Annual Report 2022


Audit with limited assurance

In order to effectively mitigate climate change, HHLA focuses on lowering its absolute CO2e emissions. By steadily increasing its energy efficiency and the proportion of renewables in its energy mix, HHLA aims to decouple handling and transport volumes on the one hand and CO2e emissions on the other.

HHLA calculates its CO2e emissions on the basis of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard (Revised Edition), an international standard for recording greenhouse gas emissions. The calculation takes into account tank-to-wheel emissions for the fuels and market-based emission factors. The emission factors for fossil fuels are taken from the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) Framework. The emission factors for electricity, for which no market-based emission factors are available, were published by the IEA (International Energy Agency). In the reporting year, the calculation was changed to CO2 equivalents (CO2e), so that in addition to the climate impact of pure CO2 emissions, the climate impact of other greenhouse gases (such as N2O) is also taken into account in the survey of CO2 equivalents. These values are almost comparable. It was decided not to adjust the greenhouse gas balance retroactively.

Within the HHLA Group, greenhouse gas emissions mainly relate to CO2. Carbon emissions are primarily influenced by throughput volumes at the port and inland terminals, rail transport volumes and the proportion of electricity from renewable sources. In line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, electricity procured separately from renewable sources was classified as locally emission-free in the calculation of specific emissions. For the calculation of absolute emissions, the CO2e emissions, which are lower due to the use of electricity from renewable sources, are shown separately. The power needed by a port terminal 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 CO2e 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 Emissions Council (GLEC) Framework 2.0.

Absolute CO2e emissions

in tonnes

Absolute CO2 emissions (bar chart)
CO2 emissions up until 2021, CO2e emissions as and from 2022

The outstanding importance of reduced absolute CO2e emissions is expressed by HHLA’s climate protection target: to reduce absolute CO2e emissions by at least 50 % by 2030 and to become fully climate-neutral by 2040 (in relation to Scope 1 and Scope 2). The base year is 2018. In a comparison between the base year and the reporting year, absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2e emissions decreased by 30.6 % to 118,241 tonnes (2018: 170,346 tonnes).

Including the use of electricity from renewable sources, which led to a 87,888 -tonne reduction in CO2e emissions, absolute CO2e emissions decreased by 5.0 % to 118,241 tonnes (previous year: 124,418 tonnes). CO2e emissions were influenced in particular by three developments:

  • The closure of Container Terminal Odessa (CTO) on 24 February 2022 as a result of the Russian invasion
  • The disruption to global supply chains resulting in very high levels of storage capacity utilisation and associated higher energy usage at the container terminals in Hamburg
  • The continuing electrification at Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA)

The Group’s gas consumption decreased significantly in the 2022 financial year by 77.5 % (from 75 to 17 gigawatt-hours (GWh), as the operation of a CHP unit was discontinued. As a result, the additional procurement of electricity from renewable energy sources to compensate for the CHP’s higher CO2e emissions also ceased. This meant that the share of renewable energies within overall electricity consumption fell to 53.4 % (previous year: 60.0 %), while the share of renewable energies within overall energy consumption rose slightly to 31.3 % (previous year: 31.0 %). While 205.4 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity was procured from renewable energy sources in 2021, this volume decreased to 190.4 GWh in the reporting year. Traction-related CO2e emissions due to the use of electric locomotives decreased by 13.8 % to 33,239 tonnes during the reporting year (previous year: 38,581 tonnes).

Direct and indirect CO2e emissions

in thousand tonnes

Direct and indirect CO2 emissions (bar chart)
CO2 emissions until 2021, CO2e emissions from 2022

Electricity from renewables was used in the following areas in the reporting year:

  • For electric rail transport conducted by METRANS companies in Germany and Austria
  • For all office buildings and workshops in Hamburg occupied by HHLA, Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA), the all-electric yard crane system at Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) and for the rail gantry cranes at Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) and Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT).
  • With regard to international investments, HHLA’s TK Estonia terminal procures electricity from renewable sources and produces electricity from a photovoltaic system constructed in the reporting year.

Trends in specific CO2e emissions

Specific CO2e emissions compared with 2008 in %

Trends in specific CO2 emissions (bar chart)
CO2 emissions until 2021, CO2e emissions from 2022

The absolute CO2e emissions of the four pure container terminals operated by HHLA fell by 3,324 tonnes to 50,258 tonnes compared with the previous year. Compared with the base year 2008, specific CO2e emissions decreased by 41.6 %. Activities organised and carried out at HHLA terminals by third parties that resulted in CO2e emissions are not included in the statistics.

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. Remuneration report and remuneration system

Certified climate neutrality

CTA in Hamburg is the world’s first certified climate-neutral container handling facility. It is largely electrified, using power from renewable energy sources. Terminal processes that still produce CO2e emissions are being gradually electrified or the transition to electricity is being field-tested. During the reporting year, the CO2e emissions of CTA were calculated by TÜV Nord in accordance with DIN ISO 14064-3:2000 and its climate-neutral status certified with the TN-CC-020 standard (which takes into account emissions from stationary and mobile combustion, like natural gas or diesel, from imported electricity, emissions from commuter traffic, and upstream chains of the energy sources used). All unavoidable CO2e emissions resulting from container throughput (including Scope 3 emissions), amounting to 11,836 tonnes (previous year: 16,073 tonnes), were offset via Gold Standard projects.

CO2e emissions for transporting a standard container to and from Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Koper within the METRANS network, as verified by the independent certification body TÜV Nord, form the basis for the climate-neutral product HHLA Pure. HHLA Pure stands for climate-neutral container transport and handling (in accordance with TÜV Nord Standard TN-CC-020; this takes into account emissions from stationary and mobile combustion, like natural gas or diesel, as well as from imported electricity). In accordance with this standard, emissions were reduced as far as possible; the unavoidable CO2e emissions of 49,457 tonnes (previous year: 45,118 tonnes) were offset via Gold Standard climate protection projects. During the reporting year, a total of 917,152 standard containers (TEU) were transported on a climate-neutral basis with HHLA Pure (previous year: 911,975 TEU). 

Measures to reduce CO2e emissions

An extensive programme to boost energy efficiency and thus lower CO2e emissions within individual HHLA companies was continued during the reporting year with a variety of measures. These include fitting and retrofitting equipment with more energy-efficient technologies such as adding another ten units to the fleet of battery-operated automated guided vehicles and replacing more of the existing lighting in open areas with LEDs.

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.
CO2e (CO2 equivalent – carbon dioxide equivalent)
CO2e is a scale unit of the climate impact of various greenhouse gases. In addition to the do-mining greenhouse gas CO2, CO2e includes other gases with a climate impact such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The values between CO2 and CO2e are almost comparable due to the energy sources used at HHLA.
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.
Standard container
A TEU is a 20-foot standard container, used as a unit for measuring container volumes. A 20-foot standard container is 6.06 metres long, 2.44 metres wide and 2.59 metres high.
TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit)
A TEU is a 20-foot standard container, used as a unit for measuring container volumes. A 20-foot standard container is 6.06 metres long, 2.44 metres wide and 2.59 metres high.
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.

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