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DB Schenker and Lufthansa operate world’s first CO2-neutral freight flights

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DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo have collaborated to operate the world’s first commercial carbon neutral cargo flights.

The logistics service provider and the air freight company’s recent cooperation marked their commitment to sustainable air transport, agreeing in November 2020 to exchange views on environmental issues and to jointly promote them – including the move away from fossil fuels in air freight transport.

Lufthansa Cargo’s Boeing 777F, the plane used for the occasion, arrived at Shanghai Pudong International Airport on 30 November 2020 from its 9-hour journey from Frankfurt Germany.

The flight’s entire fuel requirements were covered by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), a sustainable, synthetic kerosene that is currently produced mainly from biomass, for example from sustainable or recyclable vegetable and cooking oils.

Through using SAF, the emissions from conventional kerosene were completely avoided. Even with the small amount of CO2 released during combustion in the engine, DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo still achieved carbon neutrality through carbon offsetting.

Carbon offsetting refers to any activity that compensates for any emission of carbon dioxide. In this case, the two companies said they were using a reforestation project to offset the small amount of CO2 emitted, making the flights completely carbon neutral.

Call for sustainability

With the push for sustainability becoming more urgent, companies are striving to look for innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint, particularly within the transport and logistics industry.

DB Schenker CEO Jochen Thewes said in a statement that DB Schenker is already further ahead than many think when it comes to climate protection in air freight, as demonstrated with the first CO2- neutral freight flight in history.

He also announced that DB Schenker and Lufthansa will begin offering regular carbon neutral service in summer 2021

“With the start of the 2021 summer flight schedule, DB Schenker will offer greenhouse gas-neutral air freight as a regular product,” Thewes said.

DB Schenker said the aim of the cooperation is, among other things, the regular exchange of information and the promotion of environmentally friendly technologies such as SAF.

The two companies combine the start of their first CO2-neutral flights with a call to shippers, logistics providers, airfreight carriers and also politicians to work together on expanding production and infrastructure and thus improving the availability of sustainable aviation fuel.

Source: DB Schenker

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