Sustainability Report 2017

This leaf is green! Are you?





Environmental sustainability at Kuehne + Nagel is based on the principle of providing practical and effective solutions to address environmental challenges for both our customers and ourselves. Setting and implementing global environmental policies, management systems, and tracking and maintaining key performance metrics enable Kuehne + Nagel to continually integrate and drive environmental sustainability throughout the organisation.

Our Commitment

Kuehne + Nagel has been making continuous progress towards reducing the environmental impact of our logistics services and associated processes. In 2010, Kuehne + Nagel’s commitment to environmental sustainability was formalised with the introduction of the environmental policy. This global policy, still in effect today, was among the first policy from a global logistics service provider with a framework of measurable results. It is a comprehensive statement of Kuehne + Nagel’s environmental commitment with a focus on preventing pollution at the source. Environmental sustainability is integrated into each of the four business units globally to ensure consistency and innovative environmental thinking.


Environmental Management System

Kuehne + Nagel has an extensive global environmental management system in place to identify, track, and manage relevant information indicative of corporate-wide environmental performance. These include management systems that cover a full range of environmental compliance and performance metrics relevant to Kuehne + Nagel operations, including the following elements: 


  • Environmental compliance management 
  • Climate change management 
  • Energy management 
  • Air quality management 
  • Waste management 
  • Water management 
  • Biodiversity management 

Information and performance data on a majority of these programme elements are tracked and reported through corporate reporting systems such as the Global Facility Carbon Calculator (GFCC) and the Global Transport Carbon Calculator (GTCC). Kuehne + Nagel QSHE reports published periodically include environmental performance data at the facility, division, business unit, and corporate levels, and are reviewed by executive management for performance. This enables Kuehne + Nagel to monitor and identify successes, risks, and opportunities for improvements and reductions worldwide.


Performance Review 2017

Kuehne + Nagel continued to improve its performance on environmental activities. 2017 performance is based on the global environmental data system GFCC. Annual sustainability targets support us to track progress. We plan ahead, with objectives set for the period up to 2020, ensuring that we have clear medium- to long-term goals.



Performance (2017 vs. 2016)



Case study

E-freight initiative creates a
paperless end-to-end environment

Per year, more than

tons of paper documents are being processed, as per iata, that is …
… the equivalent of

Boeing 747 freighter aircrafts filled with paper!


Environmental sustainability at Kuehne + Nagel is based on the principle of providing practical and effective solutions to address environmental challenges for both ourselves and our customers. Setting and implementing global environmental policies, management systems, and tracking and maintaining key performance metrics enable Kuehne + Nagel to continually integrate and drive environmental sustainability throughout the organisation.




Climate Change

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions have been a priority for a long time at Kuehne + Nagel. In addition to managing direct emissions, Kuehne + Nagel has a track record of improving energy efficiency at its facilities and offers a wide range of innovative products to support customers improve energy efficiency and reduce the company’s carbon footprint.


This includes setting corporate GHG emission reduction goals and policies, which complement the efforts of our 2020 environmental strategy. 


History of Climate Change Reductions
Kuehne + Nagel understands that the impacts and reduction efforts associated with greenhouse emissions require long-term commitment as the effects of both cannot be realised in only one year. Therefore, implementing reduction initiatives have been a key priority to Kuehne + Nagel. The company’s GHG management strategy includes a rigorous accounting system to generate an annual inventory of worldwide emissions. This process and the associated GHG emissions reported from 2010 to 2017 were validated by an external third-party consultant. Since 2010, the global Kuehne + Nagel inventory has been developed, maintained and third-party verified by Kuehne + Nagel’s ISO/BVC accredited party in accordance with GHG Protocol and the European Norm EN 16258. The table below shows the 2016 – 2017 results.

  Metric Unit 2017 2016 Change in %
Carbon emissions*
CO2 total 000' tons 202 208 –3
CO2 per FTE tons 2,907 3,134 –7
CO2 per 100 m2 tons 1,971 2,420 –19

     Kuehne + Nagel started with public environmental reporting since 2012.
  * CO2 is for Scope 1 and 2 emissions (mainly fuel from owned trucks and electricity consumed in our premises).
**  A site in Kuehne + Nagel is defined as all operated facilities with >15 employees and floor space > 800 m2.



