Q: Why do companies that are serious about sustainability need the SBTi?
Kathrin Brost: The SBTi is the global body enabling businesses to set ambitious emissions reductions targets in line with the latest climate science. Companies around the world trust this initiative to provide vital reference points, something that’s essential as climate science is constantly developing. It’s how we know we’re actively contributing to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, as per the Paris Agreement.
Q: Why has DHL adopted a science-based target?
Noelle Froehlich: A science-based target is a significant commitment. It confirms we’re playing our part, particularly in terms of reporting on progress and – critically – ensuring we go beyond merely setting a target to actually moving forward. A science-based target is the assurance that we’re taking action and continuously measuring what we do. And it sends a clear signal to our value chain partners we’re serious about decarbonization. Hopefully others in the market will be encouraged to follow our sustainability lead.
A science-based target is a significant commitment and an assurance we are serious about taking action on decarbonization.
Q: Was it tough to get SBTi confirmation of DHL’s climate target?
Noelle Froehlich: The process was extremely thorough, taking us from an initial commitment through detailed development and submission, followed by independent, third-party validation, and of course ongoing communication. Getting this confirmation is a great achievement for our dedicated corporate team and all the divisions that contributed vital input and provided support.
Q: What is DHL measuring and why?
Noelle Froehlich: We’re measuring our absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which means the total quantity of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emitted. This is different to measurement based on intensity, which compares the amount of emissions to a specified unit of economic output, such as CO2e per ton kilometers. We see the focus on absolute reductions as the best way to reach our overall goal of net zero by 2050, but inevitably it challenges us to take more action on emissions when we experience business volume growth.
Q: Is DHL reinventing itself around this net-zero commitment?
Kathrin Brost: We were the first logistics company to set a CO2e efficiency target. Added to this, our subsequent actions – including SBTi confirmation – validate our position as a sustainability leader. But we’re not reinventing ourselves. Instead, we are steering the Group to successful outcomes. Our purpose is connecting people and improving lives, so it goes without saying we take decarbonization seriously and have integrated this into everything we do. Our roadmap follows our environmental, social and governance (ESG) pillars, pointing us in the right direction.
Q: How does the Group’s Science-based target commitment impact DHL Global Forwarding?
Noelle Froehlich: Reaching the Group’s target until 2030 will only be possible if all our divisions contribute by prioritizing decarbonization in collaboration with their transport partners as well as customers, for example by scaling up the use of sustainable fuels in the network and providing customers with green products and services. We’re glad to see how seriously DHL Global Forwarding is taking this contribution by offering GoGreen products to their customers.
We’re all in the same boat. DHL Global Forwarding is very much dependent on partnerships with airlines and ocean carriers equally committed to decarbonization.
Q: How many green products does DHL Global Forwarding already offer customers?
Kathrin Brost: Sustainable logistics is the way forward. For every core product and solution in DHL Global Forwarding, we can now offer a green version to our customers. We are the first division in the Group to achieve this and all the other divisions will be joining us soon. This is true market leadership.
Q: Is DHL Global Forwarding working with partners to achieve sustainable logistics?
Kathrin Brost: We’re all in the same boat, meaning we can only decarbonize together. DHL Global Forwarding is very much dependent on partnerships with equally committed airlines and ocean carriers and, for example, it’s essential that production of sustainable fuels scales up. Through strong relationships, we can support our partners’ green initiatives and activities and we can give shippers access to the green transportation solutions they need.
Q: What’s on the green horizon for DHL?
Noelle Froehlich: We’ve got lots of milestones in mind. The ESG roadmap is part of our Group Strategy 2025. By 2030, we aim to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions in line with latest climate science – including both own emissions and transportation-related scope 3 emissions. And the Group is investing 7 billion euros in decarbonization measures.
Q: Should DHL’s customers set science-based targets too?
Kathrin Brost: Many of our customers have already set science-based targets and are measuring their emissions reduction. Others are now starting to take similar steps. Here at DHL Global Forwarding, we’re committed to supporting these essential customer journeys. And it’s clear – all of us can only decarbonize and take the right carbon reduction actions if we have transparency, a defined roadmap, and firm targets in place. These form the basis of our and our customers’ decarbonization activities, and we firmly believe the time to decarbonize is now!