Reporting 2021

Sustainability Management

Sustainable action and forward-looking change have for a long time been part of our DNA as a logistics service provider. We understand sustainability as a continuous process that requires not only the definition of goals and their committed implementation, but also that we constantly question ourselves and rethink familiar assumptions. Because it is not only the demands we place on ourselves that are increasing. More than ever, companies are called upon not only to accept their role in sustainable change, but to actively shape it. It is therefore only logical that, as a traditionally high-emission sector, industry – and that means we, too, as a logistics company – must take decisive steps if we are to meet globally set targets in the fight against climate change. This was one of the reasons why we opted in 2020 to have our new climate protection target validated by the independent Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Reducing and managing our own as well as upstream and downstream supply chain emissions is of central importance for a company in our industry – but these are not the only topics at the focus of our sustainability management. Respecting human rights along the supply chain and ensuring comprehensive occupational safety for our employees – at all times, in all places – are just two major issues that harness our attention and ambition. In similar measure, developments in the global economy present us with challenges. The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect global supply chains, and the much-discussed chip shortage is also having a significant impact on our business.

While we respond to such changing conditions and acute events as a matter of course, our long-term ambition is to balance economic performance, social commitment and responsibility for the environment. Considering our business activities from all three perspectives helps to shape our decisions and create a holistic understanding of opportunities, challenges and correlations. Ultimately, we want to act responsibly in all we do.

Our commitment builds on the three pillars ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL, and ECONOMIC. The fields of action mapped to each pillar specify where and how we exert influence and bring about sustainable change. In doing so, we look beyond our own corporate horizon and consider the entire supply chain. In addition, we are guided by government and supranational targets such as the climate neutrality goals of the German federal government and the EU, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. With regard to the latter, we focus on nine selected goals that are particularly closely linked to our business activities and that we feel a shared responsibility for implementing. For a general overview of sustainability at BLG LOGISTICS see the graphic in the Our Sustainability Approach section. More detailed information is available in the Materiality Analysis section.

Controlling and responsibilities

Responsibility for monitoring, improving and implementing our sustainability management lies with our central Sustainability and Digitalization department, which also prepares this report. The synergies between these two areas are aimed at specifically promoting innovations that benefit processes, business development and sustainability in equal measure. This is where the sustainability-related activities from the AUTOMOBILE and CONTRACT Divisions are clustered, and the department is also responsible for calculating our energy and CO2 footprint and supporting cross-divisional energy management. The team acts as an interface and generates important impulses and ideas, driving sustainability throughout the company. Of particular importance in this connection is the development and introduction of sustainability targets and the selection of appropriate standards. The central department reports directly to the CEO.

The Human Resources department, represented on the Board of Management by our Labor Relations Director in the reporting year, is responsible for the aspects of social sustainability and specifically the interests of our employees. Employee participation is crucial for comprehensive sustainable action – which is why we rely on feedback and dialog. Our staff are given regular opportunities for feedback to the organization and management, for example, under the umbrella of our culture change initiative #SuccessDependsOnEverybody – although the Management Board was unfortunately unable to stage its planned roadshow in 2021 due to the coronavirus. This makes the possibilities for digital exchange offered by our WE ALL@BLG employee app all the more relevant. For more information about employee topics and BLG as an employer, please refer to the SOCIAL section.

In order to anchor our sustainability topics even more firmly in the future and to ensure cross-divisional exchange, we established the Sustainability Board in the reporting year. Representatives from the Sustainability and Digitalization, Legal/Compliance, Purchasing, Financial Services/Investor Relations, Risk Manage ment, Human Resources, Safety & Environment as well as Quality and Environmental Management departments meet quarterly in this newly created framework to discuss goals, developments and new requirements relating to sustainability issues and to transport these topics into the organization as a whole.

