Social and Environmental Responsibility > Environment



Rumo runs operations in Brazil‘s South, Southeast and Midwest regions, where some of the country‘s most important biomes are located. Through an environmental management system structured by proprietary tools, the company constantly pursues environmental excellence while ensuring legal compliance and best practices. Environmental issues are monitored through programs designed to minimize any impacts arising from the company‘s operation. Periodic monitoring arrangements cover the entire railway network and monitor operational complexes for fauna and flora, air emissions and noise, waste management and liquid effluent treatment, while watching erosion processes and deploying educational and environmental communication initiatives. Investments are made every year in projects to improve and revitalize permanent way, modernize engines and rolling stock, and enhance operational safety arrangements that contribute to the operation‘s environmental conditions. Our Environmental Management System, which provide advice on legal compliance and best practices for Rumo, has been constantly consolidating over the years and is directing routine activities in the operation as well as issues involving licensing, environmental controls and monitoring and other aspects. Currently, the company‘s operation comprises railways and terminals. Environmental operating licenses are issued by IBAMA and state environmental agencies depending on the scope of activities. To fulfill terms and conditions, reports are produced showing execution of social and environmental programs involving measures for the prevention and mitigation of possible impacts on operations. The environmental programs have led to studies to better understand the relationships between railways and surrounding environments thus guiding future projects and investment plans.

Environmental Compliance

The company‘s environmental management is based on compliance with legislation and standards. Rumo has procedures in place to identify and access laws and other applicable requirements in order to ensure the ongoing environmental management system and compliance for its operations. The company monitors trends and changes in legal requirements and technical standards and is periodically taking part in working groups with regulatory agencies, environmental agencies, the Brazilian Technical Standards Association and other entities helping to formulate and improve legislation and regulations related to their activities.

Air emissions

Rumo has been working to monitor and modernize its operation and its trains and rolling stock, frequently making efforts to improve operational and environmental performance. We are investing in locomotives that use less diesel and produce fewer air emissions. The main emissions monitored are particulate matter (PM) and greenhouse gases (GHG) such as CO2, SO2, and NOx, which are measured every two years for the GHG Emissions Inventory. The main measures to reduce this type of impact involve maintenance and renewal. Rumo‘s 2015 expansion plan establishes investments of more than US$1 billion to replace narrow-and broad-gauge locomotives. Compared with road transport, air emissions from railway operations are proportionally lower - for example, 357 Bitrem trucks would be needed to carry the same volume as 100 wagons.

In 2014, a specialized consultants firm provided support to identify any measures that could directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On this basis, we developed emission management plan that is now being executed on five fronts:

  • Railway fleet renewal
  • Logistical improvements and investments in research and development (R&D)
  • Alternative Fuels
  • Higher biodiesel content
  • Automotive vehicle fuel


Rail transportation is directly related to biodiversity in locations along rail routes, which is crucial for the execution of environmental programs surveying and monitoring environment surrounding rail lines, thus generating short, medium and long-term improvements.

The purpose of the environmental programs implemented by the concessionaire is to ensure harmony between the railway and biodiversity through measures that are beneficial to both parties and recommended measures to be taken. Areas of improvement are targeted with a focus on local fauna, flora, abiotic environment, air quality and the well-being of surrounding communities.

Some of the various programs focusing on biodiversity:

  • Erosive Process Monitoring Program
  • Flora Protection Program
  • Fauna Monitoring Program

Every year Rumo seeks to improve data collection and consolidate methodologies and equipment through environmental programs. In terms of fauna and flora, the company elaborates and implements measures to prevent and mitigate negative impacts.

Surveys of biomes intercepted by the company‘s operation cover the Cerrado savanna (North network), the Pantanal wetlands (West network) and Atlantic Forest (South and state of São Paulo networks). The ecosystems involved in these biomes host a wide variety of wildlife species. Also unique to these localities are flora with very well conserved formations in the Serra do Mar coastal mountain range regions in the states of Paraná and São Paulo.

