As a logistics company with a global network and footprint, DHL is conscious of its environmental and social responsibility. One of the key areas that DHL is committed to is on combating climate change. Christopher Ong, Vice President of Business Development, First Choice and GoGreen, DHL Asia Pacific, shares that the global carbon footprint of DHL in 2010 is 28.4 million tonnes, with the bulk from transport.
He added that DHL has set a goal to improve its carbon efficiency by 10% by 2012, and by 30% by 2020. This goal would be achieved through its climate protection program, GoGreen, which was rolled out in 2007, and focuses on fleet renewal, energy efficiency, new technologies, employee engagement and involving business partners and customers.
One of the components of the GoGreen program is for DHL to develop a carbon accounting process that measures and reports carbon emissions according to the internationally recognised Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. The carbon accounting process now covers over 1,000 facilities in 27 markets across Asia Pacific.
Improving Carbon Efficiency in Singapore
The Managing Director of DHL Express Singapore, Herbert Vongpusanachai, shares that in Singapore, the total carbon emissions of DHL Express Singapore is contributed from mainly real estate (71%) and the rest from ground transport (29%). The carbon emissions include GHG Protocol Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions on the ground but excludes aviation emissions as aviation is not managed at the country level. For FY 2010, DHL Express Singapore improved its carbon efficiency (carbon emissions per kilogram) by 15.7%, as compared to 2009.
He explained that this improvement was not achieved through one silver bullet but was driven by several initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, including: installation of energy efficient T5 lighting; using power saving options on the Material Handling System; pickup and delivery optimisation; using electric forklifts; increased employee engagement in green initiatives, and active fleet management.
Changing Driver Behaviour
As part of its active fleet management, DHL Express Singapore started the first pilot trial program in Asia, the Vehicle Energy Reduction Program (VERP), to monitor and improve vehicle fuel economy by changing driver behaviour. For the trial, GPS and diagnostics units were installed in 16 vehicles to capture data on vehicle location, speed, fuel consumption, driving style, and carbon emissions. The data is sent to an online management system and used to track and analyse driving behaviour. Daily or weekly reports provide feedback to drivers and transport managers so that driver training and fuel efficiency improvements can be made.
Over a nine week period that started in March this year, the VERP trial saw a 5% improvement in fuel efficiency, a 8% reduction in idling time, and a 41% reduction in speeding events. This could potentially be rolled out later to the fleet of over 150 vehicles in Singapore, and to other vehicles in the region.
Carbon Neutral Shipping Service
DHL Express has also started to offer the GoGreen Carbon Neutral services to its customers, which is a carbon neutral shipping service that calculates the carbon emissions generated by each shipment, and offsets that with carbon credits certified with the Gold Standard. The proceeds from the carbon credits are invested in climate protection projects such as wind, hydro and biomass energy.
With its GoGreen program, DHL in Singapore and globally would remain committed to improve carbon efficiency in its day-to-day operations.