locomotives is already electrified.