Buildings & green electricity
Deutsche Post DHL occupies approximately 12,000 sites. Around 5% of these sites are owned by the Group; the remaining 95% are leased. The facilities span a wide range of building types and usage – from office buildings, mail and parcel centers, to logistics warehouses. Given the diversity of these facilities, it is challenging to apply standardized processes for collecting data on energy use and emissions. One way we help ensure the accuracy of our consumption data is through the use of intelligent metering systems.
The individual requirements of our buildings and facilities demand an equally diverse range of energy efficiency and emissions-reducing measures. When developing these measures, we perform a detailed analysis of all relevant options for efficiency enhancement – from heating, air-conditioning and insulation, to lighting and photovoltaic installations.
In 2013 we enhanced the Group-wide energy efficiency standards for newly constructed, newly leased and renovated buildings. The standards address areas such as design and building materials as well as the equipment we install.
As an example, we have defined specifications for the installation of energy-saving, eco-friendly LED and T5 lighting. To maximize energy-saving measures in lighting we include the use of intelligent control technologies, sensors and dimmers, as well as a campaign to promote energy-conservation awareness among our employees.
In the reporting year, we were able to lower the absolute greenhouse gas emissions of our buildings and facilities by 6% compared to the previous year. This was a result of our increased use of electricity from renewable energy sources. The underlying energy consumption has risen in absolute terms, due in part to the growth in size of our portfolio and to the increased volumes that have passed through our buildings. Our Group-wide consumption data also includes the electricity used to charge our electric vehicles.
Energy use in buildings and facilities (incl. electric vehicles)
2 Also includes quantities of gasoline and diesel for auxiliary power generators.
Natural resource use: 58% green electricity worldwide
We use electricity from renewable energy sources whenever possible and commercially viable. In 2013, for instance, our business units in France, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the USA began using electricity from renewables such as wind, hydropower, solar and biomass.
Thanks to this, we were able to significantly increase the percentage of green electricity usage across the Group – from approximately 43% to approximately 58%. As previously outlined in the 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report, we were unable to reach our goal of increasing the percentage of green electricity to 60% by the year 2012. The availability of electricity from certified renewable sources is still very limited especially in our growth market Asia. At the same time, progress in other countries has largely run its course. As previously reported, the target timeframe was adjusted accordingly in the first half of 2013; we now intend to reach our goal of 60% electricity use from renewable energies by 2014. Thanks to various procurement management initiatives, we were just two percentage points short of reaching this ambitious target by the end of the reporting year.
In addition, we intend to replace natural gas usage with biogas whenever possible depending on availability, technical specifications and economic factors. Whenever possible, we use rainwater for non-potable/industrial purposes at our buildings and facilities, and recycle our wastewater.