People working for people.
Europe watched with bated breath as the tunnel boring machine Sissi broke through the last wall of rock in the Gotthard base tunnel. It was a moment that moved even the most self-controlled of politicians to tears of joy and jubilation. And the emotions were entirely justified: this breakthrough was, after all, the culmination of one of the greatest engineering projects of the century. The people who had been tunnelling through the heart of the Alps, some 2,000 metres below the Gotthard massif, had accomplished a tremendous feat.
So in a very literal sense, 2010 was a year of breakthroughs for SBB and for rail travel. The tunnellers not only completed the bore of the Gotthard base tunnel, they also achieved a breakthrough at the Weinberg tunnel site under the city of Zurich. Once this centrepiece of the new cross-city link line is completed, it will take a great deal of pressure off a number of lines radiating out from Zurich. More capacity means a more stable timetable, and that will benefit rail users right across the SBB network.
However, 2010 was a year of breakthroughs for SBB in a metaphorical sense too. The strenuous efforts we have been making in recent years to improve transparency have borne their first fruits. We are making steady headway in bringing our performance into line with SBB’s nine Group targets. Top priority is being given to punctuality, safety and sustainable business operations. At the same time, our untiring efforts to highlight the question marks hanging over the financing of rail infrastructure have evidently given rise to a broad-based political consensus: the need to find new solutions in this area has found broad political consensus.
We also offer more transparency in this annual report and sustainability report: for the first time, we are reporting on our economic, social and ecological achievements in accordance with the globally recognised guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
SBB is already perceived by its customers as a company with an exemplary record in terms of ecological sustainability: for climate protection, for energy efficiency, for the future. But sustainability goes further than that: in addition to the ecological aspects, we must also address the social and economic side of sustainability. Only companies that work successfully in all three areas can be considered to hold future promise. But we are still a long way away from economic sustainability in particular. SBB’s debts – which grew further in the past year – are a cause of concern to us.
In operational terms, 2010 was a successful year for SBB. Targets were for the most part met – and in some areas easily surpassed. And our service offering was expanded.
SBB’s good services are the good services of its employees. They give the company its professional and committed face. We would therefore like to improve staff satisfaction again as quickly as possible, as we are fully aware that the success of the company hinges on a motivated workforce – as does the satisfaction of our customers.
People working for people. That is the way to achieve great things. And the Gotthard tunnellers have shown us how.
Dr Ulrich Gygi
Chairman of the Board of Directors of SBB AG
CEO SBB AG
Interview with Ulrich Gygi and Andreas Meyer