The logistics industry plays a considerable role in the production of carbon emissions, and we need to do everything we can, collectively, to meet sustainability ambitions and avoid further exacerbation. Globally, the real estate sector contributes to almost 40 % of carbon emissions through energy usage and a significant share of natural resources. How can those responsible for constructing and maintaining these buildings reduce their carbon footprint?

Confront the climate crisis by realizing sustainability ambitions

Real estate is a significant consumer of natural resources and contributes to substantial energy consumption. According to research, the estimated share of buildings in the consumption of global resources is shown in Table A and the estimated contribution of real estate for global pollution in Table B.

Real estate is an enabling factor for almost any business and directly impacts any sustainability initiative or effort thereof. With more importance, sustainability ambitions through real estate need to be factored into every part of the future planning process.

A holistic view of sustainability ambitions

For example, DB Schenker and Volta Trucks announced in December 2021 a pre-order of nearly 1,500 fully electric Volta Zero vehicles, representing Europe’s most-significant contract for the largest zero-emission truck fleet to date. Initiating a fleet of electric vehicles cannot come without on-site infrastructures like charging stations and amenities. Not only is DB Schenker focused on the transportation aspect of the supply chain process, but further to this, a holistic view that also incorporates sustainable buildings. Every aspect of the building is sensitive to the environment, and only with meticulous planning can a difference be made.

We aspire to strengthen the ideological foundation of sustainability at DB Schenker. We are committed to establishing our real estate business more sustainably and supporting our ambition of carbon neutrality by 2040.

Sustainability in Real Estate
Mark Schmoll
Head of Global Real Estate Management at DB Schenker

The global logistics services provider, DB Schenker, specifies its sustainability strategy focus on the UN’s sustainability development goals (SDGs). This serves as an initial step towards achieving the stationary carbon emissions targets and founding the basis of the real estate business on sustainability principles such as conservation of resources, circular economy, social justice, and more.

Every energy efficiency counts

Energy efficiency is one of the most prominent features of a sustainable building, from small measures like sealing air ducts to preventing air leakages to more significant initiatives like using renewable resources for heating and cooling systems. DB Schenker has implemented several sustainable initiatives over the years. For example, in Dubai, they have made their third investment and expansion of an already existing warehouse, utilizing 100 percent renewable energy. Furthermore, they have recently completed the third wave of ‘Project LED’ under the project “Fit for Future” umbrella. Approximately a quarter-million square meter area, the equivalent to 50 sites across two regions (EU and APAC), has been retrofitted with Smart LED lights. The conversion of conventional lighting to an energy-efficient LED lighting system with smart sensors will save 80% of the energy required for conventional lighting systems.

The impacts of climate change are far-reaching, but solutions exist that can help us improve the outcome to ensure a more sustainable future for all. Through a holistic approach, meticulous planning, and management, the consensus is that if all organizations are on the same trajectory, we can rest assured that we can reach a greater tomorrow together.  

Published: January 2022