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DHL Global Forwarding has made a three-year deal with Air France KLM Martinair Cargo for the purchase of 33 million litres of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The purchase—one of the biggest in the industry—is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s sustainability roadmap, towards a goal of net zero logistics-related emissions by 2050.

According to Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, the partnership with AFKLMP will also help the company to reach its target of using sustainable fuel for 30% of its air and ocean fleet by 2030.

Scharwath also cited the partnership as an example of its “book and claim” system that attributes reductions in “Scope 3” emissions—that is, indirect emissions produced by companies that include any goods and services they have purchased—to DHL customers, awarding them with tradeable credits and other benefits.

Plane vapour trail across a blue sky
Credit: Fumiyama Akira

The book and claim initiative is a form of “carbon insetting”, which means compensating for greenhouse gases by reducing emissions by a fixed amount within a company’s supply chain. So a DHL customer might book a CO2 reduction for a specific volume of cargo, and then, subject to certification, claim that reduction and be awarded carbon credits.

Unlike carbon offsetting, insetting looks to fund decarbonisation methods in the sector where the emissions originate, focusing on resource allocation and incentivising DHL’s customers to reduce their own emissions rather than simply buying them off through outside schemes.

It’s meant to boost investment in particular industry-wide developments such as sustainable fuel, fleet renewal, and other projects relating to energy efficiency, all of which require large capital investment that is beyond many individual companies.

DHL expects to cut CO2 emissions by more than 80,000 tons through its partnership with AFKLMP, by blending SAF with regular fuel.

Source: Post & Parcel, DHL

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