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DB Schenker launches global CO2-neutral airfreight offer via ‘virtual application’ of SAF

DB Schenker export freight is loaded onto an aircraft in Frankfurt en route to Hong Kong. (Photo: Mario Arnold, DB Schenker)

DB Schenker extends its portfolio of climate-friendlier logistics solutions by opening the next chapter of greener transport in airfreight.

With immediate effect, customers can choose sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for their air transport to anywhere in the world and independent of the type of aircraft or airline used.

Via virtual allocation of the biofuel, it is possible to avoid up to 100 percent of CO2 emissions.

DB Schenker’s purchase of more than 11,000 tons (approximately 3.7 million gallons) of SAF avoided more than 33,000 tons of CO2e this year alone.

“We are very proud of the game-changing pioneer project we started with our trusted partner Lufthansa Cargo,” said Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker. “Today, we take the next step by starting a global green air-cargo network. We have purchased massive volumes of biofuel to push the decarbonization of our industry. Customers of DB Schenker can now virtually book SAF on all trade lanes to thousands of airports. This new flexibility is a success factor and good for the climate. Every ton of biofuel counts.”

Thorsten Meincke, global board member for air and ocean freight at DB Schenker, added, “Reducing the carbon footprint in supply chains is possible not only in a far-distanced future but already today. Yes, sustainability comes with a price. But now the choice is available—No DB Schenker customer needs to use traditional kerosene for their airfreight anymore. We hope that this message will give further momentum towards sustainability in aviation. Customers who have tested or are already regularly using our SAF offer are very satisfied.”

SAF is a well-tested alternative fuel produced from renewable waste and residue raw materials such as used frying oil.

The CO2 released during combustion in the engine is only the CO2 removed from the atmosphere during the photosynthesis phase of the plants employed to produce the oils from which SAF is refined.

DB Schenker only uses biofuel that is certified palm-oil free.

Currently, SAF is three to five times more expensive than regular fossil-based fuel.

For their ESG reporting, customers deciding to pay the premium for virtual allocation of SAF for an airfreight shipment receive certification for the exact amount of greenhouse gases avoided.

While the actual physical insertion of SAF might occur on different flights, the climate is protected as the exact CO2 emissions of a flight or shipment with conventional kerosene are avoided.

This process is called a “virtual application” and can also be exercised for upstream emissions originating from the production and transport of the biofuel itself.

The new global offer complements DB Schenker’s unique weekly full-charter route between Germany and China, launched in spring 2021 and still the only regular air-cargo flight in the world to be fully covered by SAF.

More than 150 round-trip flights with Lufthansa Cargo have already avoided more than 40,000 tons of CO2e.

Individual SAF agreements with further airline partners, for example a recent purchase of SAF credits at Singapore Airlines, will continue as well.



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