7 Billion Euro Investment: Deutsche Post DHL Group’s ambitious plan toward a greener future

With its new Sustainability Roadmap, Deutsche Post DHL Group has announced an ambitious plan to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and lead the logistics industry toward a greener and more sustainable future.

The logistics industry may be an essential driver of global trade and economic growth, but it leaves a large environmental footprint on the planet. As the world’s leading logistics company, Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to play a significant role in carbon emissions reduction. In 2020, the company’s share of the sector’s emissions was 0.4%, despite being the world’s 11th largest private employer with a team of about 570,000 people working across 220 countries and territories worldwide. 

Sustainability is a responsibility

With the intent to make a positive ecological impact on the planet, The Group recently announced a new roadmap for sustainable business that supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It sets out a specific plan of action while making the company’s approach more holistic, recognizing that sustainable business must go beyond environmental protection to encompass social and governance issues.

“We are turning our yellow Group into a green company and making an important contribution to our planet and society,” says Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group. “Sustainable, clean fuel alternatives are elementary for climate-neutral logistics in a globalized world … That's why we will engage even more intensively in initiatives and strengthen cross-industry exchange to develop a global strategy and standards here.”

The new roadmap builds on past achievements while setting a course for the future. Over the past 15 years, the company has continuously improved carbon efficiency while introducing innovative green logistics solutions to make supply chains more sustainable and help customers achieve their environmental goals. In 2017, Deutsche Post DHL Group became the first logistics company to commit to a zero-emissions target. In 2019, the company incorporated sustainability as a cornerstone of its corporate strategy.

Turning yellow into green

The Group is now picking up the pace of its decarbonization efforts. First, the Group has set themselves a goal through the Science Based Target initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. If no action were to be taken, the company’s annual emissions would likely rise to 46 million tons by 2030, due to its anticipated growth in global logistics activities. Instead, DPDHL Group has committed to reducing its annual carbon emissions to below 29 million tons.

7 billion

Amount of investment, in euro, that DPDHL will invest in clean operations and climate-neutral logistics in the next 10 years

To get there, the Group will invest €7 billion over the next 10 years in clean operations and climate-neutral logistics solutions. Using the money to electrify 60% of its last-mile fleet by 2030, it will put more than 80,000 e-vehicles in service on the road. The company will also increase its use of sustainable aviation fuels to more than 30% by 2030. Furthermore, all its new buildings will be designed to be carbon neutral, and it plans to offer green alternatives for all core products and solutions. 

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A great place to work

Nevertheless, it is people who power a logistics company. A sustainable global business must unite people from different countries and cultures and foster a motivated team. Deutsche Post DHL Group’s new roadmap also illustrates its aim to become a safe, inclusive and purpose-driven workplace that offers equal opportunities and attracts and retains the best talent.

To achieve this, the company is running various programs and initiatives, such as increasing the proportion of women in management to 30% (from 23.2% in 2020), and reducing LTIFR, or Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate – an indicator of workplace safety – to below 3.1 by 2025, among other goals.


Percentage of women in management roles by 2025 according to DPDHL Group’s sustainability roadmap

A trusted leader

The new roadmap also features the closer alignment of the company’s Supplier Code of Conduct with sustainability criteria, the introduction of a new policy statement on human rights, the offer of relevant training to management, and the implementation of state-of-the-art data security.

To ensure the company stays on course to reach its environmental, social and governance goals, key performance indicators have been integrated into internal and external reporting, and corporate board remuneration is planned to be tied more closely to ESG-related targets.

As its motto indicates, Deutsche Post DHL Group is driven by the goal of “connecting people and improving lives.” Yet it also recognizes that everyone must make sustainability their business. That is why the Group is a longstanding and dedicated partner of the UN and is committed to its SDGs.

“There is no way around sustainable logistics in the future,” says Frank Appel. “We are deciding today what kind of world we and our children will live in 30 years from now.” —  Matt Baird

Published: June 2021

Images: DHL

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