"A global company such as ours can only be successful if it makes a contribution to society and the environment"
Rainer Wend, head of Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility at Deutsche Post DHL, explains the value of the Group's climate protection program in Lesotho.
"The people in Lesotho are benefiting and we are able to provide our customers with a climate-neutral shipping service."
Mr Wend, what do firewood stoves in Lesotho have to do with climate protection?
The answer is simple: in Lesotho many people still cook on simple open fires. This causes huge pollution and uses up huge amounts of wood since the bulk of energy generated simply evaporates, releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. We shall provide people in Lesotho with modern firewood stoves that will allow them to continue cooking in the traditional way but in a way that is far more energy-efficient.
Deutsche Post DHL is a global logistics company that has state-of-the-art transport vehicles yet you are concerned about open fires in Lesotho?
We are very keen to ensure our vehicles are energy-efficient, for instance, by using vehicles that have state-of-the-art drive technology and use alternative fuels. This enables us to save on fuel and to reduce CO2 emissions. We are pursuing similar goals in Lesotho: the potential savings that can be achieved if state-of-the-art cooking appliances are used are enormous. Around 80 percent of the CO2 emissions could be avoided if people no longer had to cook on open fires. This would also reduce firewood consumption by 80 percent. This could put a stop to harvesting of the natural bush which expedites desertification. An 80 percent reduction in firewood consumption as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions would also be a great help to the people of Lesotho.
How will this benefit Deutsche Post DHL?
The project in Lesotho is the first self-initiated climate protection project Deutsche Post DHL is implementing within the framework of its GoGreen services. Our customers can opt for GoGreen as a shipping option and can dispatch their shipments using our carbon neutral shipping service. We ensure that for every tonne of CO2, generated by the transport of GoGreen shipments, another tonne of CO2 is saved through certified climate protection projects. In this particular case in Lesotho. This means we can offer what is virtually a carbon-neutral shipping service. As a logistics company, we feel a particular responsibility to minimise the environmental impact of our business and we are doing this with our Group-wide GoGreen environmental protection programme. A positive side-effect of our fist self-initiated climate protection project is that we can also do something to enhance the living conditions of the people of Lesotho.
So this is basically a win-win situation for all parties?
Yes, it is a win-win situation for everyone. The people in Lesotho are benefiting and we as a company are able to provide our customers with a climate-neutral shipping service. For years, we have recorded above-average growth in shipping volumes. The popularity of our GoGreen products proves that this is a matter of prime concern for our customers.
Are your customers also benefitting?
Our customers are already benefitting from Go Green: Our initial progress towards achieving our goal of improving CO2 efficiency across the group by 30 percent by 2020, is also having a positive impact on transport. Our customers are also able to specifically use Deutsche Post and DHL's green solutions. As a result of our first self-initiated climate protection project in Lesotho, we are able to guarantee the supply of carbon credits and continue to develop our CO2 neutral services.
Why are environmental protection and social commitment an issue for Deutsche Post DHL?
We believe that a global company such as ours can only be successful if it makes a contribution to society and the environment. We employ over 500,000 people and that automatically places social responsibility on our shoulders. We have decided to make our own contribution towards combating climate change. The issues of environmental protection and climate protection are at the very top of our agenda.