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DB Schenker Promoting Sustainable Aviation Fuel Initiative

DB Schenker Promoting Sustainable Aviation Fuel Initiative


DB Schenker has recently launched what it calls a climate-friendlier logistics product in the marketplace.

“With immediate effect, customers can choose Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for their air transport to anywhere in the world and independent of the type of aircraft or airline used. Via virtual allocation of the biofuel, it is possible to avoid up to 100 per cent of CO2 emissions,” says an official release.

DB Schenker CEO, Jochen Thewes: said: “We are very proud of the game-changing pioneer project we started with our trusted partner Lufthansa Cargo. Today, we take the next step by starting a global green air cargo network. We have purchased massive volumes of biofuel to push the decarbonization of our industry. Customers of DB Schenker can now virtually book SAF on all trade lanes to thousands of airports. This new flexibility is a success factor and good for the climate. Every ton of biofuel counts.”

Thorsten Meincke, global board member for air & ocean freight, DB Schenker added: “Reducing the carbon footprint in supply chains is possible not only in a far-distant future but already today. Yes, sustainability comes with a price. But now the choice is available: No DB Schenker customer needs to use traditional kerosene for their air freight anymore. We hope that this message will give further momentum towards sustainability in aviation.”

SAF is a well-tested alternative fuel produced from renewable waste and residue raw materials such as used frying oil. DB Schenker only uses biofuel which is certified palm oil free. SAF is currently 3-5 times more expensive than regular fossil-based fuel, the release added.

Seen by industry pundits as a way for shippers to report sustainability efforts without necessarily significantly changing its modus operandi towards helping reduce climate change, the play by DB Schenker is also seen as an opportunity for this third party logistics provider, along with potentially others, to find a way to replace the high revenues they have enjoyed these last couple of years due to the COVID pandemic. The term some are using to describe this is called sustainability opportunism.

 “For their ESG reporting, customers deciding to pay the premium for virtual allocation of SAF for an air freight shipment receive certification for the exact amount of greenhouse gases avoided. While the actual physical insertion of SAF might occur on different flights, the climate is protected as the exact CO2 emissions of a flight or shipment with conventional kerosene are avoided. This process is called a virtual application and can also be exercised for upstream emissions originating from the production and transport of the biofuel itself.”

Whilst this initiative can be seen as opportunistic and simply a nice marketing campaign, DB Schenker is helping build awareness around the drive towards better sustainability in our supply chains and this is indeed something the industry needs to take more seriously.

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