We use large quantities of materials in both construction and operation of the rail network, and in our transport activities.

Precisely for this reason, we are always working to reduce the environmental impact of the use of raw materials in our activities, paying the maximum attention to the maintenance of infrastructures (tunnels, embankments, bridges, viaducts, stations, technological systems, rolling stock maintenance equipment, etc.) and the servicing and maintenance of trains. 

The materials listed below are used annually in different quantities according to the construction and maintenance of railway lines.

Steel: mainly used in the construction of rails (armament) and structures for electric powered trains (technologies).

Rubble: employed in the construction of railway ballast (ballast).

Pre-stressed concrete sleepers: concrete sleepers are now used instead of wooden sleepers due to their greater durability and lack of environmentally hazardous substances, in contrast to wood impregnated with creosote to protect against biological and atmospheric agents.

Earth and rocks from excavation: in order to reduce the environmental impact of construction activities of new railway lines, we pay great attention to the possibility of re-using earth and rocks from excavations and tunnelling when building railway embankments.

By re-using this material, we can reduce the environmental impact caused by disposing of the earth and avoiding the use of quarries, with the resulting negative impact in terms of the landscape, energy use and atmospheric pollution.

Work site management and oversight

The table below details the most significant materials used in the construction of railway infrastructures which the Group entrusts the works to third-party companies, mainly assigning Group companies the role of technical party in addition to, depending on the requirements and specific type of contract, coordination and/or supervision of the works.

Materials used Unit of measure 2020 2019 2018
Raw materials t 4.225.576 2.884.248 1.700.860
Earth - procurement t 436.489 36.074 689.930
Concrete t 2.676.502 1.696.123 534.804
Inert material t 964.240 602.929 153.858
Steel for railway superstructure t 777 725 31
Steel for railway technology systems t 5.745 5.235 3.927
CAP sleepers t 4.909 261.759 721
Iron t 136.780 233.740 316.830
Aluminium t 11 35 748
Copper t 124 47.627 12
Recycled raw materials t 7.368.805 4.076.889 2.243.433
Earth - reuse t 1.723.284 1.058.069 1.355.156
Earth - reuse through environmental redevelopment t 5.645.521 3.018.820 888.276
Recycled raw materials (Earth - reuse and environmental redevelopment) Unit of misure 2020 2019 2018
Percentage of materials used that are recycled input materials % 63,6% 58,6% 56,9%

Last update: Sustainability Report 2020