Statement from the Chairman of the Executive Board
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In keeping with our business model based on accountability and a more long-term approach, we express our commitment to sustainability with innovative technology and efficient production processes, as well as value-oriented management and socially exemplary measures. We believe it is our ongoing task and duty to reach the sustainability targets we have set ourselves.
In order to achieve sustainable success, companies must deal with economic, environmental and social issues. Our sustainability strategy defines ten fields of activity in these areas. We are continually working on our most important field of activity, which consists of joining shipping and rail networks to form transport links that excel, both economically as well as environmentally. To this end, we have made significant investments in locomotives, carriages and hinterland terminals. This not only secures freight for our seaport terminals, but also helps transfer transport from road to rail with the corresponding positive impact on environmental and climate protection. In 2002, operations began at our first rail terminal that could handle block trains with a total length of 700 metres. Since this time, rail’s share of container-hinterland transport has continued to grow strongly. This is one of the reasons why the Port of Hamburg is now the world’s most important rail port – with all the positive effects for our environment that this entails.
We have also set ourselves ambitious environmental and climate protection targets for the production processes at HHLA’s port facilities. High-tech and automation – two key terms at our terminals – lead to energy-efficient processes and exceptional use of space. The electrification of our plant and machinery is a cornerstone of our climate protection programme. It allows us to replace diesel-powered devices and equipment with electric devices and equipment, which we can power using renewable energy. Whereas in 2008, there were no electric storage cranes in use at the Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB), eight electric storage blocks were in operation by the end of 2015. Work to add a further four storage blocks was commenced in mid-2015. We also now have the largest e-vehicle fleet of any European port with 70 electric vehicles.
These measures also help us achieve the ambitious savings target we set ourselves for reducing carbon emissions. Based on our 2008 figures, we aim to reduce CO2 emissions per container handled by at least 30 percent by 2020. At the end of 2015, we had already achieved a reduction of 29,5 percent. By steadily increasing the level of automation, however, we have not only reduced greenhouse gas emissions but also achieved a significant reduction in noise emissions. For a port as close to the city as Hamburg is, this aspect should not be underestimated.
The high added value ratio at our various locations means we make a considerable contribution to the respective local economies. We currently operate in eleven countries and around one third of our employees are based outside Germany. This brings the topic of sustainability in our added value chain even more clearly into focus.
However, our understanding of sustainable business is not restricted to our port and intermodal activities. For over 130 years, HHLA’s real estate experts have been taking care of the unique collection of buildings in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt historical warehouse district. The Speicherstadt’s addition to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites is confirmation of our strategy to continue developing and conserving the area, whilst safeguarding its historical and cultural heritage.
The prerequisite for success is education. To meet its social responsibilities, HHLA supports a variety of educational projects that focus on maritime economics and environmental topics.
Operating in a sustainable manner also means recognising the responsibilities we have towards our staff. We meet our responsibilities with the highest occupational health and safety standards, exemplary employee benefits and a comprehensive education and training programme. Our modern collective labour agreements also offer social stability and allow a work-life balance in keeping with today’s needs. Our employees are the foundation upon which we can build our long-term success.
Chairman of the Executive Board