Values, guidelines and management systems

Our corporate values committed, respectful, passionate, responsible and open to change not only define our shared culture – they also provide orientation for our sustainability management. More specifically, we have defined a set of guidelines that reflect the legal and ethical standards to which we feel bound. In 2021, we reviewed each and every one and updated or expanded them as necessary. The catalog was supplemented by a policy statement on human rights. In this way, we not only want to provide our employees with a reliable framework for their actions, but also clearly communicate our standards along the entire supply chain. Our overarching compliance system ensures adherence to legal rules and ethical principles.

Our sustainability strategy is also flanked by tried-and-tested management systems, many of which are certified. These relate to quality management, environmental management, energy management, and occupational health and safety management. A management system is also in place for compliance and is currently being established for human rights. More details are provided in the relevant sections.

We detail the main elements of our corporate governance structures in our (autoid: Corporate Governance Statement pursuant to Section 289 a of the German Commercial Code (HGB). This focuses on the corresponding statement by 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. For more information, see the Financial Report 2021.

Recognitions and rankings

BLG Handelslogistik is a member of the Advisory Board of the Lean & Green non-profit initiative. Having received the Lean & Green Award in 2015, we in the meantime rank among the Lean & Green 1st Star winners in recognition of our significant reduction in CO2 emissions in recent years. We again received accolades in the reporting year, with Capital magazine and the statistic portal Statista also naming us one of Germany’s “Climate-conscious companies”. Of the more than 2,000 companies surveyed each year, we currently finished in 33rd place for 2022, improving by another 16 places compared to 2021. Among the companies from the logistics sector, we achieved the best rating.

We also consider it important to regularly engage independent external agencies to evaluate our sustainability performance and again in 2021 achieved another silver CSR rating from EcoVadis. We are among the top 25 percent of the companies evaluated by EcoVadis and within our industry even belong to the top 13 percent. For the first time in the reporting year, we disclosed our emission data to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Level “C” ranking corresponds to the industry average – here, as in all areas relating to sustainability, we are looking to continuously improve.

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 an 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 our development.

With many of them, we are in regular or frequent contact, attaching particular importance to satisfying our customers’ needs. We communicate with them closely and as partners – especially where we supply customers directly in our branch offices or even work on their sites. The implementation of joint major projects or development of new logistics locations also provide an opportunity to obtain very focused feedback and valuable insights on the issues that concern them.

Another equally important stakeholder group is our employees. That is why two-way communication with them and incorporating their expectations into our decision-making is vital. To help us do this, we conduct the TRUSTED LEADER alternately with the TRUSTED EMPLOYER survey. In the reporting year, the latter was conducted – enabling us to establish how far our corporate values are lived and anchored in the day-to-day work of our employees.

We are in close and ongoing contact with the City of Bremen, our majority shareholder, in various contexts – for example in the reporting year through the first Bremen Commission of Inquiry on “Climate Protection Strategy for the State of Bremen” and our participation in the Port Dialog, which aims to develop a new concept for the ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven. We also use other channels for dialog tailored to specific target groups to communicate with other key stakeholder groups. These are shown in the above graphic. We are also fortunate in that 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. Our 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.

Important memberships in associations, organizations, and initiatives

  • Central Association of German Seaport Operators, 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)
  • Mobility2Grid e. V., Berlin
  • Taskforce “Nachhaltiger Schwerlastverkehr” of the German Energy Agency(dena), from 2022

To prepare ourselves to meet the many global challenges we face, we need not only investment and innovation, but above all cooperation. The transformation will only succeed in the time available if we work together – which is why we are involved in associations and professional circles. Our CEO Frank Dreeke has been Chairman of the Central Association of German Seaport Operators (ZDS), one of the most important interfaces between the port sector and the political arena, since 2016. Furthermore, he is also a member of the Presidium of the German Transport Forum (DVF) and of the Managing Board of the German Logistics Association (BVL). In the reporting year, Jakub Piotrowski, Head of Sustainability, Digitalization and IT, assumed the role of spokesperson for the newly established BVL “Nachhaltig gestalten” (“Shaping sustainability”) topic group. From 2022, BLG LOGISTICS will also be a member of the steering committee of the German Energy Agency’s (dena) task force on sustainable heavy goods transport.


Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

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

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