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DHL Purchases 33 Million Liters of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight unit of DHL Group, has signed an agreement with Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) to purchase 33 million liters of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The three-year cooperation represents one of the most significant SAF purchases in the freight forwarding industry, DHL said, noting that AFKLMP has been a long-term, reliable partner and one of the leaders in its GoGreen carrier certification program for many years. The initiative is part of DHL Group’s “Sustainability Roadmap,” which aims to spend 7 billion euros ($8 billion) on green technologies by 2030 and reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050.

“With our Sustainability Roadmap, we have set ourselves ambitious goals on our journey towards zero emissions,” Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, said. “Sustainable fuels are a fundamental part of our efforts. That is why we have committed to covering at least 30 percent of air freight and ocean freight fuel requirements with sustainable fuels by 2030.”

Scharwath said at the same time, the deal serves as another example of the success of DHL’s “book and claim” system that ensures reductions in Scope 3 emissions are attributed to its customers, helping them reduce their carbon footprint.

“We must all work together to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, and ultimately zero-carbon, emissions transport sector,” he said.

DHL expects the partnership to save 80,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by blending SAF with regular aviation fuel in AFKLMP flights.

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“The Air France KLM Martinair Cargo teams are strongly committed and feel responsible for creating a sustainable future for our industry,” said Adriaan den Heijer, executive vice president of Air France KLM Cargo and managing director of Martinair. “This deal is a great opportunity to accelerate our joint sustainability efforts. Sustainable aviation fuel has a lot of potential to reduce CO2 emissions and we are delighted to collaborate with our strong, long-term partner DHL Global Forwarding on this journey to greener logistics and transportation in the coming years.”

Air France-KLM’s decarbonization trajectory includes an ambitious plan to renew the company’s airline fleet with next-generation aircraft emitting 20 percent to 25 percent less CO2. Between 2019 and 2021, it invested 2.5 billion euros in fleet renewal.

In addition, the search for greater efficiency in its operations, by favoring more direct trajectories and applying procedures that limit fuel consumption, such as lighter aircraft, single-engine taxi and continuous descent, are part of AFKLMP sustainability efforts. Air France and KLM have set themselves the target of carbon neutrality for ground operations by 2030.

In addition, Air France-KLM aims to mobilize the entire sector and is committed to developing innovative solutions for aircraft design and maintenance, engines and synthetic fuels that will gradually lead to carbon-free aviation.