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Insetting Solutions: Switching to Sustainable Fuels to Reduce CO₂ Emissions

Simplifying sustainable logistics with GoGreen Plus


Offsetting (indirectly compensating transport-related CO₂ emissions outside of the transport chain) can be meaningful but will not enable full decarbonize of freight shipping. Insetting through the use of sustainable fuels (such as e.g. biofuels) or updating fleet vehicles with more environment-friendly aircrafts and ocean vessels, can help all supply chain participants reach their climate goals.

CO₂ Reduction via Sustainable Fuel Switch


Simplifying sustainable Logistics with GoGreen Plus

The Potential and the Challenges of Sustainable Fuels


Green fuels are an important element of DHL Global Forwarding’s decarbonization roadmap and a key lever for insetting. Biofuels and e-fuels in particular show great decarbonization potential.

Biofuels are readily available and require little to no change in engine technology – and will therefore play a key role in next 10 years.

However, few locations currently allow for fuel replacement in sea vessels or at the airport. Moreover, it is difficult for shippers to engage beyond pilot projects and for carriers to scale up to an increased demand.

Using the One-Atmosphere Approach to Leverage Insetting


Increasing insetting can help to channel much needed funds to invest into a sustainable fuel production, infrastructure and usage. A one-atmosphere approach can help leverage insetting.

All container ships exhaust in the same atmosphere. Therefore, it does not matter for our climate where or in which container vessel biofuel is used instead of fossil fuel – as long as the reduction takes place somewhere in the industry.

As a consequence, two elements are needed to establish sustainable fuel insetting:

  • An increase of the share of green fuel in the network
  • A clear accounting and verification process. This is where DHL takes the lead on behalf of their customers.

Switching to Sustainable Fuels with DHL Global Forwarding


By working with trusted partners, DHL can help customers not only reduce emissions, but also contribute to accelerating sustainable fuel production and global availability. Here is an example with Ocean Freight:

  1.  DHL forecasts the carbon emissions which shall be reduced
  2. The corresponding amount of sustainable marine fuel is ‘procured’ and used on one or several container vessels.
  3. Carriers bunker the sustainable marine fuel, but only need to cover the cost of the conventional fuel. The price difference between conventional and sustainable marine fuel determines the cost for the green fuel premium.
  4. Applying the one-atmosphere approach simplifies the fuel switch, since the sustainable marine fuel does not have to be on the same vessels as the container whose emissions are to be reduced

While conceptually this is a very straight forward exercise, each process step needs to be managed closely to ensure that the CO₂ reductions can be verified and claimed. This is exactly what DHL Global Forwarding is doing for its Customers with Book and Claim.

Book and Claim


With Book and Claim, customers can be assured that biofuels are being utilized through transparent accounting and constant monitoring of their supply and demand. CO₂ reduction and transition to sustainable fuels are verified. At the end of the process, our customers receive a certificate (verified by an independent organization), stating and confirming the carbon reduction impact.

Book and Claim is part of our GoGreen Plus solution portfolio. Main-haul emissions are reduced with the help of green fuels, and remaining remissions inland can be compensated optionally.

Since January of 2020, all our LCL shipments emissions are reduced with sustainable marine fuel – at no extra cost to the customer. This service in now also available to our FCL shipments (at a cost), and naturally DHL Global Forwarding is also piloting the same service for Air Freight customers.

Please get in touch with your key account manager if you would like to know more about GoGreen Plus.

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