The total GHG inventory encompasses the company’s diversity and complexity. A total of approximately 700 sites** including warehouses, offices, and distribution centres within Kuehne + Nagel's operational control is accounted for in the current inventory. This includes both Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) emissions as categorised by the GHG protocol. Based on the GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard, Kuehne + Nagel has been working on developing a Scope 3 emissions inventory. While emissions could be estimated for most Scope 3 upstream categories, Kuehne +Nagel places a high value on sound science and decision-making. Also, it has elected not to publicly report Scope 3 GHG emissions due to a significant, unverifiable level of uncertainty in emissions estimate.


Carbon Emissions Reduction Goals

Kuehne + Nagel is very proud of the progress achieved so far. In the area of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Kuehne + Nagel has met the proposed reduction goals established in 2010, a global target that is part of our 2020 environmental strategy to reduce relative carbon emissions by 15 per cent per FTE and 15 per cent per 100 m2 from 2010 – 2020.


In 2017, Kuehne + Nagel reduced its CO2 emissions by 7 per cent per FTE and 19 per cent per 100 m2. The achieved reduction exceeded our goal due to the use of effective emissions control, and successful efforts by the employees to become more energy efficient. Kuehne + Nagel is currently working to establish their next carbon emissions reduction goal(s).

Energy Efficiency

At Kuehne + Nagel, energy management is global, comprehensive, and extends beyond energy efficiency efforts in warehouses and buildings. It is a team effort guided by the global environmental policy. Energy management responsibilities are coordinated by the corporate energy team established in 2017. The team involves personnel from purchasing, QSHE, facility management and real estate. Each department provides cross-functional contributions, ensuring that


  • energy efficient technology is in use,
  • opportunities are identified in the design process,
  • renewable energy opportunities are realised and financed, and
  • data is tracked routinely and consistently by facilities.

Evaluating Energy Performance Progress

Kuehne + Nagel collects and analyses data on energy consumption and energy efficiency project metrics to


  • track progress toward corporate energy and carbon emissions goals,
  • identify opportunities for improvement,
  • benchmark against past performance, and 
  • identify best practices that can be applied across global operations. 

All operating locations and other locations larger than 800 square metres report energy consumption and energy costs to the Global Facility Carbon Calculator monthly. Data is analysed quarterly at each facility, business and functional unit, and at corporate levels. Every six months the data is reported to the Kuehne + Nagel management.

  Metric Unit 2017 2016 Change in %
Electricity total Million kWh 426 455 –6
Electricity per FTE kWh 6,114 6,816 –10
Electricity per 100 m2 kWh 4,146 5,298 –22
Natural gas total kWh 188 191 –2
Natural gas per FTE kWh 2,712 2,875 –6
Natural gas per 100 m2 kWh 1,839 2,234 –18

Kuehne + Nagel started with public environmental reporting since 2012.



Case study

Investing in renewable energy
at Kuehne + Nagel Singapore

Per year, more than

kg of CO2 emissions are avoided …
… the equivalent of

trees in Singapore.



 Group's total energy 426 million kWh, from which 15% or 66 million kWh is from renewable sources.


Investing in Renewable Energy

Kuehne + Nagel is investing and installing onsite renewable energy at its own operations and continues to expand and collaborate with external partnerships. As per the GHG Protocol, Kuehne + Nagel considers electricity consumption in the definition of renewable energy and it's excluding other energy sources such as Natural Gas and LPG, therefore currently 15 per cent of the global energy used in Kuehne + Nagel facilities is from renewable sources. The following examples highlight our sustained effort:



Average Renewable Energy purchased (globally)



In 2017, Kuehne + Nagel


  • received the LEED Gold certification and the BREEAM certification in several facilities in Europe, Asia and North America,
  • launched an internal communication platform on “myKN” to exchange best practices and environmental topics, and
  • conducted energy audits as scheduled based on ISO 50000 and the ISO 14001 Standards.

Waste and Recycling

Waste management is an important component of Kuehne + Nagel’s environmental programme. Our waste management standard applies to all locations. In addition, they fulfil corporate expectations and provide the framework that is required to manage all types of waste from the time when it is produced until it is reused, recycled, treated or disposed of. This standard sets a baseline for several core waste programme elements and encourages waste minimisation and recycling whenever possible. 


