Eco-Driving helps DHL win Environmental Accolades

Reducing road transport emissions and training drivers to drive smarter in Singapore have earned DHL Supply Chain the green label stamp from Green Freight Asia (GFA), the global logistics firm announced last month.

GFA, an industry platform established in 2013 in Singapore, awarded DHL the ‘Two-Leaf’ GFA label for its fuel-efficient vehicles and eco-drivers, DHL said in a statement. The GFA label is a four-tier labelling scheme which identifies companies and organisations committed to adopting and supporting sustainable freight practices in the region.

To qualify for the ‘Two-Leaf’ label, DHL adopted at least two fuel-efficient or carbon dioxide emissions reduction technologies and more than half of its drivers have undergone training to become so-called “eco-drivers’. Carriers like DHL are also assessed based on its annual freight volume, distance travelled and fuel consumption. 

“DHL continuously seeks to improve fuel efficiency in operational activities by optimising transport routes, ensuring our fleets meet or exceed compliance and emissions regulations, and using energy-efficient warehouses,” said Sean Gillespie, vice president for Transport and Distribution at DHL Supply Chain Asia Pacific.

Eco-driving, an emerging concept in the road transport industry, aims to educate drivers with driving skills and techniques, as well as using modern vehicle technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save on fuel cost and improve safety and comfort. 

Some of these activities include anticipating traffic flow to maintain a steady speed and shifting up gears earlier to improve fuel efficiency, ensuring tire pressures are at optimal levels to minimise safety risks and fuel wastage, and using in-vehicle air-conditioning and electrical equipment wisely, such as switching them off when not needed, explained Gillespie.

DHL, which is also an active and founding member of GFA, said it has been actively championing the formation of industry platforms such as GFA to help lower fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions in the region. The Germany-based multinational is also a major supporter of similar industry group Green Freight Europe.

GFA evaluates carriers or transport providers based on their environmental sustainability initiatives such as adopting fuel-efficient vehicles and emissions reduction technologies and conducted by an independent certifications firm, the non-profit industry group said on its website. 

Shippers or users of logistics services such as manufacturing companies can also apply for the GFA accreditation.

The logistics firm first launched its GoGreen programme in 2008 by setting a quantifiable carbon efficiency target in its business operations and subcontracted transport by 30 per cent by 2020. 

DHL is still in the process of evaluating its 2014 perfomance, but 2013 results showed DHL has improved its overall carbon emissions reduction by 18 per cent, noted Gillespie. The firm did not, however, provide details when asked about its emissions reductions performance in Singapore.

He commented: “DHL recognises the importance of continuously driving business growth in a sustainable and environmentally-conscious way and we are constantly doing so not just in Asia but across the world.”


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