Local air pollutants and noise


Our transport-related activities in particular involve fuel combustion that generates not only greenhouse gas emissions but other local air pollutants as well, including mono-nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM10). We reduce these emissions by modernizing our fleet of aircraft and road vehicles and updating the heating systems in our buildings. In cities, the growing percentage of electric-powered vehicles used in our operations – as well as increased delivery by foot or bicycle – also contributes to lower levels of local air pollutants and noise.

Our vision of reducing transport-related emissions to net zero by the year 2050 also includes a strategic interim goal of operating 70% of our own first and last mile services with clean pick-up and delivery solutions, such as bicycles and e-mobility.

The local air pollutants from our own fleet are calculated using methodologies from the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are based on national and international fleet averages.

Emissions of all local air pollutants

PwC EN 21

Our total local air pollutant emissions in 2016 were nearly the same as in the previous year. While emissions increased slightly in the area of air transport, due primarily to the increased use of our own aircraft, road transport emissions continued to decrease slightly in 2016. This trend is reflected in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across the road transport business, which is largely a result of our ongoing efforts to modernize and upgrade our vehicle fleet based on the most current emissions standards. In the reporting year already more than 48,000 of our road vehicles in Europe met Euro 5 or Euro 6 standards. Moreover, many of the efficiency measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions – including the use of electric vehicles, natural-gas powered vehicles and fuel efficiency technologies – also have a positive impact on the emission of local air pollutants.

Emissions of local air pullutants in 2016¹ ²

Emissions of local air pullutants in 2016

A multi-year overview as well as a detailed presentation of the data can be found in the Annex of this report.