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Press Release: Dubai, September 29, 2022

  • Over 800 volunteers from six countries collected 6,000 kg of garbage on International Coastal Clean-up Day 2022
  • The two companies aim to help reduce plastic waste and protect the marine life across the MEA region, India, and Pakistan
  • DHL and Hapag-Lloyd signed an agreement to help decarbonize the logistics industry by using advanced biofuels for transporting DHL shipments

To mark this year’s International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) Day, teams from DHL Global Forwarding Middle East & Africa, India, and Pakistan  partnered with shipping operator Hapag-Lloyd Middle East to pull 6,000 kg of trash from coastlines across six countries. Using the tagline, ‘Turning the tide on trash’, the two companies joined forces to help reduce plastic pollution and protect marine life.  Over 800 volunteers from both companies rallied to clean up coastlines in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Dubai, India, and Pakistan. The initiative also formed part of DHL's social impact initiatives that support the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and formed part of the Group’s annual Global Volunteering Day.

Amadou Diallo, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Middle East & Africa, said: “Protecting the planet is our responsibility. DHL Global Forwarding is taking ownership through its GoGreen Plus service, which is part of our sustainability roadmap towards net zero logistics emissions by 2050. Cleaning up the oceans will keep marine life intact and preserve our planet for future generations.”

International Coastal Clean-up Day is the largest drive of its kind since launching in 1986. It has since galvanized over 6 million clean-up volunteers in over 100 countries. Each year thousands of tons of garbage make their way to the oceans, with plastics constituting at least 60%. The polluted water harms the marine ecosystem and humans and impacts the livelihoods of those working at sea. Tourism and recreation also suffer, causing significant economic damage to many countries.

To showcase its commitment to the ICC initiative, DHL volunteers on the day wore t-shirts made of recycled plastic. Producing each t-shirt requires 25 plastic bottles of 500ml.

Key activities included the arrangement of separate bins in workspaces and communities, coordinating the collection and depositing of waste at recycling plants, and commissioning the production of items made from recycled material.

For example, in Kenya, the recycling plant will produce buckets, basins, jerrycans and plumbing products from plastic waste. Ghana will turn the waste into recycled plastic lumber to construct benches.

Dheeraj Bhatia, Senior Managing Director of Hapag-Lloyd Middle East and Africa, said: “Decarbonization is the top focus in the sustainable development of our industry.  It is also vital that we pay adequate attention to sustainable living on the landside and our surroundings through efforts such as the one we recently took jointly with DHL.

“Such initiatives not only help protect our surroundings but also reiterate how much we all still need to do. Even individually, we can make a difference. Our objective is to ensure our human capital is geared towards a sustainable future and that we achieve net zero carbon by 2045.”

Decarbonizing agreement

DHL Global Forwarding and Hapag-Lloyd have a shared vision of decarbonizing container shipping and logistics. As a result, they signed an agreement earlier this year to use advanced biofuels for the transportation of DHL shipments. As a first step, Hapag-Lloyd will initially ship 18,000 TEU containers of DHL’s volume.

Dominique von Orelli, Global Head of Ocean Freight at DHL Global Forwarding, said: “The challenge of decarbonizing heavy transport demands a rethink by the entire industry. In Hapag-Lloyd we found, to our delight, a partner that shares our ambitions for a carbon-neutral world as embodied in the Paris agreement. Together we can implement mechanisms that will make it easier for shippers to use sustainable fuels.“

The agreement demonstrates the scalability of sustainable transport solutions and the application of sustainable fuels in today's market. As pioneers, both DHL and Hapag-Lloyd are pledging for a uniform industry standard, following the insetting approach.

Danny Smolders, Managing Director of Global Sales at Hapag-Lloyd, added: “Signing the advanced biofuel agreement with DHL is a big step towards a greener future. Biofuel will play a significant role in our journey to reach net zero by 2045. The project brings us a step closer to commercializing biofuel-powered transportation and supporting our customers in their decarbonization efforts.”