DB Schenker turns its logistics terminals green

As pioneers in the field of green logistics, DB Schenker aims to set sectoral standards for the efficient and sustainable usage of resources. This also applies to the work done at logistics terminals. For this reason, DB Schenker is investing in green projects and initiatives that are designed to lead the way.

Green logistics means more than just transport

When they hear the term “green logistics,” most people think about transportation services via aircraft, ships, and, above all, trucks: How can cargo be brought from A to B in the most environmentally friendly way possible? What they often forget is that logistics terminals themselves offer tremendous potential for optimizing the use of resources. DB Schenker pursues two objectives in connection with terminals:

  1. Enhancing energy efficiency
  2. Reducing or reusing waste products

The company’s measures: Green energy, lower consumption, involved employees

DB Schenker employs a range of strategies to achieve its goals. For example, the company has started exploring new ways of generating electricity: The eco-terminal at Vaasa in Finland is now CO2-neutral thanks to the use of geothermal and solar power. The power of the sun is exploited in two different ways: Photovoltaic units produce electricity, while solar thermal energy contributes to the plant’s heating and provides warm water.

The second way to achieve greater energy efficiency is to cut consumption. Here, two new eco-buildings in Poland show how it’s done, for example by using LED lights. The trick with these is the sensors that control their operation: They measure the ambient light and make sure the lights are only activated when needed, and they emit only the amount of illumination needed. The sensors can also register motion, so the lights only come on when an employee is in the room in question. This feature makes sure that power wastage due to lights left on is a thing of the past.

“Green logistics terminals: International innovations from DB Schenker show the way ahead of logistics bases. CO2”

DB Schenker is also testing systems for recycling warm exhaust air at the same green logistics terminals. Amazingly, up to 70% of this heat can be reused by the central air conditioning unit.

Changing energy behavior is another approach. It targets employees and demonstrates how their activities can make a direct contribution of optimizing energy efficiency and reducing waste levels. A DB Schenker logistics terminal in Seoul, South Korea, shows just how effective this approach is: Greater awareness when using resources saw energy consumption fall by almost 7% within a single year. How did it work? Thanks to small changes, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or turning the light off when leaving a room. And by doing something that might initially sound comical as it is like something from everyone’s childhood: Leaving nothing behind on your plate in the canteen. It makes sense because, after all, leftovers mean more trash. This particular example of attentiveness helps save so much energy that a reward system was even created for it.

Green logistics terminals and environmental targets

As the activities from logistics terminals all around the world show, there are lots of ways to safeguard the environment each and every day, be it in the form of technological innovations or more mindful actions. Along with reducing transportation-generated CO2, for example by signing agreements with air and ocean freight carriers and upgrading trucks for overland haulage, logistics bases can also play an essential role as DB Schenker works towards achieving the goals that it has set itself.