The circular economy can play a decisive role in breaking the link between economic growth and resource use. We are developing our own solutions to help support the transition from a linear economy to a circular economy. In the reporting year we joined forces with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 initiative and Cranfield University to publish a study on the significance of reverse logistics.
Green Optimization for customized solutions
With Green Optimization we offer customized logistics solutions by analyzing every link of the customer’s supply chain. We uncover opportunities for optimization that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions or minimize the environmental impacts of their logistics processes, enabling a circular economy.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
We review the customer’s entire logistics supply chain to identify potential environmental and economic efficiency levers – from network design and road freight to warehousing and subcontractor management. This results in tailored strategies for more efficient and environmentally sustainable logistics, which consider both green efficiency gains as well as savings potentials.
Examples (selection only):
- Our Green Danmar service, which is offered through our ocean freight business unit in the Global Forwarding, Freight division, has made us the first forwarder in the industry to offer an environmentally-friendly service that can be tailored to the exact requirements of the customer’s supply chain. A rigorous selection process identifies ocean carriers who best meet the customer’s operational requirements, offer the best value for money, and whose carbon efficiency is at least 5% above industry average.
- With Teardrop Trailers on the road in several countries already, we were pleased to introduce the first of these aerodynamically shaped trailers to Germany in the reporting year. One trailer is being operated by our Supply Chain division for a retail clothing company. The other is being deployed by our Global Forwarding, Freight division for transports between Cologne and southern Germany. The trailer can reduce fuel requirements by up to 10%.
- For the Olympic Games in Brazil, the Supply Chain division worked together with one of its major customers to develop a green supply chain solution. As part of this project, two electric vehicles were added to our fleet in Rio de Janeiro to handle delivery to the customer’s premium stores. Delivery was also scheduled around rush hour to avoid congestion, which resulted in savings of some 1,200 tonnes of carbon emissions. Energy efficient lighting systems were used at the logistics warehouse operated on behalf of the customer, reducing energy consumption by 55%.
- An increasing number of customers in Germany are using our environmentally-friendly shipping service GoGreen Regional, helping to advance e-mobility. The more items customers send with this service, the more the Group invests in the use of electric vehicles for regional delivery. The GoGreen Regional service is already available to customers in Berlin, Bochum, Cologne, Essen, Duisburg and Hamburg.
Enabling the circular economy
We develop solutions for reverse logistics, waste management and extended producer responsibility. These are available through our DHL Envirosolutions product portfolio, for example.
Examples (selection only):
- We operate an innovative biomass energy recovery facility in the vicinity of London Heathrow, where we recover reusable and recyclable materials from the catering waste of our customer British Airways. Waste that cannot be recycled and is subject to stringent requirements is processed into green energy. For our customer it means not only energy and cost savings, but also a projected reduction of carbon emissions of approx. 4,000 tonnes over the course of ten years. Another waste-processing facility at London’s Gatwick Airport is scheduled to begin operations in 2017.
- For a customer in the USA, we implemented a packaging system that produces individually sized packaging for each individual product. The solution has helped us reduce the amount of empty space inside the packages as well as the number of shipments required and the amount of packaging materials used.
- Electroreturn, the logistics solution for the return of electronic waste for recycling, was expanded in Germany, allowing Deutsche Post customers to send their old electronic devices such as mobile phones to ALBA Group, our recycling service partner. As of 2016, customers can now send Electroreturn items weighing up to 31.5 kilograms through the DHL Retoure service.
- We piloted a reverse logistics solution in the US and UK for Cisco, one of our major customers. Cisco studies how to increase the percentage of returned equipment from its customers and partners to support remanufacture and reuse. Cisco’s US and UK customers are testing a new “Send IT Back” process and mobile app. This application can be used to easily generate pick-ups by DHL. The returned products are either reused or recycled via Cisco’s repair partners.