UN urges logistics firms to think green

31 / 10 / 2016

  • The vans may be yellow but DHL has several green initiatives

A new report by the United Nations High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport is challenging logistics operators and other transport organisations to seek out new ways to balance short-term financial considerations against broader benefits for society and long-term economic gains.

It also calls for the development of multimodal transport solutions that address customer needs while at the same time reducing emissions and for closer collaboration and capacity sharing initiatives between transport companies.

The first ever Global Sustainable Transport Outlook Report, Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development provides a focused set of recommendations on how the transport sector can help efforts to eradicate poverty while at the same time promoting economic growth and fighting against climate change.

Its recommendations are based on the findings of the independent High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport which was appointed by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in 2014. The group is made up of leaders from the private and public sectors in developed and developing countries and across all transport modes and sectors.

They include Deutsche Post DHL (DP DHL) Group, Ethiopian Airlines chief executive, Tewolde Gebre Mariam and Airlines of America vice president of environmental affairs, Nancy Young, as well as re0rpesntatives from the  rail, shipping and public transport worlds.

DP DHL chief executive, Frank Appel, who commented: “There is an urgent need for collective action to face the challenges of climate change. I very much welcome the opportunity to bring our many years of experience in pioneering sustainable transportation solutions and logistics expertise to the table.”

He added that there was “a strong economic case for sustainable transport that includes many clear social benefits. We have worked together over the past two years to explore how to effectively transform the transport system and I am convinced that the logistics sector can play a leading role in bringing the report’s recommendations to life.”

He added that, for DP DHL Group, sustainability has been an integral part of the corporate strategy for years and its GoGreen program had already made great strides in reducing its carbon footprint, developing sustainable transport technology, and making its customers’ supply chains greener. In 2008, the Group a target to improve its carbon efficiency by 30% over a 2007 baseline by 2020 and had already achieved a 25% increase by 2015.

Using the experience gained from its GoGreen program, the Group developed solutions to help its customers achieve their own sustainability targets, by identifying potential savings and making supply chains more efficient while offsetting unavoidable emissions.