Monitoring Fauna

In relation to fauna, the railway networks in Rumo concession run a Fauna Run Over Monitoring and Mitigation Program. The objective is to propose measures for the prevention and minimization of run over affecting wild and domestic fauna along the railway. For the duplication of the state of São Paulo network between the municipalities of Campinas and Santos, for example, fauna corridors will be placed in strategic locations to allows animals to cross railway lines safely.

During the construction of the North network railway structure, around 70 fauna corridors were placed at sensitive points and their efficacy verified through quarterly periodicity monitoring using special (infrared) cameras to record animals using these structures. Further studies are carried out to show whether the measures applied are effective for the different fauna groups.

Protecting Flora

Flora protection programs aim to ensure sustainability for the flora component in areas around the railway, so recovery, maintenance and vegetation control measures are carried out to minimize the impacts on the natural dynamics of phytophysiognomies found along the meshes. During construction work to upgrade the railway, plantations are made to compensate for environmental impacts generated for flora planting native species seedlings to restore and recover ecological processes in altered and degraded areas, including Permanent Preservation Areas (PPAs) and Conservation Units (UC), among other areas.

In all, the programs have planted more than 530 thousand native species seedlings with follow-up for their development in different states and biomes. These plantations have started ecological recovery processes in many areas, adding environmental values in previously degraded locations that did not show any ecological function.

Flora has also been used to minimize other intrinsic impacts of railway activity and engineering work that generates dust, particles and noise emissions. To do so, we placed vegetation curtains at some rail terminals and used herbaceous plantings to mitigate movements in cutting areas and landfills of new projects and restructured sites.

We control invasive species and survey and monitor species based on action plans. This control is a means of mitigating the development of exotic invasive species on railway right of way land and in environmentally sensitive places intercepted.

Focus on Environmental Education

Rumo invests in education and environmental awareness programs for communities located around of the railway network as well as employees and service providers.

The aim of these measures is to have people relate more to the environmental cause by fostering a sense of belonging and proximity to nature, while fostering attitudes favoring the responsible use of resources and protecting the environment as part of stakeholders‘ everyday lives.

Environmental education workshops are held for elementary school students in the public system, and there are interactive social activities, talks in companies and non-formal environmental education campaigns (for communities around railway lines).

Based on an evaluation made at the end of 2014, an action plan has been proposed to boost the program‘s efficacy, thus ensuring continuity for the workshops and ongoing progress. The environmental education activities are aligned with a communication strategy that goes beyond the fundamental objective of communicating to connect people with the environment by building a relationship of familiarity and therefore preservation.

Several educational and environmental communication initiatives were carried out during the duplication of the state of São Paulo network. Construction work affected some sensitive regions such as Vila Natal and Vila Esperança in the municipality of Cubatão (SP) to focus on more critical local issues such as railway safety, noise and waste.

Environmental Management Manual for Construction Work

Strengthening control over growth and upgrading projects, the Environmental Management Manual for Construction was developed that determines criteria for environmental management.

Its objective is to advise on good environmental practices and compliance with legislation during construction, thus showing the company‘s commitment to the environment.

Certified Operation

Rumo‘s terminal in Santos has had ISO14001 environmental certification since 2009, thus showing the efficacy of its Environmental Management System. In the last five years, direct investments in environmental management have included air pollution control equipment, with dust filtering systems installed in all of the terminal‘s hoppers. This shows Rumo‘s commitment to preventing and reducing environmental impacts. Other good examples are the X warehouse built with new spill containment and particulate emission technology, with enclosed conveyors and dedusting systems in elevators, and dust suppressors installed on all of the terminal‘s ship loaders, thereby minimizing particulate emissions while loading.

Traditional Communities - Assistance Program

Between the state capital‘s metro region and the coastal region of São Paulo, 12 indigenous villages are participating in the Basic Environmental Plan related to the railway duplication program. There are seven programs structured to meet demand for health, education, income generation, cultural activities and environmental management. All stages in the process of implementing the program are participatory and inclusive, with the presence of federal indigenous peoples‘ agency FUNAI and Indian affairs specialists attending meetings and conferences for the project.