SWEDEN’S MOST SUSTAINABLE LOGISTICS COMPANY?
For the third year in a row, DHL has been named Sweden’s most sustainable logistics company, according to the Nordic region’s largest brand survey, Sustainable Brand Index B2B. We are proud that we have made such a big impression while reducing our footprint. But we are also well aware of the challenges we face. According to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the transport sector accounts for about 30% of climate emissions. As we are part of today’s climate problem, we must also be part of tomorrow’s solution.
Based on the Paris Agreement’s 2-degree goal, DHL has established a long-term global climate goal to achieve zero net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. As a large, multinational company, we work locally all over the world to contribute to the global targets.
48 % of reduction of our emissions since 2008
In Sweden, DHL Freight has worked with various biofuels and streamline of our transports, and in this way almost halved our greenhouse gas emissions per tonne-kilometer (1.). A detailed report of how we calculate can be read in our emission declaration. The reduction is largely due to the fact that we have invested in increasing the proportion of fossil-free fuels and we have now reached a level where these account for 45% of our total fuel consumption (2.). But with a changing fuel market, we see that we need to do even more.
Analysis – measuring is knowing
The first step in reducing environmental impact is knowing how great your emissions are and where they occur. At DHL, we are constantly measuring and monitoring the environmental work of our sub-suppliers, collecting data every year for the 2,000 or so vehicles that operate throughout our Swedish network. Based on this, we produce reports that show our customers what emissions their shipments are causing.
Optimisation – collective transport for parcels
Perhaps the most important step that we can take for climate-efficient transport is to combine loads, so that the customer’s goods are transported collectively on fully loaded vehicles along with other customers’ goods. Every year, tens of millions of shipments are transported collectively in DHL’s logistics network. Compare this with a transport journey where a single vehicle drives a single product from A to B, and then maybe drives back again from B to A.
First, the shipment is driven to a terminal where it is transshipped onto a larger, more efficient vehicle (or train) together with other shipments going in the same direction. After arriving at its destination terminal, the shipment is transshipped again to be dispatched together with other shipments within a limited geographical area. Every night, we maximise our fill rates and optimise routes to keep the number of transport kilometres to a minimum.
We are constantly working to increase the share of fossil-free fuels and railway journeys, and to electrify the vehicles that we can. We have also applied to the Swedish Transport Agency for permission to use longer vehicles than are currently permitted, so we can load more goods per vehicle and thereby reduce the number of vehicles on the roads. This would not only reduce our impact on the climate, but also traffic congestion.
Investment – financing of climate smart technology
With the value-added service SEND IT GREEN, DHL and its customers can compensate Swedish carriers for the extra cost per kilometre if they invest in more expensive, climate-efficient vehicles and fossil-free fuels, according to the definition of Fossil Free Sweden. When our customers choose SEND IT GREEN, the equivalent freight is reserved in the green part of our transport network – using the same principle as green electricity, but for transport.
SEND IT GREEN is contributing to a faster transition of the Swedish transport system and allowing our carriers to dare to take the risk of investing in more expensive fossil-free technology and fuels. The more shipments that are sent with SEND IT GREEN, the faster our joint journey towards a sustainable transport system will be.
Tkm = transport work. 1 tkm = Movement of 1 tonne over 1 km.
 Before the reduction requirement, which stipulates that fuel suppliers in Sweden need to increase the mix of fossil-free fuels in steps, DHL Freight Sweden’s network had a fossil-free share of approximately 50%. With the introduction of the reduction requirement, pricing in the Swedish fuel market changed. Our fuel suppliers are prioritising meeting the reduction requirements and we saw a reduction in the availability of highly mixed biomass fuels. In 2020, the reduction requirement is for a 21% reduction in CO2, which is equivalent to about 25% fossil-free fuels. We were simply too far ahead of the market and to some extent have had to adjust to the average, even though our share of biomass fuel is still above the average (about 43% in 2019).