Emissions and energy

HHLA has reported on its carbon footprint regularly since 2008 as part of the international Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The CDP is a non-profit initiative that manages one of the world’s largest databases of corporate greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of institutional investors and makes this information available to the public.

HHLA calculates its CO2 emissions on the basis of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard (revised edition), a global standard for recording greenhouse gas emissions. Within the HHLA Group, emissions mainly relate to CO2. These are primarily influenced by throughput and transport volumes, services provided by the Group’s own locomotives and the use of electricity from renewable sources. In line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, electricity procured separately from renewable sources was classified as carbon-neutral in the calculation of specific emissions. For the calculation of absolute emissions, the CO2 emissions, which are lower due to the use of electricity from renewable sources, are shown separately. The power needed by a depends largely on the number of seaborne containers it handles and the number of containers transported over land by rail and truck. HHLA uses seaborne and onshore throughput in containers as an effective indicator to determine specific CO2 emissions in line with the recommendations of the European Economics Environment Group (EEEG). The recommendations of the EEEG working group are also taken into account in the Global Logistics Emission Council (GLEC) Framework 2.0. HHLA has set itself the target of reducing specific CO2 emissions – the CO2 emissions per container handled – by at least 30 % by 2020. The 2008 figures serve as the baseline here. This aim was already achieved during the reporting year with a value of 31.7 %. Specific CO2 emissions fell by 3.9 % in 2018 as compared with the previous year.

A three-year average showing annual trends in specific CO2 emissions forms part of the targets agreed with the Executive Board. This is taken into account when determining Executive Board remuneration. A target range has been set for this criterion. Achieving this triggers the payment of the relevant bonus.  Corporate governance, remuneration report

Changes in specific CO2 emissions since 2008

Climate protection target: 30 % reduction by 2020

Direct and indirect CO2 emissions

in thousand tonnes

Absolute CO2 emissions decreased year-on-year by 7.4 %, or 15,542 tonnes, to 193,156 tonnes, excluding 22,812 tonnes of CO2 emissions from the purchase of electricity generated using renewable energy sources. The significant decrease in absolute CO2 emissions is partly due to switching electricity supplier for most locations in Germany and the associated change in the emission factor. Electricity-related emission factors at locations outside of Germany where HHLA operates its own terminals were also updated. The increased use of Metrans’ own traction fleet of environmentally friendly electric multi-system locomotives is reflected in the 23.9 GWh increase of traction current consumption. At the same time, CO2 emissions for decreased from 85,136 tonnes to 68,567 tonnes as the emission factors developed in a much more environmentally friendly manner. Despite the moderate increase in throughput at the four purely container-based terminals operated by HHLA, the CO2 emissions there decreased by 6.2 % in the reporting year – excluding the use of electricity from renewable energy sources – reducing the figure by 6,054 tonnes to 91,898 tonnes.

Energy efficiency was further increased by a variety of projects conducted at the various HHLA companies. A wide range of measures were launched to this end during the reporting period. Improved yard planning and the needs-oriented management of energy-consuming components and lighting systems were implemented.

Direct and indirect energy consumption












Consumption of natural gas, traction current and district heating in 2018 is based on preliminary and estimated figures.


Electricity without traction current

Diesel, petrol and heating oil in million l











Natural gas in million m3











Electricity1 in million kWh











thereof from renewable energies











Traction current in million kWh











District heating in million kWh











A long-term increase in the percentage of electricity used within the Group’s energy mix will enable the company to utilise more renewable energies and thereby substantially reduce its carbon footprint. HHLA is therefore converting more and more of its equipment and machinery at the to electricity. Such equipment and machinery produces fewer emissions and less noise and is also easier to service. The electricity required by all office buildings and workshops in Hamburg occupied by HHLA, the Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA), the all-electric yard crane system, the at the Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) and for the rail gantry cranes at the Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) comes from renewable energy sources. In the reporting year, additional quantities of renewable energies were procured, largely to compensate for CO2 emissions from the operation of a CHP unit. In the year under review, these measures reduced CO2 emissions by 22,812 tonnes (previous year: 26,246 tonnes). A photovoltaic system at the Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) installed and operated by the energy supplier Hamburg Energie Solar produced 117,370 kWh (previous year: 103,590 kWh) of CO2-free electricity in the reporting period.

Energy-efficient equipment, systems, machinery and processes not only reduce local emissions, but also have economic benefits. With this in mind, HHLA pays particular attention to the use of energy-efficient, low-emission machinery and equipment when it makes new and replacement . In 2018, the fleet of all-electric cars grew to 81. HHLA’s electric vehicles are powered by renewable electricity and are a quiet, low-maintenance solution that do not generate any local emissions. The electric vehicles cover a distance of some 500,000 km each year, which reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 160 tonnes.

Work to modernise the fleet at the Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) continued with the order of two new straddle carriers. These straddle carriers are equipped with innovative hybrid technology and, due to their extremely low emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, they make an important contribution towards reducing emissions of harmful substances at the container terminal. Metrans acquired its 40th multi-system locomotive in the reporting period, completing a series that began with the order of the first Bombardier locomotive in 2014. Multi-system locomotives of this type are specially designed to deal with variations in supply voltage and train protection systems across Europe. This makes international rail traffic more efficient.

In addition, the computer-aided optimisation of container storage positions minimises the distance travelled by transport equipment, thereby reducing energy consumption and noise pollution and increasing productivity. Resource usage is improved by cleaning used hydraulic oils and diesel fuels from tanks on site and reusing them.

Consumption of traction current within HHLA has risen markedly in recent years due to a significant increase in the use of the company’s own traction fleet in rail transportation. In addition to cutting-edge multi-system locomotives, the engine driver’s style can influence the amount of traction current used. In order to improve this aspect, a training programme for energy-efficient driving was developed and launched for engine drivers in 2017. The first success of this training programme was seen in the reporting year. A higher average weight, in combination with cutting-edge, energy-efficient multi-system locomotives, also helped to achieve a 3.4 % reduction in traction current consumption as compared with the previous year.

In the reporting period, the energy management system in place for all HHLA companies in Germany and Poland with significant energy consumption was successfully recertified according to DIN ISO 50001:2011.


The action of a locomotive pulling a train.


In maritime logistics, a terminal is a facility where freight transported by various modes of transport is handled.


The action of a locomotive pulling a train.


In maritime logistics, a terminal is a facility where freight transported by various modes of transport is handled.

Portal Crane (Also Called a Rail Gantry Crane or Storage Crane)

Crane units spanning their working area like a gantry, often operating on rails. Also called a storage crane when used at a block storage facility, or a rail gantry crane when used to handle rail cargo.


Payments for investments in property, plant and equipment, investment property and intangible assets.

Straddle Carrier (Also Called a Van Carrier or VC)

A vehicle used to transport containers at the terminals. The driver manoeuvres their straddle carrier into position above a container and lifts it up. The vehicles can stack containers up to four high.