We drive sustainability
For us, sustainability is one of the most important factors for economic stability and long-term growth. This is why the careful handling of resources is one of the central pillars in our company philosophy.
As an internationally-operating logistics and family business, we take our social responsibility very seriously; this not only applies to our employees, but also to our partners, our customers and the environment – this is why we are committed to fair treatment, both of each other, and as regards ecological procurement.
We are of the opinion that sustainable logistics and economic activity are not mutually exclusive. Quite the contrary. Thanks to a continuous improvement process, we are in the position of being able to ensure the resource-saving realisation of our services – to achieve this, we have firmly established green thinking in our company philosophy.
We want to offer our customers the most sustainable transport and supply chain possible. To achieve this, we have launched numerous projects which not only reduce the company’s global emissions, but also improve our energy record. In addition to sustainable logistics properties, we always look to alternative drive technologies and multimodal logistics solutions. We also support innovation and research programmes.
How we behave as a company affects society. This is why we place particular importance on environmental-awareness and social responsibility. Our motto is ‘Actions speak louder than words’. Since 2015, we have been subjected to an annual assessment by EcoVadis; this independent agency evaluates the activities of companies in the area of corporate social responsibility, in accordance with international standards. The rating platform has already awarded us Silver Status several times in succession – in fact, we number among the most successful 10 percent in a sector comparison.
There are four themed areas in the EcoVadis evaluation; environment, labour and human rights, ethics, as well as sustainable procurement. The consistently good results in the ranking confirm that our activities, as well as the transparency we create for our partners and customers, are as we wish and intend them to be. In addition, we use the scorecard to identify further improvement opportunities. In this way, we can make our contribution to society and greener logistics.
Advancing digitalisation is going to radically change professional life in the future. Ever more activities will have to become viable for mobile working. Our office systems division is therefore developing innovative solutions for digital and intelligent document management.
As our services encompass the entire information cycle in the company, we are able to make it more sustainable in many ways. In so doing, we ensure an ecological way of working and constantly optimise our own processes. Particularly important to us is the careful use of resources and responsible disposal concepts. Furthermore, we support research projects to make our services more sustainable.
E-commerce is booming! Ever more end-consumers are ordering products via the internet these days – from small electrical appliances to heavy furniture. The goods should preferably be transported as quickly as possible and straight to the customers’ own front-doors. With each delivery, traffic congestion in the inner cities and residential areas increases further.
As an innovative company, we therefore search for solutions for smart and environmentally-friendly inner-city logistics. To this end, we look to alternative drive technologies and make ourselves available to well-known companies as collaborative partners for testing prototypes.
Maritime and inland waterway transportation is an important component of trimodal transport solutions. Ports play an important role as central transhipment points. We are therefore developing intelligent solutions to not just make the logistics processes in our port terminals fit for the future, but also to reduce our emissions.
This includes supplying our buildings and outdoor facilities with green electricity for which we have, inter alia, our own photovoltaic systems. However, we are also working on the energy-efficient optimisation of goods handling. We use modern crane systems and vehicles with an electric drive for this purpose.
The movement of people is one of the biggest sources of emissions. Without alternative drive technologies, no ecological mobility transition will be possible. As a logistics partner to the automotive industry, we therefore feel a special responsibility and are focusing specifically on e-mobility in the automotive sector.
Furthermore, as a research and production partner, we are committed to the development of battery-driven vehicles, in order to make logistics more sustainable in the long-term.
Energy-supply is one of the biggest sources of emissions and costs for our properties. In order to reduce their consumption, we consider those sustainability criteria, which optimise the energy balance of our building, as early on as during the construction of our logistics centres.
Sustainable buildings are but one side of the coin, and this is why we are working towards consistently improving our warehouse logistics services. In joint projects with our partners and customers, we are developing innovative storage solutions.
As a transport service provider, we find ourselves in a dilemma; on the one hand, the many trucks on the roads are responsible for a significant share of the CO2 emissions. On the other hand, logistics services are indispensably relevant to the system of modern society.
However, in order to still make our contribution to climate protection, we are focusing on e-mobility in many areas. As the possibilities are still limited, particularly in long-distance transport, we support various research projects which could help to overcome this hurdle more quickly.
Time really is of the essence sometimes. For time-critical goods, such as medicines or perishables, the plane is the favoured means of transport. Nevertheless, it is still possible to reduce pollutant emissions in air freight. We prove this day by day with the RHEGREEN programme.
On the ground, too, we are continuously reducing the CO2 emissions of our logistics services, for example, by using e-mobility and ecological packing materials.
In comparison with a 40-ton truck, inland waterway vessels only need about one-third of the energy. These floating giants actually have advantages over transportation by rail, too. Nevertheless, their air pollutant balance could be improved, as ship engines are very durable and many older models emit too many pollutants.
