Logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL Group announced today that its DHL Express division has entered two of the largest-ever sustainable aviation fuel deals, sourcing more than 800 million liters of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) from suppliers bp and Neste over the next five years.

According to DHL, the new SAF supply agreements will enable the company to avoid approximately two million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 400,000 passenger cars, or 12,000 carbon neutral long-haul flights.

Frank Appel, CEO Deutsche Post DHL Group, said:

“As the world’s leading logistics provider, it is our commitment to provide green and more sustainable solutions for our customers. The landmark SAF deals with bp and Neste mark a significant step within the aviation industry and validate the framework of our Sustainable Roadmap. Using SAF is currently one of the aviation industry’s key routes to reducing CO2 emissions over the aviation fuel lifecycle with currently available aircraft types.”

The deals come as the aviation industry is facing increasing scrutiny as a significant source of GHG emissions, responsible for 2-3% of global emissions, with that figure set to rise dramatically over the coming decades if no action is taken. Earlier this month, investor engagement network Climate Action 100+ outlined a series of expectations for airlines to follow in order to align with the IEA’s 2050 net zero scenario, including commitments to ramp the use of sustainable aviation fuels, and to limit the growth in air travel overall.

Martin Thomsen, SVP, Air bp, said:

“We are proud to complete this important deal which further deepens our strategic relationship with Deutsche Post DHL Group. As bp transitions to an integrated energy company, we are leveraging our value chain encompassing feedstocks, global production, logistics and airport infrastructure. Not many companies also have the trading and commercial expertise in SAF, needed to design and deliver solutions for complex customer needs. Our ambition is to work even more closely with airports and airlines on decarbonization options, and we are promoting SAF at pace to support global aviation to realize its lower carbon ambitions.”

SAF is seen by market participants as one of the key tools for the industry to address its climate impact, as it generates significantly lower lifecycle carbon emissions relative to conventional jet fuel. The sustainable aviation fuel provided by bp and Neste will be produced from waste oils, which avoid the use of feedstocks which compete with food production or cause indirect land-use change.

Peter Vanacker, President and CEO of Neste, said:

“This milestone agreement, our largest ever for SAF, underlines the growing need and urgency – as well as the commitment – to act on aviation-related emissions. We are pleased to take this significant step together with DHL, which shows the joint ambitions of both companies and is further progress in our journey towards creating a healthier planet for our children.”

Scaling the use of sustainable aviation fuels forms a significant part of DHL’s Sustainability Roadmap. Launched last year, the roadmap includes a series of decarbonization and environmental sustainability commitments encompassing the introduction of more ambitious climate targets and linking executive compensation to ESG goals.

DHL’s targets include using at least 30% of SAF blending for all air transport by 2030.

John Pearson, CEO DHL Express, said:

“With every SAF deal, we are increasingly aware of the huge task that lies ahead in utilizing more sustainable solutions to help our customers. Not a day goes by without our customers asking us about low-carbon logistics solutions and to partner them in our joint aspiration to be part of creating a more sustainable future.”