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Certification for sustainable logistics in Singapore

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As a low-lying island, Singapore is particularly vulnerable to the repercussions of global climate change, facing threats like rising sea levels – escalating at approximately 3.5mm annually – and increased frequency of extreme weather conditions, including intense rainfall events

A notable contributor to these environmental challenges is the global transportation sector, particularly international shipping, which was responsible for about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2022, according to data by Sinay, a maritime data solutions company.

Additionally, reports from Transport and Environment project that, without significant changes, shipping could generate up to 10% of global emissions by 2050.

In response, there's a growing imperative for businesses to enhance the sustainability of their operations, including shipping strategies, aligning with both regulatory expectations and the increasing demands of eco-conscious consumers. 

This shift is driving companies towards obtaining green certifications to validate their sustainability efforts. Read on to learn more about the types of green certificates, their significance, and how you can secure them.

The importance of green certification in shipping

Green certificates are more than just formal recognitions for companies; they are pivotal in shaping sustainable operations. 

For instance, certifications like ISO 14001 help businesses develop a systematic approach to environmental management, ensuring that every aspect of their operations minimises ecological harm. 

Similarly, achieving the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification demonstrates a company's commitment to sustainable building and facility management, which is crucial for reducing the ecological impact of their logistics hubs.

Engaging with these standards helps companies comply with rigorous environmental laws while leading the way in sustainable practices. 

As a result, these green certificates boost a company's reputation, showing its commitment to promoting and supporting sustainability in the shipping industry.

Types of green certifications for shipping

Businesses looking to partner with environmentally conscious logistics providers can significantly benefit from those who hold reputable green certifications. Here are some of the prominent green certifications available for shipping companies:

  • ISO 14001: Requires companies to establish an environmental management system that identifies and minimises their ecological impact. Companies must undergo a compliance audit to qualify for an ISO 14001 certification. 
  • Environmental ship index (ESI): Rewards ships with reduced port fees for reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide, and carbon dioxide beyond the levels set by the International Maritime Organisation. To qualify for ESI certification, ships must present evidence that their emission levels are well below these standards.
  • Green award: Recognises ships, companies, and ports exceeding industry standards. Certification is subject to triennial reviews.
  • Clean shipping index: Evaluates ships based on emissions and environmental toxicity, influencing port fee discounts in some regions. Companies seeking certification must self-assess and submit their data to the Clean Shipping Index Database, where an approved verifier confirms compliance before ClassNK issues a certificate of verification.
  • RightShip: Assesses and ranks ships based on their greenhouse gas emissions, aiding in environmental risk management. Companies can participate by engaging with RightShip's rating system through their website.

These green certificates provide a way for shipping companies to prove their environmental integrity to customers and partners looking to expand their operations globally. 

Benefits of obtaining green certification

Green certification offers numerous advantages that contribute to a company's success and sustainability in a competitive global market:

  • Competitive advantage: Holding or partnering with companies with green certifications can set a business apart in a crowded market. They signal a forward-thinking approach that appeals to both eco-conscious consumers and business partners.
  • Enhanced reputation: Green certifications enhance a company's image by affirming its commitment to sustainability. This can strengthen relationships with stakeholders who value environmental stewardship.
  • Compliance and efficiency: Achieving green certification can lead to streamlined operations. This not only helps companies comply with stringent environmental laws but also enhances overall operational efficiency.
  • Cost savings: Implementing the environmentally friendly processes required for certification often results in long-term cost savings. These savings come from more efficient use of resources and reduced waste management costs.
  • Innovation stimulus: Working towards and maintaining certification standards may push companies to further innovate. This can lead to the development of new, more efficient technologies or processes that can provide an edge over competitors.
  • Market access: Many governments and large corporations require or favour suppliers with specific green certifications, thus opening new market opportunities for certified companies and their partners.

The green certification process

Securing a green certification involves a systematic approach, beginning with a thorough assessment and culminating in accreditation. Here's a general step-by-step guide:

  • Initial assessment: Evaluate your current operations against the specific standards of your target green certification. This involves identifying potential areas of improvement to meet environmental performance criteria.
  • Corrective actions: Implement any necessary corrective actions to address non-compliance issues identified.
  • Documentation preparation: Gather all necessary documentation demonstrating compliance with your company's environmental standards. This may include policies, procedures, and records of environmental performance.
  • Compliance audit: Undergo a compliance audit conducted by a certified body to verify that your operations meet the certification requirements. Auditors will scrutinise your environmental management practices and their effectiveness.
  • Green certification: Upon successful audit and rectification of all identified issues, your company will be awarded the certification.
  • Continuous improvement: Maintain the certification by continuously improving your environmental management practices and undergoing periodic reviews or audits as required by the certifying body.

Partner with DHL Express and show your commitment to green shipping

Find out how partnering with DHL Express Singapore can help your business further achieve sustainable logistics:

1. Utilisation of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

DHL’s GoGreen Plus services offer carbon neutral shipping options by insetting carbon emissions through the use of SAF, demonstrating a joint commitment to achieving carbon neutrality in logistics.

2. Innovative green solutions

DHL Express continuously invests in green logistics technologies and solutions, including electric vehicles, sustainable aviation fuel, and solar-powered facilities. Partnering with us allows businesses to leverage these advancements, contributing to a reduction in logistics-related emissions. 

3. Certification and carbon reporting

At DHL Express, sustainability is a core value, and our GoGreen Plus program helps customers demonstrate their commitment to greener business practices. We can provide a GoGreen Plus certificate and monthly carbon reports for customers to track their efforts in reducing their carbon footprint.

Commit to shipping green: Start your sustainable journey with DHL Express

Embracing green shipping practices isn't just about corporate responsibility; it’s a strategic move that sets your business apart in the competitive world of international shipping

By partnering with DHL Express Singapore, you leverage our extensive suite of GoGreen logistics solutions, which are designed to make every shipment as sustainable as possible. Our services include the innovative GoGreen Plus, which utilises Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your deliveries.

Moreover, our detailed DHL Express Carbon Reports provide transparency, allowing businesses to track and optimise their environmental impact. This level of commitment to sustainability ensures compliance with global standards while opening doors to new markets that value ecological mindfulness.

Start shaping a sustainable future today – open a DHL Express business account and go green with every shipment.