Climate management and energy efficiency

GRI 103-1, 103-2, 103-3, 302-1, 302-4, 305-1, 305-2, 305-4, 305-5; TR-RA-110a.2, TR-RA-110a.3.

Climate change is a reality and has been discussed by governments and companies around the world, year after year. At MRS, the commitment to sustainability not only for business, but for the planet, is reflected in continuous investments to reduce GHG (Greenhouse Gases) emissions and to better understand the impact of its operational activities in all areas.

The impacts caused by MRS are directly linked to the Company’s operation, through its sources of GHG emissions: railway fleet, highway fleet, railway equipment, maintenance equipment, fire extinguishers, refrigeration equipment, septic tanks and the purchase of electricity.

MRS carried out inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the years 2019 and 2020 in scopes 1 (from the operation, mainly due to diesel consumption) and scope 2 (indirect emissions from energy consumption). The Company started mapping emissions in 2020, and the base year chosen was 2019, which is the first year with inventory data. The study provides access to MRS’ emission diagnosis, the mapping and quantification of its emissions, and points out opportunities for improvement related to the efficiency of operational and maintenance activities. In addition, it establishes risks, opportunities and work plans in the short, medium and long terms. Thus, inventories were carried out by a specialized company and submitted to external checking by a consultancy accredited by Inmetro, providing reasonableness to the data. The methodologies to calculate were IPCC, GHG Protocol and NBR ISO 14,064. MRS chose to use the organizational limit of operational control for accounting, as it is responsible for 100% of the GHG emissions of the units over which the Company has control of operations.

Scope 1 emissions: these are also called direct emissions.

Refer to GHG emissions arising directy by activities developed by MRS, such as railway fleet, highway fleet, railway equipment, maintenance equipment, fire extinguishers, refrigeration equipment and septic tanks.

483,84 thousand tons of CO2e in 2020

Scope 2 emissions: these are also called indirect emissions, resulting from the consumption of electric energy.

2,095 tons of CO2e in 2020

MRS total emission in 2020 was 483.84 thousand tons of CO2eq for scope 1, representing 3.1% of emission reduction per transport volume (specific emission indicator – CO2eq/TKU). In 2019, MRS reached 49.1 billion TKU, while in 2020, these figures reached 53.3 billion TKU, corresponding to 8.6% growth. Considering that part of the increase in transport volume may come from the road modal, the gains in specific emissions may be even higher, although in absolute terms an increase in MRS emissions can be observed.

For scope 2, absolute emissions amounted to 2,095 tons of CO2eq in 2020, representing 17.5% reduction when compared to the previous year. The result may be a result of the adoption of remote work mode in several areas of MRS, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the employees performing their activities at their homes, a reduction was recorded in energy consumption by the Company.

TKU: Tonne per kilometer, which is equal to the weight of the cargo multiplied by the transported distance.

Specific emissions (g CO2e/TKU)

Cargo rail transportation can emmit up to


than the same number of trucks would emmit to transport the same amount of cargo.

Initiatives to reduce GHG emissions

Increase of the speed of trains at key points of the railroad

Driving improvement for train drivers

Use of more efficient locomotives

Increase of locomotive productivity

Reducing the time of unnecessary locomotives running

(For more information: “Energy efficiency“)

In 2020, MRS reached 53.3 billion of TKU, which corresponded to a total specific emission of 0.0091 kg CO2eq/TKU. Although there was an increase in absolute emission in 2020 against 2019, the specific emission in 2020 had a reduction of 3.1% compared to 2019, which shows an increase in the company’s energy efficiency. This increase is due to the actions and controls developed during the year, among which the following stand out: the increase in the speed of trains; the promotion of increased autonomy during rail transport; improvement of the Driving Information System (SIC); and optimization of train composition (joining Ore and General Cargo composition).

In 2020, MRS signed a public commitment related to climate change protocols with the State of São Paulo (São Paulo Environmental Agreement), in order to foster the commitment to a more efficient and less emitting strategy for its operations. In addition, in partnership with UFRB (Universidade Federal of Recôncavo Baiano), MRS promoted updates to the CO Calculator2, a public tool that compares emissions from road and rail transport, inserting comparative features related to natural resources. Access the calculator.

Calculator shows advantages of intermodal

The tool quantifies the carbon dioxide emissions of the road-only modal and the intermodal emissions (rail and road) and presents a comparison that allows viewing the percentage of CO2 emission reduction in the intermodal cargo transport.

Atmospheric emissions (tons of CO2eq)



Energy Efficiency (Liters/kTKB)

GRI 305-1, 305-2; TR-RA-110a.1.

Biogenic emissions


GRI 103-1, 103-2, 103-3, 302-1, 302-4

MRS energy consumption results from the railway operation and from the units that support the development of the railway’s activities. The Company’s energy sources are represented by the consumption of diesel, non-renewable fuel and the energy purchased. Aware of the relevance of its role in the constant search for ways to reduce energy consumption, MRS uses the free market, low-intensive equipment and rental of solar farms.

In 2020, about 27 million kWh of energy were consumed,

where about 70% of this energy is purchased through the free market of incentivized energy, in which the sources of energy generation are renewable, coming from SHP (Small Hydroelectric Power Plants), solar, wind, and biomass.

The majority of diesel fuel is used in the rail freight transport operation, except for operations at Serra da Cremalheira, between the cities of Santo André and Cubatão, which uses electricity, due to Cremalheira’s system. (Learn more in Innovation and Technology). In 2020, these locomotives were responsible for the consumption of 50% of the company’s electric energy.

