DHL plans to go green

DHL Express, a leading provider of global express services will improve its carbon efficiency by 30 per cent by 2020.

The company has set strict targets, reducing emissions per package sent, ton transported and square meter of real estate used initially by 10 per cent by 2012, and by 30 per cent by 2020 when compared to 2007 levels.

In addition, DHL Express has brought all of its climate change initiatives – both internal and customer facing – together under its GoGreen Program to build a comprehensive range of environmentally sustainable logistics solutions. The GoGreen Program will also help DHL Express formally track and monitor the company’s progress against its carbon efficiency goals.

DHL Express is the first company in the logistics sector to set specific and quantifiable CO2 targets and it will apply this by taking a focused approach across four key functions – air, road, real estate and products and services. For example, DHL will replace 90 per cent of its air fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft by 2020.

‘Doing business in a sustainable manner is not new to DHL – the GoGreen Program does however bring all of our environmental initiatives under one strategic umbrella,’ said John Mullen, CEO of DHL Express. ‘DHL is the world’s leading express company and we recognize our responsibility to not only reduce our immediate impact on the environment, but also provide our customers with a carbon-neutral shipment option. Every individual has a part to play and we are particularly proud that our staff is so firmly engaged in this Program.’

To help achieve its emissions goal, DHL Express will progressively modernize its air fleet.

Approximately 90 per cent of the company’s air fleet will be replaced by modern, more fuel-efficient aircraft such as the Boeing 757 Special Freighter, which consumes around 20 per cent less fuel per transported ton than its Boeing 727 predecessor.

Additionally, aerodynamic winglets will be fitted to an initial six Boeing 767- 300ERF cargo aircraft – this simple addition has been proven to reduce fuel consumption and increase carbon efficiency by more than four per cent.

DHL Express will expand the use of innovative technologies such as alternative fuels and drive systems e.g. hybrid engines. The company will also introduce IT- assisted route optimized, telematics and fuel-efficient driving to increase the carbon efficiency of the company’s 72,000-strong ground fleet.

State-of-the-art environmental technologies and techniques will be used to improve the energy efficiency of DHL Express-owned and leased real estate assets summing up to 6.8 million square meters worldwide – including sorting centres, warehouses, air hubs, retail outlets and office buildings.

The energy efficiency in DHL’s buildings will be improved by installing more efficient low energy lighting and better insulation, as well as optimizing the heating and cooling systems of existing facilities. Rainwater harvesting systems will be implemented to wash the fleet while reducing pressure on natural water supplies and solar panels will be installed to generate as much energy as possible from renewable sources.

In addition to its goal of realizing a 30 percent improvement in carbon efficiency by 2020, DHL Express is also rolling out a GoGreen shipping service around the world.

The GoGreen service has been available in Europe since 2006, and will be expanded to 17 countries in Asia-Pacific in 2008, allowing customers to offset the carbon emissions produced when shipping their parcels and goods. DHL Express was the first logistics company to offer customers the option to offset the carbon outputs of their shipments.

The underlying approach behind GoGreen Program is a three-pronged method of assessing, reducing and offsetting carbon emissions. In order to measure DHL Express’ carbon emissions on a regular basis and make achievements transparent, the company will set up a comprehensive carbon-accounting system.

To reduce its overall carbon footprint DHL Express has identified a number of business specific measures that will be implemented in the coming months and years.