From new animal-friendly initiatives to a wider focus on less waste, environmental sustainability is growing in relevance within the retail industry — particularly for logistics providers.

Case in point: Deutsche Post DHL Group’s air and ocean freight specialist, DHL Global Forwarding, has teamed up with the Good Shipping Program — described by DHL as “the world’s first initiative to decarbonize the container shipping industry by changing the marine fuel mix.” The effort aims to make ocean freight transports more environmentally friendly.

DHL pointed out that DHL Global Forwarding will be the first to offer its customers the ability to choose “next-generation” marine biofuels instead of fossil fuels for their sea transports. And the results could be enormous. The company said that the new service will reduce carbon emissions to zero as well as allow for a notable reduction of local air pollutants.

Global head of customer intelligence and GoGreen at DHL Global Forwarding, Kathrin Brost shared her perspective on why the move will prove to be key for DHL. “The partnership with the GoodShipping Program is a unique opportunity to drive change within the ocean freight industry and to contribute to DHL’s environmental target of zero emissions by 2050,” she said. “Our joint advanced biofuel service is designed as a supplement to our ‘GoGreen climate neutral’ services or as an alternative, giving our customers even more opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Astrid Sonneveld, program director at GoodShipping, also weighed in on the collaboration. “DHL’s mission to reach zero emission logistics by 2050 made them a perfect partner for a strategic and mutually beneficial long-term cooperation. Together with DHL, we provide global access to every single cargo owner that wants to help us clean up the marine fuel mix,” she said.

What’s more, the company cited that in 2012, shipments transported via ocean freight in logistics were responsible for about 2.2 percent of all carbon emissions worldwide — and it is anticipated that by 2050, this number could increase to 17 percent of total global emissions. As the company pointed out, these percentages highlight the critical role that carbon reduction plays within the shipping industry.

DHL noted that the partnership agreement between DHL Global Forwarding and the Good Shipping Program is exclusive, and that the new service will become available to DHL’s customers early this year.

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