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The global pandemic has shaken up the world – but above all it has emphasised the urgency for sustainable behaviour and actions.”

Dear readers,

When we look back on the year 2020, sustainability might not be the first thought that comes to our minds. The global pandemic has challenged economies, society, and each and every one of us unlike anything we have experienced before. Despite this, I am convinced that the past year has made the importance of creating and incorporating a culture of sustainability even clearer.

A crisis of this magnitude requires politics, the economy and society, to rethink the structures they live by, to adapt them and ultimately to make them so agile that future crisis situations can be better responded to or even be avoided. And that is precisely what sustainable action is in its truest sense: the responsible, forward-looking use of our resources and knowhow.

In economics, this aspect is often called resilience. In logistics specifically, it refers to designing and managing global supply chains that adapt to volatility of demand or markets in general – a topic which has been on the agenda of logistics experts long before the world was hit by the coronavirus.

For us at Kuehne+Nagel, resilience is an important part of creating economic sustainability for employees, customers and business partners. In 2020, this approach has proven successful in many ways: With a robust IT infrastructure enabling global web-based interactions and solid contingency management we were able to provide safe workplaces and remote working options while at all times maintaining our customer promise and safeguarding the wellbeing of our workforce. Agile processes and well-established networks have given us the flexibility to deliver goods whenever and whereever needed.   

At the same time, our focus on sustainability was unwavering. Committed to the Science-Based Target initiative and as part of our Net Zero Carbon programme we became fully carbon neutral for our own emissions in 2020, one of the first in our industry. We were also the first logistics provider to offer an integrated CO2 neutral LCL solution for all shipments in our global LCL network.

In line with our global renewable energy strategy we continuously reduce our CO2 footprint in our offices and warehouses while exploring the use of alternative energies for sea, air and road logistics together with manufacturers, suppliers and customers. Expanding our sustainable solutions offering in all areas of our service offering is part of our ambitious target of carbon neutrality for our suppliers and customers by 2030.

When it comes to social sustainability, it is our primary goal to create a sustainable and resilient organisation for the future. With our Global Diversity and Inclusion policy, set into action with our Balance and Belonging programme, we underline the organisation’s commitment to build a
culture where everyone feels they belong and has equitable opportunities.

Kuehne+Nagel is fully committed to the UN Global Compact and the UN Sustainable Development Goals underlining the ten principles of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption. This Sustainability Report (Communication on Progress, COP) outlines the integration of our actions in our business strategy, operations and behaviours. This information is publicly available.
Sustainability is the foundation to everything we do as an organisation. During the year 2020, for all its challenges, we were able to prove that. We take comfort in the achievements made and look to create more value for all our stakeholders.

As Kuehne+Nagel, we recognise our place in the world, but we are aware we do not act alone. We are part of a global ecosystem. We do our part and encourage our peers, partners and stakeholders to do the same. Therefore, sustainability is both a collaborative endeavour and a task for each of us individually.

Join in, and together, let us create a sustainable future for all of us.


Dr. Detlef Trefzger