What does help is a modernisation of the fleet and this is why we invest in the development and building of sustainable types of ship. In the port area, too, we try to reduce CO2 emissions in the handling of goods and to shift transportation from road to water.
The constantly growing volume of traffic means that motorways are reaching their limits, in terms of capacity, in many places. Road freight traffic also plays a major role in air pollution. We have therefore decided to try and better interlink the advantages of the different modes of transport – after all, the more shipments we can shift from road to rail or water, the more we can relieve the environment.
Thanks to our own container terminals, extensive hinterland logistic networks and our years of experience in trimodal transport, we can save CO2 emissions along the entire transport chain. Our customers throughout Europe benefit from reliable and sustainable logistics solutions.
As a family company, a trusting collaboration with our customers and partners is particularly important to us. This goes hand-in-hand with transparency towards the public. We are therefore pleased to provide you with some answers to frequently asked questions in the following:
We define sustainability as the careful use of resources designed for natural regeneration. Thus, sustainability is one of the most important factors for economic stability and long-term growth. We understand resources to include both internal (human, social and financial capital), and external production factors (goods, raw materials), hence we respect and ensure compliance with social and ethical standards (labour and human rights), and are committed to environmentally-aware procurement. This is confirmed by the annual certification by the EcoVadis rating platform.
As an internationally-active logistics and family business, we are well aware of our social responsibility. The topic of sustainability is, therefore, a central pillar of our company’s philosophy. Our motto is ‘Actions speak louder than words’; this is why we do not stipulate rigid concepts, but deliberately focus on a flexible approach which also facilitates the implementation of business-specific initiatives. Innovative projects in our individual units can thus be implemented quickly and flexibly and generate immediate added value. We present information on the subject of sustainability in such a way that every employee can access it. In so doing, we ensure that green thinking is firmly established throughout the entire company. In addition, we pursue a continuous improvement process in order to consistently advance the resource-saving realisation of our services. Our intention is to develop efficient and ecologically-sensible logistics solutions for our customers and partners.
Our company is organised in a decentralised manner and there are very different requirements in each of the 18 business units in which we operate. We therefore do not dictate the strategic orientation strictly from above, but deliberately allow the individual units room to manoeuver; this also applies to the issue of sustainability. Here, we rely on a broadly-diversified approach with a variety of solutions. We leave the realisation of the sustainability concepts to our respective units. However, what we all do have in common is that we are all dedicated to green thinking.
We are of the opinion that sustainable logistics and economic activity are not mutually exclusive. Quite the contrary, in fact. In the long-term, we want to combine the effects of the individual projects in the various business areas, so as to be able to offer our customers the most sustainable transport and supply chain possible. For this reason, we have launched numerous projects which reduce the company’s global emissions and improve its energy record. For example, we take care to ensure that sustainable construction and innovative technologies are used in our logistics properties. In addition, we use alternative drive technologies for the various modes of transport and also develop multimodal logistics solutions.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges faced by modern society. As an international, multimodal transport and logistics service provider, we feel we have a particular responsibility. We want to do justice to this, together with our customers and partners, and are therefore very committed to sustainable and environmentally-aware logistics.
We are active in 18 different business units, each of which present their own individual and special challenges. We encounter these demands with a decentralised orientation of the company which enables our individual units to make largely independent decisions. The topic of sustainability is also multifaceted and this is why we decided to search for a variety of solutions.
We will permanently give the issue of sustainability high priority and will continually examine what contribution we can make to green logistics. To this end, we constantly monitor which technological and structural innovations are available. An exchange of information about this takes place on all levels, and between all of our units. From this, we derive more projects which contribute to the careful use of natural resources. In order to be able to put new approaches into practice, we not only provide financial and personnel resources for research projects, but also for the further development of sustainability in the operative business.
As an international logistics company, we find ourselves in a dichotomy. On the one hand, the transport sector is largely responsible for the consumption of natural resources and the emission of climate-damaging gases. On the other hand, logistics services are absolutely systematically-relevant for modern society. However, we firmly believe that economic efficiency and sustainable logistics are not mutually exclusive and we therefore emphatically pursue the goals of reducing our own CO2 emissions and of creating transparent transport and storage solutions for our customers. To this end, we opt, wherever possible, for renewable energies, alternative drive technologies and multimodal transport solutions.
Collaboration with research institutions and involvement in scientific projects are important elements of our company strategy. One of the objectives is to make the global supply chain more sustainable. To achieve this, we are on the look-out for green ideas and new technologies, together with partners and customers, which will help the company progress further in this respect. The versatile fields of activity and the financial resources available mean that we are able to be extensively involved in a wide range of activities in this area.
We want to reduce the CO2 emissions derived from our operations and to make global supply chains more sustainable. However, this can only be achieved together with our partners and customers. Wherever possible, we pass on the achieved positive effects to our customers. In addition, we show them at which points in their supply chain they can also positively contribute to sustainability.
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