A project is underway to expand the share of energy from solar plants, which has a specific park for MRS, focused on serving low voltage units (which are not eligible to be migrated to the Free Energy Market). This initiative will enable to increase the share of renewable sources in the energy matrix.

In order to identify deviations and waste, the monitoring of the amounts spent on electricity by MRS is performed on a centralized basis by the Shared Services Management. Any deviations may direct impact the company’s total costs and depending on the unit, also on customer pricing, as is the case at Cremalheira unit, in Raiz da Serra (SP).

GRI 302-1; TR-RA-110a.3
Energy Consumption
Electricity purchased35.379.541127.36634.114.266122.81133.336.477120.011
Diesel fuel241.355.9189.671.131190.725.6407.642.376203.915.1037.238.986


In a continuous search for improvement in the energy efficiency index, MRS is investing to reduce diesel consumption in its operations. The action benefits the Company with lower GHG (Greenhouse Gases emissions), in addition to providing economic gains.

To this end, MRS has invested in technology and equipment to improve and modernize the fleet, in addition to implementing innovative processes. In 2020, five new locomotives with better energy efficiency were acquired and the model of the Unmanned Train (TNT) in the Self-Rescue Zone (ZAS) was improved, reducing the number of locomotives required for the operation, as well as the use of data intelligence for driving trains. Learn more in Innovation and Technology;

MRS monitors its energy efficiency indicator for the rail fleet by measuring the quantity of liters consumed in transporting 1,000 real gross tons per kilometer (liters per thousand TKB). The global indicator measures the combined efficiency of the three main cargo groups, which have different service characteristics: Ore, Agricultural and Other General Cargo.

In 2020, the energy efficiency indicator for locomotives reached the mark of 2.468 L/kTKB, representing improvement of 0.7% as compared to 2019.

The Energy Efficiency area has been dedicated to the topic for years and, among the initiatives already developed to reduce the environmental impact of GHG, we highlight the following:

  • Reduction of fuel consumption in ore trains, due to the increase in train speed at key points on the railroad (reducing the complementation of train energy through combustion) and the improvement of driving by train drivers, making it more standardized.
  • Expand of Brisamar Yard: One of the main initiatives for the Iron context was the expand of Briamar Yard. This project included the expanding the yard by 10 lines, with the key  objective of supporting the ore trains queue, formed along MRS ways due to the variability of the discharge. The great advantage of the queue at Brisamar is its strategic location near the port of RJ and the unloading terminals of the main ore customers. With this project, a considerable reduction in ore train stops along the stretch was achieved, a fact that impact both fuel consumption and train circulation. Additionally, there is a queue optimization on the yards, once the train could be stopped with locomotives turned off, due to the yard is located close to the cargo terminal.
  • CID Switch: The Remote Isolation Switch (CID) mechanism makes it possible to electrically act on the system responsible for putting the locomotive to work, providing power to move or isolated, keeping it in engine idling speed, thus saving fuel.
  • AESS: The AESS – Auto Engine Start Stop – was an innovation based on automobile industry with the goal of saving fuel during the time that locomotive could be stopped. This system acts on the locomotives, turning off the engine when it is not needed. Thus, after monitoring the locomotive’s electrical, mechanical and pneumatic parameters (the latter are safety measures), it switches off the diesel engine, thus avoiding unnecessary consumption, which can reach 15 liters/hour per locomotive with the AESS installed.
  • Improvements implemented in general cargo trains, increasing the weight of agricultural products trains through the use of more efficient locomotives (model AC-44) and reduction in diesel consumption in other trains by combining ore composition with general cargo, leading to a more cost-effective operation of the locomotives.
  • Increased weight of Iron Ore trains: : One of the major wins that MRS has had over the last few years has been the increase in the maximum gross tonnage of the ore train, which went from the level of 15,840 to 18,000 today. The main factors that enabled this increase were greater operational knowledge of the locomotives, better quality sand and the friction modifier systems at the ways.
  • Locomotives more efficient (AC model) at agricultural flow: After the AC locomotives purchase, space was opened for a new operational study. The use of more powerful locomotives in grain flows, which are trains that are more similar to iron ore, aiming to reduce the need for assets and improve energy efficiency. Trains originating in the Pederneiras yard (inner São Paulo state) were predominantly formed with 5 locomotives (model C30/C36) with a traction capacity of up to 1,700 ton/locomotive. Changing the formation to AC makes it possible to use only 03 locomotives in the train since the capacity to develop up to 2,833 ton/locomotive. The better HP/ton transported ratio brought gains for Energy Efficiency. The formation with 3 Locomotives (distributed in the command, middle and tail of the composition) also severely reduced the efforts in the couplings and consequently the force imposed on the Permanent Way, an imperative item for the approval of the formation with Rumo (a section used to transport the cargo from the boarding terminal to the port).

Energy Efficiency x Ore Participation

GRI 302-4

The ore’s Transit Time (time taken in the cargo’s transportation from it’s place of origin to it’s destination), presented in 2020 a rise in the result, which is explained mainly by the impact of the new circulation model for the assistance of Andaime’s terminal, through the “Trem Não Tripulado” (non crewed train) operation.

For 2021, the main focus of studies for energy efficiency enhancement include: improvement of trains’ conduction and speed raise; model of train’s formation; raise of locomotive’s productivity; reduction of locomotives running unnecessarily.

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