Exactly five years ago, Deutsche Post DHL, the world’s leading mail and logistics group, officially launched its GoGreen program and became the first logistics company in the world to set a measureable climate protection target. By 2020, the Group intends to improve its CO2 emissions by 30 percent compared with the base level from 2007. The GoGreen environmental program is a permanent component of the company’s strategy, and the results of this work are reflected in such areas as the reduction of energy, paper and fuel consumption as well as in investments in innovative technologies.
At the same time, Deutsche Post DHL provides its customers with a range of environmentally conscious shipment options and energy-efficiency consulting opportunities. In turn, customers can use the CO2 savings to improve their own carbon footprints. Demand for green products and services has steadily risen over the years: In 2012, more than 2.4 billion GOGREEN shipments were sent and about 180,000 tons of CO2 were offset for customers – this is about 30 percent more than 2011 and over three times as much as 2009, when the total was 704 million shipments.
“GoGreen is a real success,” says Christof Ehrhart, Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Responsibility at Deutsche Post DHL. “Since its beginnings, we have continuously improved our own carbon footprint and are already halfway to meeting our goal of reducing our emissions by 30 percent by 2020. Environmental protection has a permanent place in our strategy and is reflected in Group-wide guidelines regarding such issues as paper, procurement and investments. Our employees also practice sustainability throughout the year. As part of this effort, 20,000 of them around the world have already attended the ‘GoGreen’ e-learning course. Today’s World Environment Day is a great opportunity to increase their awareness even more.”
Roughly 8,500 vehicles use alternative drive systems
As part of the World Environment Day, which the United Nations promotes annually on June 5, Deutsche Post DHL employees are once again involved in many projects this year. In China, Guatemala and the United States, they are planting trees. In Germany, some of them have made a conscious decision to avoid using cars. In England, employees have launched “Green Week,” during which colleagues will be informed every day about ways to save energy, recycle and sensibly use food. In Asia, lights will be turned off in department stores, and employees in Latin America will shut off the air conditioning as a way of conserving energy.
The Group has bundled all environmental- and climate-protection steps into the GoGreen program that it launched in 2008. At the time, the company began to use biofuel and hybrid trucks. In 2010, the first electric cars were put into delivery service. Today, roughly 8,500 vehicles in the Deutsche Post DHL fleet use alternative drive systems or have undergone aerodynamic or electrical-motor-related modifications. Since 2011, a total of 80 hybrid and electric cars have been used in the New York borough of Manhattan, and the company just joined the German Environmental Ministry in announcing a plan to offer carbon-free deliveries in Bonn, the company’s home base. In this unique project, more than 140 electric vehicles will provide carbon-neutral, quiet and fuel-conserving deliveries of mail and parcels in Bonn and nearby areas.
The company is also committed to conserving resources in its buildings and other facilities: Roughly 42 percent of all building energy needs are being covered by renewable energy sources. For instance, the temperature in the Group’s headquarters is regulated by groundwater from the nearby Rhine River, and energy consumption in the Post Tower is about one-third lower than a conventionally built multistory building. The company’s divisions are also using environmentally conscious building technology as for example the European hub at Leipzig. Here, a solar panel with a block heat and power plant produces green energy.
Efficiency improvements had reached 16 percent
Deutsche Post DHL is rapidly approaching its goal of improving CO2 efficiency throughout the entire Group – including transport services provided by subcontractors – by 30 percent by the year 2020: By 2012, efficiency improvements had reached 16 percent compared with 2007 levels. But hitting this ambitious environmental target by 2020 will require lower CO2 emissions from the subcontractors who provide the transport services that make up the largest portion of the Group’s measured emissions. For this reason, Deutsche Post DHL teamed up with other leading transport and logistics companies in 2012 to launch an initiative called Green Freight Europe, which is designed to make European overland transports more sustainable.
The mail and logistics company has been offering green products to its customers since 2006, when the GOGREEN Pluspäckchen was introduced in Germany. Since 2011, all packages sent by private customers in Germany have been sent in a climate-neutral manner at no extra cost. Many companies also now send letters and parcels in an environmentally conscious way by using Deutsche Post. Internationally, DHL Express customers in more than 60 countries also profit from climate-neutral service. In 2010 DHL Global Forwarding introduced CO2-reports which today also contain specific solutions to optimize the supply chain of customers.
Deutsche Post DHL has been calculating its carbon footprint for seven years now. In 2009, it also introduced a Group-wide carbon accounting & controlling system, which is integrated into the accounting department. This enables precise statements about CO2 emissions to be made which allow in return improvements in driving behavior and route planning – which again will help to reach the 2020 goal.