Lufthansa Cargo, DB Schenker, Lenovo: air transport without any CO2

Lufthansa Cargo, DB Schenker, Lenovo: air transport without any CO2

Lufthansa Cargo, DB Schenker, Lenovo: air transport without any CO2

The SAF covered flight after the arrival in Frankfurt. Picture credit: Lufthansa Cargo/Oliver Roesle
CO2-neutral cargo flights, is that even possible? DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo say yes! On January 11, 2022, they welcomed Lenovo, the global provider of hardware technology, as a new major customer. 

Lenovo is now flying 20 tons of freight a week from Shanghai (PVG) to Frankfurt am Main (FRA) – an important step towards greener supply chains. The magic term is Sustainable Aviation Fuel, abbreviated SAF. SAF is obtained from organic waste, for example from used cooking oils. The CO2 emitted by the engines is exclusively that which the plants, which are used to produce edible oil, have extracted from the atmosphere during their photosynthesis. The SAF is refined from the resulting organic waste. 

In April 2021, DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo launched the world’s first regular full charter connection between Frankfurt and Shanghai covered by SAF. The joint offer will be continued throughout the winter flight schedule. By opting for the SAF flights offered by DB Schenker in cooperation with Lufthansa Cargo, Lenovo saves around 20 tons of conventional kerosene per flight per week and thus 62 tons of greenhouse gases (CO2 e well-to-wheel). In addition, the approximately 16 tons of CO2 e that occur during the manufacture and transport of the SAF, the so-called upstream emissions, are offset by compensation measures. Overall, complete climate neutrality is achieved, the companies explain. 

According to DB Schenker, the new partners are pleased to be able to reduce greenhouse gases by 78 tons per week thanks to the alternative aviation fuel. The CO2-neutral cargo flight is the only regular full charter connection in the world that is 100 percent covered by SAF. The transported products are laptops, notebooks and PCs for private and corporate customers. 

Thorsten Meincke, Board Member for Air and Sea Freight at DB Schenker, was correspondingly enthusiastic: “Our unique SAF full charter flights help companies to make their shipments more sustainable. Lenovo is a key customer for this groundbreaking initiative and is an example of shippers embracing and realizing a real shift towards greener transportation. We look forward to more pioneers who want to decarbonise their transport with us.” 

Gareth Davies, Head of Logistics at Lenovo, explains his company’s motivation: “Sustainability is critical to our business and our mission to create smarter technologies for everyone. We are proud to continue to improve our offerings by working with DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo. It is of enormous relevance for both companies and private individuals to take measures for more sustainability. We are excited about this new partnership.” 

It is also important for Lufthansa to show with the new major customer that its own strategy is the right one. Ashwin Bhat, Board Member for Product and Sales at Lufthansa Cargo, puts it this way: “Our alliance with DB Schenker to avoid CO2 emissions is gaining more supporters. A growing number of customers recognise that we need to work together across industries to achieve our common goal. Only together can we make a difference. We are doing pioneering work with our SAF flights.” 

It is gratifying that major players in air freight are committed to ecological transport, this example should set a precedent! 

Hermann Schmidtendorf, Editor-in-Chief

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