Corporate Responsibility Report 2013
Corporate Responsibility Report 2013
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Air transport

Our strong air network is the foundation for the success of our EXPRESS division. Express services are tremendously important for a functioning global economy, and are becoming more important with every passing year. Whenever time is a critical factor, air express services become indispensable, whether for delivering time-sensitive replacement parts or transporting vital and easily perishable medicines.

We are a leading provider of international express services, and have a fleet capacity of more than 250 aircraft comprising 170 dedicated jet aircraft and more than 80 feeder aircraft. Our air fleet serves over 500 airports via 20 regional hubs and three global hubs in Leipzig, Cincinnati and Hong Kong. Our relationships with third-party providers also allow us to expand the capacity of our fleet as demand requires. While air transport is one of our major areas of activity, it is also emissions-intensive. In 2013, our own air fleet was responsible for 64% of our Group-wide greenhouse gas emissions in scopes 1 and 2. Through significant investments in the modernization of our air fleet, we were able to further improve the carbon efficiency of our air transport in the reporting year.

Air fleet modernization

We continued our efforts to expand and update our air fleet in the reporting year, making our aviation operations more economical while reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and noise.

In 2013, we completed a major air fleet project involving the deployment of 18 Airbus A300-600 freighter aircraft. Most are now in service within our regional European air network. These aircraft not only offer greater load capacity than their predecessors (A300-B4) but burn less fuel, helping us to achieve carbon efficiency gains from our air operations.

Alternative aviation fuels

Aside from our continuous efforts to renew our air fleet, we also see great promise in the use of alternative aviation fuels for helping improve the carbon efficiency of our air operations. The aviation industry has committed to achieving carbon-neutral growth by the year 2020 and to reducing its footprint to half of 2005 carbon emissions levels by the year 2050. Alternative aviation fuels play a considerable role in helping the industry reach its targets. These fuels, however, are not yet available in sufficient quantity.

To help advance research in this area, we helped found the research and science platform Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany e.V. (aireg e.V.). As a member organization, we actively promote the research and development of alternative fuels in aviation along the entire supply chain. aireg e.V. has an interim goal of achieving a 10% admixture of alternative aviation fuels in Germany by the year 2025. We will be working with our aireg e.V. partners in various projects to examine the emissions from alternative aviation fuels in greater detail.