A Case for Climate Neutrality

GETTING MOVING ON CLIMATE NEUTRALITY When your company’s annual emissions are about the same as Croatia’s, moving towards climate neutrality may seem like a tall order. (emissions per shipment, tonne, kilometre or square metre) by 30 per cent by 2020.

This is especially challenging as it includes Scope 3 emissions— those outside the company’s direct control. In Deutsche Post DHL’s case this accounts for the great bulk of its emissions— more than 25 million tonnes, largely from subcontracted transport companies. To achieve its target, a wide-ranging programme is being introduced across the company’s operations, spanning the use of moreefficient trailersandaircraft, newlogistics technologies tocut down on truck-miles, and specialist services and products to help customers and contractors to reduce their own CO 2 footprint. Among these original initiatives is the use of the first modern ocean-going cargo vessel to be powered partly by wind—the MS Beluga SkySails. SteffenFrankenberg, VicePresident of theGoGreenprogramme at Deutsche Post DHL, says, “Our customers are asking more and more for green solutions. Currently we are running efficiency analysis projects for the supply chains of some of our top customers.” In addition to joint consulting and efficiency projects, Deutsche Post DHL already offers the carbon neutral shipping service, GoGreen, to its customers. If a customer chooses to send their letter, parcel or express shipment “green”, the company calculates the transport-related CO 2 emissions and offsets themwith investments in international CDMclimate protection projects. Another delivery company, on a more modest scale but still a significant player in its own area, is making carbon neutrality a high-profile selling point for its services. “We believe in the opportunities of a low carbon economy— for us and for our customers.”

But Deutsche Post DHL—the world’s leading mail and logistics services group—is among a number of key players in the transport sector to have joined the Climate Neutral Network. Transport accounts for about one-fifth of global carbon dioxide emissions, and that proportion is projected to rise steadily as car sales soar in developing countries, and aviation continues its relentless expansion. The International Energy Agency forecasts that transport emissions will rise by 80 per cent between now and 2030. Yet transport has barely been touched by the international mechanisms designed to tackle climate change. Of more than 1800 projects earning carbon credits under the UN Clean DevelopmentMechanism(CDM),justtwoaretransport-related. Two crucial parts of the sector—international aviation and shipping—are entirely excluded from the targets of the Kyoto Protocol, because no single country is deemed responsible for their emissions. So the involvement of major transport companies in voluntary initiatives to calculate, minimize and offset their emissions is crucially important. Deutsche Post DHL’s global footprint in 2008 is estimated at 32 million tonnes of CO 2 emissions, the equivalent of the emissions of a small country. Through its extensive network and infrastructure, it touches approximately five per cent of total global trade volume, employing around 500,000 people, and using 120,000 vehicles and 319 aeroplanes.

So what is the company doing about its substantial footprint?

Deutsche Post DHL’s “GoGreen” programme, launched in 2008, has the central goal of improving the company’s CO 2 efficiency


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