The shipper is aiming for a 30% reduction of its CO2 emissions by 2015.
Almost a quarter of this figure is to be achieved by the end of this year. 92% of freight forwarding is already done by sea. Annually, the shipper handles 9,000 teu of coffee beans and 22,000 teu of non-food products.
"Quite a number of our contracts with logistic providers expire in the coming months and weeks. We will negotiate new contracts on the grounds of eco-friendliness“, said Achim Lohrie, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Tchibo.
Some of the measures Tchibo is pressing for are a reduction of ship speed to save fuel; and the implementation of eco-friendly technology like the Skysails towing kite technology, which recently had its debut on a merchant vessel. The company is already in talks with owners and Skysails.
"We are making the technology subject of our contract negotiations but we are also willing to invest ourselves“, said Mr Lohrie. However, Tchibo is not revealing the names of possible contract partners.
The logistics arm of the coffee trader will try to reduce 7% of its CO2 emissions by the end of 2008 by shifting two routes which are very essential for the company from road to rail forwarding. Tchibo is already in talks with German logistics provider Deutsche Bahn and the port of Hamburg over the freight capacity they would like to run between the company’s headquarters in Hamburg and its coffee roasters in Berlin.
The conversion from road to rail on the route between Tchibo’s logistic head office in Bremen and its distribution centre in the east German town of Gallin will be not as easy. New facilities for cargo handling have to be built. "We are willing to share the costs with Deutsche Bahn“, said Mr Lohrie.
In addition, Tchibo intends to only contract logistic companies which use more fuel-efficient vehicles for on-shore forwarding. In 2008, the company is planning to invest E700 000 to E800 000 in software for optimising the routes, among other things.
In November 2006, Tchibo and the Hamburg university of technology (TUHH) launched their environmental project LOTOS (logistics towards sustainability) to explore new strategies for CO2 reduction. "We held workshops with experts last summer and we will publish a study to make the extracted knowledge available for other companies“, said Mr Lohrie. This was a condition imposed by the German ministry for environmental protection (BMU) which is supporting the project.