DHL purchases 33,000,000 liters of sustainable aviation fuel

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DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight arm of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has signed an agreement with Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) for the purchase of 33,000,000 liters of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) over three years.

The company expects the partnership to save approximately 80,000 tons of CO2  emissions by blending SAF with regular aviation fuel in AFKLMP flights. As a part of this agreement, the partners will use a ‘book and claim’ system for customers which gives them the option to choose the sustainable option when purchasing a DHL service. If so, the related Scope 3 emissions reduction will then be credited to their account.

Since it is logistically difficult to physically track SAF from production to the airplane, the ‘book and claim’ system offers a digital accounting system to track and transfer emissions reductions from sustainable fuels across the value chains. Companies can own SAF by buying and selling it without physically tracing the fuel through the supply chain. This has been designed to make SAF accessible for companies of all sizes and locations.

This initiative is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s sustainability roadmap, which aims to spend €7bn (US$8bn) on green technologies by 2030 and reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050. The group’s sustainability roadmap committed to setting science-based targets (SBT) for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering emissions to under 29,000,000 tons. To achieve this, Deutsche Post DHL Group will increase the blend of SAF in its operations to approximately 30% by 2030. The Group’s GoGreen carrier evaluation program gives preference to carriers with strong environmental performance.

In October 2021, Air France KLM Group similarly committed to having its CO2 emissions reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), ensuring that its targets are in line with the Paris Agreement. This step in the group’s decarbonization strategy comes in addition to its objective of net zero emissions by 2050 and carbon neutrality for its ground operations by 2030. Air France-KLM’s decarbonization trajectory includes a plan to renew the group’s airline fleet with next-generation aircraft emitting 20%-25% less CO2. This plan follows the company’s €2.5bn (US$2.8bn) investment in fleet renewal between 2019 and 2021.

Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, said, “With our sustainability roadmap, we have set ourselves ambitious goals on our journey toward zero emissions. Sustainable fuels are a fundamental part of our efforts. That is why we have committed to covering at least 30% of air freight and ocean freight fuel requirements with sustainable fuels by 2030. Our partnership with AFKLMP will help us achieve that goal. At the same time, it serves as another example of the success of our ‘book and claim’ system, which ensures that reductions in Scope 3 emissions are attributed to our customers. We must all work together to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon – and ultimately zero-carbon – emissions transport sector. After all, we only have one planet.”

Adriaan den Heijer, executive vice president of Air France KLM Cargo and managing director of Martinair, said, “The Air France KLM Martinair Cargo teams are strongly committed and feel responsible for creating a sustainable future for our industry. This deal is a great opportunity to accelerate our joint sustainability efforts. Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has a lot of potential to reduce CO2 emissions and we are delighted to collaborate with our strong, long-term partner DHL Global Forwarding on this journey to greener logistics and transportation in the coming years.”

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