Lufthansa Cargo focuses on improving environmental performance and calls for greater emissions transparency in logistics
Lufthansa Cargo's Dr Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht (photo: Lufthansa)
Fri 3 May 2013 – Lufthansa Cargo used its recent Cargo Climate Care Conference to highlight progress towards its emissions reduction target and to call for greater transparency in environmental performance across the logistics sector. The carrier believes it is on course to meet its commitment to cut CO2 emissions per tonne-kilometre of freight by 25 per cent by 2020, based on 2005 levels. At the same time, it urged other cargo operators and the logistics industry in general to be more transparent about emissions data, so that environmental performance could play a greater role in transport decisions in the future. It also used the conference to present awards to staff and customers who had made notable contributions to environmental protection.
Dr Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht, Lufthansa Cargo’s Board Member for Operations, was keen to draw attention to the operator’s environmental credentials in his address to the conference, attended by over 200 people. “We are on track with our ambitious aim of reducing specific emissions by a quarter by 2020 and have already achieved the first ten percentage points towards that objective,” he said. “We are working on numerous measures and leaving no stone unturned – in our flight operations alone, we have developed more than 50 measures to curb the fuel burn of our aircraft.”
The specific CO2 emissions of Lufthansa Cargo’s MD-11F amounted to an average of 499 grammes of CO2 per tonne-kilometre in 2012, almost the same as the previous year.
The amount of CO2 released for each tonne of freight carried is expected to decrease further this autumn when Lufthansa Cargo will take delivery of the first two of five Boeing 777F freighters ordered in 2011. It claims that the B777F will produce 20% fewer emissions than the MD-11F, the aircraft type which currently accounts for all of the carrier’s fleet of 18 freighters.
Further emissions reduction measures are detailed in the company’s 2012 sustainability report. These include the replacement of 50% of its LD3 cargo containers with lightweight containers. It estimates that when these newer containers, which are 13kgs (29 pounds) lighter, completely replace the older LD3s, it will save 6,800 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Other goals mentioned in the report include establishing in 2018 the new Lufthansa Cargo Center Frankfurt as an ‘EcoHub’ and supporting the Lufthansa Group target of up to 10% blended alternative fuels by 2020, if considered technically, operationally and sustainably feasible.
Lufthansa Cargo was also keen to use the conference to advocate greater transparency in reporting environmental performance across the logistics sector. Rupprecht highlighted that not all cargo carriers publish data on specific emissions, making it difficult for customers to base their transport decisions on environmental concerns.
Calling for greater co-operation within the logistics industry and beyond, he said: “Only when all partners in the transport chain, as well as scientists and politicians, pull together will we have the best chance of massively reducing the burden on the environment.”
The winners of Lufthansa Cargo’s Climate Care Awards were also announced at the conference. In the staff category, first place was awarded to Oliver Schatz and Dieter Aulehla from the carrier’s Frankfurt logistics centre. Their use of tablet computers for freight handling was expected to save 350,000 sheets of paper a year. First prize in the customer category went to the Hellmann logistics services company for the successful use of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) engines in its fleet of vehicles.
Lufthansa Cargo is one of the world’s largest freight operators. As well as having its own dedicated fleet of 18 MD-11F freighters, it also utilises the hold capacities of passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines. In 2012, it transported 1.7 million tonnes of freight and made an operating profit of €104 million ($137 million).