NFR Part of the non-financial-report

Climate protection and energy efficiency

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 are also taken into account in the Global Logistics Emission Council (GLEC) Framework 2.0. HHLA had set itself the target of reducing specific CO2 emissions – the CO2 emissions per container handled – by at least 30 % by 2020. The base year is 2008. This aim was surpassed significantly in 2020 with a value of 42.8 % (previous year: 38.7 %). Specific CO2 emissions fell by 6.7 % in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Specific CO2 emissions since 2008

Climate protection target: 30 % or more reduction by 2020

Changes in specific CO2 emissions since 2008 (bar chart)

In 2019, HHLA set itself a new climate protection target: to reduce absolute CO2 emissions by at least 50 % by 2030 and to become fully climate-neutral by 2040. The base year is 2018. In a comparison between the base year and the reporting period, absolute CO2 emissions decreased by 9.0 % to 154,954 t (previous year: 170,346 t).

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. Achieving the agreed target range triggers the payment of a corresponding bonus. Corporate governance, remuneration report

Including the use of electricity from renewable energy sources, which led to a 23,787 t reduction in CO2 emissions, absolute CO2 emissions decreased by 7.3 % to 154,954 t (previous year: 167,186 t). The development of CO2 emissions at the different segments of HHLA varied. While the Container segment reported a significant year-on-year decrease in throughput volume, with a corresponding reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, transport volumes in the segment remained almost constant. The increased use of METRANS’ own traction fleet of environmentally friendly electric multi-system locomotives is reflected in the 6.9 GWh increase of traction current consumption. -related CO2 emissions remained virtually unchanged at 66,055 t (previous year: 66,312 t). Electricity from renewable energy sources is used for traction in Austria. Among the four purely container-based terminals operated by HHLA, CO2 emissions decreased due to the significant decline in throughput volumes and the continuation of projects aimed at reducing emissions. At 54,548 t, CO2 emissions decreased year-on-year by 10.8 % in the reporting period (previous year: 63,936 t). This already takes into account the use of electricity from renewable energy sources. Activities organised and carried out at our terminals by third parties that resulted in CO2 emissions are not included in the statistics.

Direct and indirect CO2 emissions

in thousand tonnes

Direct and indirect CO2 emissions (bar chart)

The Container Altenwerder (CTA), which was the world’s first container terminal to be certified climate-neutral in 2019, was recertified by TÜV Nord in the reporting period. To achieve climate neutrality, all unavoidable CO2 emissions resulting from container throughput, amounting to 19,619 t and including Scope 3 emissions, are offset via Gold Standard projects.

There was strong customer demand for the product HHLA Pure for the climate-neutral handling and transportation of containers during the reporting period. The product was certified as climate-neutral by TÜV Nord in 2019. For this product, the CO2 emissions resulting from handling and transportation within the HHLA network are offset via compensation projects.

A wide range of projects to boost energy efficiency and thus lower CO2 emissions were carried out by individual HHLA companies in the reporting period. These include the ongoing conversion to more energy-efficient technologies, such as LED lighting, the installation of energy-consuming components that can be controlled according to demand, the reduction of the maximum speed of handling equipment and the training of staff.

Direct and indirect energy consumption and supply












Diesel, petrol and heating oil in million liter











Natural gas in million m3











Electricity1 in million kWh











thereof from renewable energies











Traction current in million kWh











District heating in million kWh











District heating supply2 in kWh









Consumption of natural gas, traction current and district heating in 2020 is based on preliminary and estimated figures.


Electricity without traction current


Generated by a highly efficient combinded heat and power generation plant (CHP) based on preliminary figures

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 terminals 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 CTA, the all-electric yard crane system at the Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) and for the at the Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) and the Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) comes from renewable energy sources. In the reporting period, additional quantities of renewable energies were procured, largely to compensate for CO2 emissions from the operation of a CHP unit. During the reporting period, these measures reduced CO2 emissions by 23,787 t (previous year: 23,834 t). At the Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT), a photovoltaic system installed and operated by the energy supplier Hamburg Energie Solar produced 94,690 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 2020, the fleet of all-electric cars grew to 93 (previous year: 89). 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 over 600,000 km each year and thus reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 190 t.

In the course of switching to low-emission or locally emission-free machines and equipment, a total of 18 and (AGVs) were put into operation during the reporting period. Of the 18 vehicles, 16 are all-electric AGVs and two are low-emission straddle carriers. The two hybrid straddle carriers have a much smaller and more efficient combustion engine, combined with a large battery. Together with the electric wheel hub motors, this results in fuel savings of over 20 %. The all-electric AGVs are equipped with fast-charging lithium-ion batteries and replace the existing diesel-powered AGVs. The fast-charging AGVs are replenished with electricity at highly automated charging points. Six of these innovative charging units were installed at Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) in the reporting period. In addition to switching to low-emission or locally emission-free machines and equipment at its port terminals, METRANS continued its fleet expansion by ordering ten multi-system locomotives for use in international freight traffic within Central and Eastern Europe. One additional low-emission hybrid locomotive for heavy shunting in the Port of Hamburg has also been added to the fleet.

In addition, the computer-aided optimisation of container storage positions minimises the distance travelled by transport equipment, thereby reducing energy consumption and noise pollution. The use of retreaded tyres for various container handling equipment and the on-site cleaning and reuse of used oils also improve the utilisation of resources.

The existing energy management system, certified according to DIN ISO 50001:2011, which comprises all HHLA companies with measurable energy consumption in Germany, was adapted to DIN ISO 50001:2018, audited and certified during the reporting period.


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.

Intermodal/Intermodal systems

Transportation via several modes of transport (water, rail, road) combining the specific advantages of the respective carriers.


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.

Automated guided vehicle (AGV)

A fully automatic, driverless transport vehicle which carries containers back and forth between the container gantry cranes on the quayside and the block storage yard at the HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder.