Reporting 2020

Sustainability Management

A sustainable, resource-saving way of conducting business is central to our DNA and is firmly anchored in our corporate strategy. We consider the quality of our services, our innovative drive and our practiced responsibility toward employees and the environment as essential factors for our long-term success.

This conviction has not changed. A number of major challenges require society – and us as part of it – to act sustainably at all levels. Climate change, growing competitive pressure in a globalized business world, fiercer competition to attract the best talents and coping with a pandemic are just a few of them. For us, sustainability means more than making green gestures. We aim to balance economic performance, social commitment and responsibility for the environment. By taking all these aspects into account, we gain a holistic understanding of the opportunities, interdependencies and challenges that we face across all areas and levels of the company. We are guided in this by government and supranational targets such as the climate neutrality goals of the German federal government and the European Union or the Paris climate protection goals. We also incorporate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our sustainability management and focus on eight selected goals that are particularly closely linked to our business. You can find out more in the Materiality Analysis section.

Management and responsibilities

Our central Sustainability and Digitalization department is responsible for monitoring, improving and implementing our sustainability management. Through the close links between these two areas, we aim to achieve synergies and, above all, drive innovations that not only boost our business and the underlying processes, but also have measurable sustainability benefits. Among other things, the department brings together our sustainability activities in the AUTOMOBILE and CONTRACT Divisions and is also responsible for preparing our annual Sustainability Report. In addition to this, it calculates our energy and CO2 footprint, and supports cross-departmental energy management. What’s more, the team also generates important impulses and ideas, driving sustainability throughout the company. One particularly important aspect in this connection is the formulation and implementation of sustainability targets and the selection of appropriate standards. For example in the reporting year, the department was in charge of overseeing the validation of our climate protection target set in 2019 by the independent Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The central department reports directly to the CEO.

The Human Resources department, represented on the Board of Management until February 2020 by our Labor Relations Director, and with effect from July 1 by his successor, is responsible for the aspects of social sustainability that focus on the interests of our employees. We are aware that in order to practice sustainability consistently across all areas of the company, it is essential to get all employees on board. For this reason, we are continuing to drive our cultural change and under the motto #SuccessDependsOnEverybody invite our employees in workshops and surveys to help shape our company and fill our values with life. One important aspect of this is our shared leadership principles, which we roll out across the company in our training program TAKE THE LEAD. In the reporting year, we reviewed this process through supervisor feedback in the form of the voluntary TRUSTED LEADER survey. For more information about employee topics and BLG as an employer, please refer to the SOCIAL section.

Management systems, certifications and recognitions

Our sustainability strategy is supported by a number of certified management systems. At most of our German and foreign locations we are certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001 for our quality management and additionally according to VDA 6.2 at our automotive locations. Our commitment to the environment is reflected in our environmental management system, which is certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 14001. This system has been implemented since 2014 at all our German auto terminals and transport centers in the AUTOMOBILE Division as well as eight more centers in the CONTRACT Division and is improved on an ongoing basis. In the meantime, we have established an energy management system compliant with DIN EN ISO 50001 at a total of 26 locations in the CONTRACT Division. In the AUTOMOBILE Division, energy audits according to DIN EN 16247 were carried out in the reporting year. In the future, our centrally managed cross-divisional energy management is to be facilitated by the use of a universal software solution. The BLG LOGISTICS GROUP with the central Safety and Environment department, as well as BLG Cargo Logistics are certified in accordance with the occupational health and safety management system DIN EN ISO 45001.

Our retail logistics business area has been a member of the Advisory Board of the not-for-profit initiative Lean & Green since 2013 and in 2015 we received the Lean & Green Award. Due to the significant reduction in CO2 emissions in recent years, we are now among the Lean & Green 1st Star winners. Capital magazine has also named us one of Germany’s “Climate-conscious companies 2021” on the basis of a study conducted jointly with the online portal Statista, ranking us 49th, and thus the highest placed logistics service provider, among the 2,000 companies surveyed.

We regularly engage external agencies to evaluate our sustainability performance and again in 2020 as well as in 2021 achieved another silver CSR rating from EcoVadis. Our high points score places us among the top 25 percent of the companies evaluated by EcoVadis and in the meantime we belong to the top 13 percent within our industry.

Values and guidelines

Our corporate values such as commitment, respect, passion, responsibility and openness to change form the basis of our corporate culture. Accordingly, our sustainability management follows these principles. We have also defined the legal and ethical standards that serve as our orientation in a number of policies and guidelines. We are currently reviewing these in order to more clearly communicate the requirements we place on our own employees and on external partners. Making sure our standards are applied along the entire supply chain is particularly important to us in this context. These adjustments are based on the continuous refinement of our compliance system, which is designed to ensure adherence to legal rules and ethical principles.

We detail the main elements of our corporate governance structures in our Corporate Governance Statement which simultaneously constitutes the corporate governance statement of the Board of Management pursuant to Section 289 a of the German Commercial Code (HGB). This focuses on the corresponding declaration of the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board and significant actions taken by the management that go beyond the statutory requirements. It also explains the procedures of the Board of Management and Supervisory Board as well as their composition.

In dialog with our stakeholders

When formulating our goals and the focus of our sustainability management, we strive to take the interests of all stakeholders into account in a balanced and appropriate way. For us, this includes all persons or groups, both inside and outside the company, who are directly or indirectly affected by our business activities now or in the future and therefore have an interest in BLG’s development.

With many of them, we are in regular or frequent contact. Satisfying their needs is one of our top priorities. Accordingly, we communicate with them closely and as partners – especially in those branch offices where we supply customers directly or even work on their sites. We also receive very focused feedback on the issues that concern them whenever we work on joint major projects over a longer period of time or develop new logistics locations for them. In addition, on several occasions in recent years, we engaged external experts to identify locations in dialog with our most important customers.

Another equally important stakeholder group is our employees. That is why two-way communication with them regarding their expectations is vital. Therefore, we conduct the TRUSTED LEADER survey described above alternately with the Trusted Employer survey, which helps us to establish how far our corporate values are lived by everybody on a daily basis.

Important memberships in associations, organizations and initiatives

  • Central Association of German Seaport Operations, Hamburg
  • German Logistics Association (BVL)
  • German Transport Forum, Berlin
  • Business Association Wirtschaftsverband Weser, Bremen
  • Company Association Unternehmensverband Bremische Häfen, Bremen
  • German Freight Forwarding and Logistics Association, Berlin
  • Logistics Alliance Germany, Berlin
  • AKJ Just-in-Time Working Group
  • Charta of Diversity
  • Awards Association Träger­gemeinschaft Bremer Diversity Preis
  • Work-life balance initiative berufundfamilie®
  • Lean & Green
  • Partnership of Environmental Enterprises (PUU)

We also use other channels for dialog tailored to specific target groups to communicate with other key stakeholder groups. These are shown in the adjacent graphic. Nearly all groups of key importance to us are represented on the Supervisory Board via representatives from industry, banks, the workforce, labor unions and the public sector. The Advisory Board is made up of scientists specializing in sustainable logistics, process innovation in logistics and junior management training as well as representatives from business, trade associations and media.

In 2016, our CEO Frank Dreeke was elected Chairman of the Central Association of German Seaport Operators (ZDS). The ZDS represents some 180 companies providing maritime cargo handling services in the ports of northern Germany. This makes it one of the most important interfaces between the port sector and the political arena. Furthermore, Frank Dreeke is a member of the Presidium of the German Transport Forum (DVF and of the Managing Board of the German Logistics Association (BVL). In the latter function, he spoke on the topic “Sustainable Organization – Winning the Next Decade” at the digital BVL congress in the reporting year. This and other networking events also serve, among other things, to communicate our understanding of sustainability to the entire industry and, conversely, to learn from other market participants.


Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

More about BLG’s fields of action, SDGs and sustainability strategy.

To SDG journey