KlimaProtect: climate-neutral shipping with GLS

Logistics causes around 14 percent of global CO2 emissions. The transport sector accounts for 75 percent of these. GLS is aware of its responsibility for the environment and has been committed to climate protection for over a decade. Whether it is through depots operated in a resource-saving manner, optimised tours using modern IT tools or sustainable city logistics solutions. Now GLS Germany is going one step further: Since 1 October 2019 we have been implementing our GLS KlimaProtect programme - in this context all emissions caused by parcel transport from Germany and our business activities in Germany are compensated.

 Reduce, avoid & compensate

GLS KlimaProtect is based on two pillars: reduction & avoidance and compensation. The emissions generated by parcel transport and our business activities are compensated by a certified reforestation project (VCS/CCB standard) via the organisation PRIMAKLIMA e.V. GLS also continues to invest in measures to reduce and avoid emissions. In addition to the use of 100 percent sustainable electricity, GLS is expanding its fleet of e-vehicles, investing in additional charging infrastructure and promoting emission-free delivery in city centres.

Sustainable city logistics

 In the summer of 2016, GLS Germany in Konstanz exhibited an eBike for the first time. Since then, more cities and vehicle types have been added continuously, for example eVans and eScooters. Currently, more than 20 projects with more than 100 eVans are underway throughout Germany.

Depending on the delivery area, GLS uses different vehicles. As an example, GLS uses eVans for delivery to rather outlying districts. With the agile eBikes and eScooters, on the other hand, the delivery drivers reach recipients in the city centre - despite narrow streets and high traffic volumes. The share of vehicles with electronic drive in parcel delivery is constantly increasing and the variety of models is growing. So far, however, they have met the industry's requirements only to a limited extent, as short ranges and lower loading capacities limit their possible applications.

In order to compensate for these, GLS Germany relies on the combination of e-vehicles with city and micro-depots. These can be ParcelShops or swap bodies in the area of operation or even small properties with the appropriate infrastructure. Here the vehicles can be loaded with new parcels during the delivery tour.

The supply concepts depend on the local conditions and are therefore individually adapted to the requirements. In Dortmund, for example, the depot is so centrally located that the tours can start directly there. In Leipzig, on the other hand, the delivery driver picks up additional parcels in ParcelShops along the route. The parcels are delivered there in the morning by van – this enables effective use of the eBike.

City logistics - Dusseldorf model

 In Dusseldorf, the experiences from all city logistics projects of GLS Germany are combined. The aim of the model project is to achieve a consistently sustainable city logistics with a completely electric, completely emission-free delivery in the city centre. Two eBikes and eight eCrafter are currently being used in Dusseldorf. They start from the GLS ParcelShop in the city centre, which also serves as a city depot. In order to achieve completely emission-free delivery, GLS is considering the self-production and temporary storing of electricity for the e-vehicles in future.

GLS will also gradually push ahead the use of e-vehicles in other suitable delivery areas. In principle, GLS is testing various sustainable delivery concepts throughout Europe – from eBikes and inline skates to eVans and scooters. The aim is to find the most efficient and sustainable solution for each individual tour.

Together for sustainability

Environmentally friendly city logistics is an important task for the entire CEP sector. Therefore GLS is additionally involved in several cross-company projects. Within the scope of the KoMoDo project, GLS uses cargo bikes in Berlin, for example. Various parcel service providers use a site of the “Berliner Hafen- und Lagerhausgesellschaft” in the district of Prenzlauer Berg as a supply point. GLS is also participating in the federal model project ZUKUNFT.DE. Through this project, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure promotes the use of eVans on the last mile and pushes the expansion of the charging infrastructure – with scientific support.


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