Inside Logistics

DHL plans US$8 billion spend on decarbonization

Targeting alternative aviation fuels, expansion of zero-emission e-vehicle fleet and climate-neutral buildings


March 22, 2021
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Deutsche Post DHL Group is planning to spend US$8 billion (seven billion euros) over the next 10 years to decarbonize its operations.

It plans to target three areas: alternative aviation fuels, the expansion of the zero-emission e-vehicle fleet and climate-neutral buildings.

Four years ago, DHL committed to be producing zero emissions by 2050. Now it has added interim targets. For
example, it commits as part of the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

The group assumes its emissions would be around 46 million tonnes in 2030 without the measures of the new sustainability roadmap. In 2020, emissions were 33 million tonnes. Now the company has committed to reducing these emissions to below 29 million tons by 2030.

Fleet electrification

For short distances and the last mile, the group is continuing to drive forward the electrification of its vehicle fleet. By 2030, 60 percent of global delivery vehicles for the last mile are to be electrically powered. That’s more than 80,000 e-vehicles. In 2020, the figure was 18 percent.

On longer routes, especially in air transport, DHL is pushing for the development and use of fuels produced from renewable energies. By 2030, at least 30 percent of fuel requirements in aviation and line haul are to be met using sustainable fuels.

In addition, the Group is investing in environmentally friendly properties (office space, mail and parcel centres, and logistics warehouses). All new buildings are being constructed will be climate-neutral.

“Covid-19 has once again reinforced the major megatrends of our time: globalization, digitization, e-commerce and sustainability. Of these topics, sustainability is the most pressing challenge,” said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group.

“As the world’s largest logistics company, it is our responsibility to lead the way and guide the logistics industry into a sustainable future. We are turning our yellow Group into a green company and making an important contribution to our planet and society.”

Executive compensation

The climate targets are part of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s new sustainability roadmap, in which the company sets out its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. In addition to its commitment to the environment, the Group also has targets and measures in the areas of social responsibility and governance.

At the company’s next board meeting a proposal will be tabled to tie executive compensation to performance against these metrics.

DHL has also committed to objectives in employee engagement, and charitable initiatives supporting disaster relief, small business in developing countries and work skills development for disadvantaged youth.