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Sustainability in view: Rhenus on the way to green logistics

Every year, 22 April is dedicated to the appreciation of the environment and the critical examination of one’s own consumer behaviour: Earth Day is intended to boost awareness of environmental and climate protection. The resource-saving use of climate-friendly measures is also becoming increasingly important in the logistics sector. The Rhenus Group is actively committed to the shift toward green logistics and is thus helping to protect the environment and preserve it for future generations.

The company’s web pages dedicated to sustainability present the various climate-friendly measures in the company’s individual business areas. Since 2011, the Rhenus Group has undergone an annual assessment by EcoVadis, an independent agency that offers sustainability ratings for companies. Since it began participating in the rating, the logistics service provider has received an annual award for its efforts in the areas of the environment, labour and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement. In 2021, the company was again awarded Silver Status.

Slash Our customers work with us because they see us as a proactive partner who can already offer them a completely green supply chain today.
Isa Kohn | Head of Sustainability of the Rhenus Group

In the current episode of ‘Logistics People Talk’, the corporate podcast of the Rhenus Group, Isa Kohn, Head of Sustainability at Rhenus, gives an insight into her daily work and talks about the topic of sustainability in the company. She also reveals what the logistics of the future could look like and which low-emission transport solutions the Rhenus Group is already using today. Sascha Hähnke, Managing Director of Rhenus Transport, is also a guest on the ‘Logistics People Talk’ podcast. He talks about the mobility of the future and green logistics as well as the advantages and disadvantages of various drive systems for climate-friendly road freight transport.

Rhenus has been using electric drives for many years. The company already has one of the largest e-truck fleets. Since last year, Rhenus Freight Logistics and its customer Evonik Industries have been using two LNG trucks to commute between Evonik’s production site in Essen and the Rhenus logistics warehouse in Düsseldorf. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is significantly more climate-friendly compared to conventional types of drives: with a comparable range, an LNG truck causes about 15 per cent less CO2 emissions and emits up to 70 per cent less nitrogen oxide and soot particles. From 2024, Rhenus will also be on the road with hydrogen-powered trucks as a field test partner of MAN Truck & Bus within the scope of the ‘Bayernflotte’ research project. Further background information on the topic of alternative drives can be found here.

Sustainably on the move in the air and on the water

When it comes to shipping, Rhenus is also focusing on environmentally friendly options. The joint venture Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest has produced five coasters as part of the new Hanse Eco fleet, whose construction saves around 20 per cent in terms of fuel consumption compared to conventional ships and thus produces fewer emissions. In the airfreight sector, the Rhenus Group has developed RHEGREEN – the world’s first CO2 saving programme. This enables customers to find the most environmentally friendly offer for their route at no extra charge and thus save up to 40 per cent of emissions. In addition, Rhenus has committed to neutralising the CO2 emissions of its LCL transports by 2030 in order to move closer to the goal of climate-neutral logistics.

Sustainability is also the guiding principle behind the construction of another logistics warehouse, which is scheduled to open in 2023 at the Port of Rhine-Lippe in Wesel. Rhenus Warehousing Solutions will be the sole tenant of the multiuser facility, which has a geothermal energy supply. The building will be gently integrated into its surroundings in cooperation with the regionally active nature conservation association and is expected to receive BREEAM certification in the future. The Rhenus Warehouse in Tilburg, the Netherlands, one of the most sustainable industrial buildings in Europe, which already opened in 2019, was also awarded this certification – with the grade “Outstanding”.

The Rhenus Group has also made a very practical commitment to sustainability in the past. In December 2020, instead of sending gifts to its customers and partners, the logistics service provider planted more than 1,700 trees together with its project partner Treedom as part of a Christmas gift campaign. The campaign continued on, and so far Rhenus has planted a total of some 2,500 trees in six different countries and thus achieved savings of more than 266 tonnes of CO2.

The Rhenus Group designs its diverse measures for resource-saving logistics in line with the global sustainability goals which were introduced by the United Nations in 2015 and are intended to ensure sustainable development at an economic, ecological and social level. In particular, Rhenus pursues a course of providing decent work and consequent economic growth, health and well-being for the entire world population, in addition to expanding industry, innovation and infrastructure and taking appropriate action for climate protection. An overview of these so-called sustainable development goals shows the individual steps with which the Rhenus Group contributes to advancing sustainability in the logistics industry.

Further information about sustainable logistics solutions within the Rhenus Group can be found here.