Deutsche Post DHL looks to suppliers to push sustainability

30 April 2010

30 April 2010 | Allie Anderson

The mail and logistics company is taking a three-pronged approach to sustainability by tackling environment, disaster management and education.

In its 2009-10 corporate social responsibility report published this week, the mail and logistics supplier revealed how its GoGreen, GoHelp and GoTeach programmes last year helped it achieve plaudits such as “most sustainable strategy” in the 2009 German Sustainability Awards.

Under the GoGreen banner, the company improved its CO2 efficiency in 2009 by, for example, using more fuel-efficient aircraft, and pledged to cut carbon emissions in its own operations and those of its supply chain by 30 per cent by 2020 against its 2007 baseline. It saved a further 4,900 tonnes of carbon emissions by switching to greener business travel and increasing its use of videoconferencing, the report said.

Deutsche Post DHL also worked with its suppliers to improve sustainability in its supply chain. Last year, the procurement department introduced “green questionnaires” to ask suppliers about their environmental practices as part of every contract bid. Consideration of energy and carbon efficiency was also made mandatory in sourcing projects for carbon-intensive categories such as fleet.

It also expanded its vendor code of conduct by including provisions for preventing child labour, and compliance with legislation on working hours, discrimination, and bribery.

In 2009, Deutsche Post DHL launched GoTeach, an initiative aimed at providing fairer educational opportunities for less privileged people in Germany and encouraging employees to volunteer in educational projects. In addition, as part of its GoHelp programme, which provides aid following natural disasters, it also started its Get Airports Ready for Disaster pilot, aimed at co-ordinating incoming emergency supplies at airports.

Last year, the company’s senior vice-president of procurement for the Americas described sustainability as a golden opportunity to raise the profile of the profession

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