Business Sustainability & Environment

DHL Makes First Major Move Toward Carbon Neutrality Goal

By Thomas Price Friday, November 20, 2020

As consumers become more and more conscious of the type of companies they choose for their services, said companies must make decisions that address their customer’s needs and expectations. This decision-making is most easily seen in the push many companies have been making toward environmental consciousness and a reduction of carbon emissions. Logistic and delivery company DHL is no exception to this philosophy. DHL is taking legitimate steps to reduce its carbon footprint to meet the lofty goals it has now set for itself. For a delivery service, slowly transitioning the vehicles it uses for transport might be one of the most effective ways to achieve its environmentally-conscious goals.

DHL’s Expanding Green Fleet

The newest development for DHL in its quest for fewer carbon emissions is the ordering and launching of 4 BYD Class 8 battery-electric trucks for its United States operations. These new electric trucks will be immediately used in Los Angeles as a carrier of goods from the DHL gateway at LAX to local service center facilities to help aid in the oncoming holiday rush. These BYD electric trucks will be capable of running all day on a single charge, handle 82,000 pounds of combined weight, and represent a reduction of 300 metric tons of emissions each year.

BYD is a world leader in electric vehicles such as cars, trucks, and forklifts, while also providing energy solutions such as solar electricity and more efficient energy storage. However, these new electric trucks are joining an already growing fleet of alternative fuel vehicles that DHL utilizes, including fully electric vehicles, hybrids, clean diesel, and finally, a small fleet of low-power electric-assist e-Cargo Cycles.

DHL is not stopping here. The company has orders from various vendors to provide 72 battery-powered electric vans to be integrated into pickup and delivery services for the company in California and New York. The new additions of electric vehicles, such as trucks and delivery vans, are major steps for DHL in reducing its own carbon footprint. However, these measures are not close to being the only step for the company to reach its green efforts, especially considering the extremely lofty benchmark it has set for itself by the year 2050.

DHL’s Bold Environmental Goals

DHL’s environmental goals are far beyond small transitions to more efficient vehicles, with a much larger plan outlined in its Mission 2050. The company’s large scale goal is to reach zero emissions by 2050 by accomplishing a series of concrete benchmarks along the way.

The first of DHL’s multiple goals is to become 50% more carbon-efficient than its 2007 levels. The additions of electric vans, trucks, and cycles all fall under the company’s plan to have 70% of its first and last mile services taken care of using cleaner pick up and delivery methods.

Part of DHL’s plan comes by educating its workforce, with a goal of certifying 80% of employees as GoGreen specialists to increase their involvement in initiatives. These initiatives include partnering with organizations to help plant 1 million trees every single year.

The final cog in the company’s overarching plan is to create a greener, more efficient supply chain by having 50% of all sales incorporating Green Solutions.

While the details on how DHL plans to achieve many of these major milestones remain unclear, the goals put in place by the company are certainly within grasp. DHL’s Mission 2020 is the first major environmental initiative by any company within the logistics industry.

Final Conclusions

Climate change is a major threat to the future of the globe and its economic prosperity. Companies taking steps toward reducing carbon emissions and becoming more efficient are extraordinarily important in curbing its major effects. DHL’s commitment is indicative of both a level of corporate responsibility and how much larger the issue of climate change is in the eyes of consumers who are making more conscious decisions with the companies they choose to buy from. Either way, DHL’s new goals are lofty and vastly important in creating a more sustainable economy without severely sacrificing the efficiency people have come to expect.

About the Author


Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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