DHL Express announced on Monday that it has entered into agreements with BP and Neste to make its air cargo operations more sustainable. BP and Neste have committed to provide DHL Express more than 211 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the next five years.
DHL called them “two of the largest ever” SAF deals.
DHL predicts that the agreements will save about 2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the aviation fuel life cycle. That is the greenhouse gas equivalent of the emissions from 400,000 passenger vehicles in one year.
These agreements are a step toward DHL’s target for 30% of all air transport to use SAF by 2030 and are part of DHL’s sustainability road map. Along with previously announced SAF deals in San Francisco, Amsterdam and East Midlands, England, these deals will satisfy more than 50% of DHL Express’ target to reach 10% SAF blending for all air transport by 2026.
According to Deutsche Post DHL Group, 72% of scope 1 and 2 energy consumption was dedicated to its air fleet in 2020. Scope 1 and 2 refer to energy consumption that comes from direct and indirect operations. Aviation will be the most difficult area in which to reduce emissions, said Scott Sureddin, CEO at DHL Supply Chain in North America, in a previous interview with FreightWaves.
“Demand signals are crucial to scaling and de-risking innovation in sustainable freight. DHL is exhibiting climate leadership and delivering on customer requests for emission reductions. I anticipate many fleets will regret not having the foresight to lock in fuel volumes as demand for sustainable fuels outstrips supply in the near term,” said Tyler Cole, director of carbon intelligence at FreightWaves.
BP and Neste will use waste oils to produce SAF, which can provide greenhouse gas emission reductions of up to 80% over its life cycle compared to conventional jet fuel. DHL said the SAF will not come from feedstocks that compete with food production or cause indirect land-use changes.
“With every SAF deal, we are increasingly aware of the huge task that lies ahead in utilizing more sustainable solutions to help our customers,” John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express, said in a release. “The new SAF deals with BP and Neste are milestones on this journey. Our key focus is to inspire more SAF suppliers to address the current supply gap.”
Pearson urged policymakers to help ramp up SAF production and adoption through advantageous frameworks and an accounting mechanism that allows flexible SAF purchases and usage.
“As the world’s leading logistics provider, it is our commitment to provide green and more sustainable solutions for our customers. The landmark SAF deals with BP and Neste mark a significant step within the aviation industry and validate the framework of our Sustainable Roadmap,” Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group, said in the release.