Recycling, Reuse, Treatment and Disposal 

All waste recycling, reuse, treatment, and disposal practices are required to comply with applicable regulations and the Kuehne + Nagel environmental policy, which also includes establishing profiles of waste streams, content identification, and labelling. Waste management practices and technologies are required to be approved by the QSHE organisation where the emphasis is on using only the most environmentally safe and appropriate waste management practices available. 


Ensuring Waste Compliance

The Kuehne + Nagel Waste Management programme requires each location to assign an Environment Champion who is responsible for ensuring that employees receive appropriate waste training. Corporate QSHE globally administers the waste training for the coordinators. Compliance with all Kuehne + Nagel facilities and other regulated waste requirements are evaluated by means of the Quality Audit Tool (QAT).



  Metric Unit 2017 2016 Change in %
Waste recycled
Waste total 000' tons 394 492 –20
Waste recycled 000' tons 313 401 –22
Waste recovered 000' tons 55 59 –7
Waste landfill 000' tons 26 31 –16
Recycling rate % 79 82 –4

Kuehne + Nagel started with public environmental reporting since 2012.



Setting Waste Goals and Evaluating Progress

Kuehne + Nagel has been setting total waste reduction goals since 2010. Using 2010 as a base year, Kuehne + Nagel set a 2020 target to reach 75 per cent of all waste to be recycled. In 2017 the Group's exceeded this goal and achieved a recycling ratio of 79 per cent of the total waste. Specific goal period achievements are highlighted in the table above (numbers in 000’ tons).


Total waste is tracked and reported globally by disposal types: waste to landfill, waste recycled and waste recovered.


Understanding our Water Footprint

Reducing water consumption and improving water quality are important elements of Kuehne + Nagel’s environmental programme. As a result, we continue to actively manage and work towards reducing our corporate water footprint. Kuehne + Nagel’s water management provides a global framework including both general and specific elements for water management within the company. The standard requires Kuehne + Nagel operations to manage water resources by understanding water consumption, comply with regulatory requirements, implement systematic conservation and reuse, and report water usage. 


Water resources include water intake, effluent water discharge, and rainwater.


All Kuehne + Nagel sites currently track and report water usage. Although Kuehne + Nagel does not have a quantitative goal, conservation efforts indicate a 5 per cent decrease in water consumption globally in 2017. Water conservation efforts have been achieved through recycling/reuse and improvements to our buildings and operating processes. The majority of our water-intensive operations are located in the United States and Europe in areas that are not subject to water stress or water scarcity. However, they also contribute significantly to our conservation efforts.

  Metric Unit 2017 2016 Change in %
Water total Cubic meters 980,124 1,033,137 –5
Water per 100 m2 Cubic meters 10,003 11,998 –17
Water per FTE Cubic meters 14,790 15,439 –4
Water recycled Cubic meters 31,865 30,994 3
Ratio recycled % 3.2 2.9 10

Kuehne + Nagel started with public environmental reporting since 2012.



Biodiversity and Ecosystem

Enhancing and preserving biodiversity are important values in Kuehne + Nagel’s effort to protect its physical environment. We have been working to preserve biodiversity both on our property and through our support and cooperation with local communities.


Biodiversity at Kuehne + Nagel 

When developing property, the planning process begins with a thorough evaluation of local soils and geologic conditions, ground water and hydrology characteristics, drainage, flora and fauna and items of archaeological or historical significance. The resulting design seeks to comply with all known local, state or federal regulations and to avoid or minimise negative impacts on natural resources.


We have focused on maximising the efficient use of existing space, and wherever possible, on renovating premises to meet our current and future business needs. This allows the Group to grow while minimising its impacts on biodiversity and natural resources.




Case study

Implementing the LED roadmap

of our facilities (warehouses and offices) are covered with led, which equals …
of LED, we have implemented worldwide in 2017.


Kuehne + Nagel’s facility management directly manages one of the biggest real estate portfolios in our sector worldwide. In 2017, our most significant sustainability project was the LED roadmap. Here, the main focus is to upgrade the existing lighting systems in our premises to LED, both in warehouses and offices. The first benefit of using this new technology has been an immediate and substantial reduction in energy consumption. In this way, we have been able to reduce CO2 emissions, besides resulting in considerable economic savings for our company.



 * Implementing the LED roadmap requires different approaches, depending on whether the facilities are owned or leased (majority). Sometimes assistance is given by the main real estate partners (landlords), but more often we take the initiative ourselves to implement LED by devising a specific roll-out process in each country.