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01/12/2017 | Deutsche Post DHL Group's climate protection project the first to be certified under the new Fairtrade Climate Standard

Deutsche Post DHL Group's climate protection project in Lesotho is the first initiative to meet the Fairtrade Climate Standard, an innovative scheme developed by Fairtrade, the most widely recognized ethical certification system, and Gold Standard, the leading certification standard for climate and development. Through this project and its support for other climate protection projects, Deutsche Post DHL Group - the world's leading mail and logistics group - is able to offset logistics-related greenhouse gas emissions for its customers as part of its climate neutral services. Fairtrade Climate Standard certification not only monitors the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions but also the societal value of the project, which promotes development in Lesotho's village communities through the use of more efficient wood-burning stoves that produce less smoke. The Fairtrade Minimum Price ensures the costs of running the project are covered, while an additional Fairtrade Premium is paid directly to the village communities to be invested in local climate adaptation initiatives. In addition to certification by Fairtrade, the Lesotho climate protection project already fulfills the criteria of both the United Nation's Clean Development Mechanism and the rigorous specifications of Gold Standard.

With approximately two million inhabitants and some 30,000 square kilometers of land, Lesotho is one of the smallest and poorest countries in Africa. The use of firewood is a major environmental problem in Lesotho. Because so many people in Lesotho still cook over open fires, the country has already lost two thirds of its forests over the last 25 years. If current use of firewood were to continue unabated, the country would be totally deforested within 15 years. Environmental consequences, such as erosion and crop failure, are already clearly noticeable. To counteract this trend, Deutsche Post DHL Group has lent its financial support to help purchase 10,000 "Save80" stoves for villages in Lesotho and supported the distribution, use and maintenance of the stoves. Each one of these stoves saves approximately two tonnes of CO2 emissions each year as compared to cooking on an open fire; this reduces firewood usage - and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions - by up to 80%. The project is being implemented in cooperation with the non-profit climate protection organization atmosfair and local partner Solar Lights. 

"Receiving independent certification in line with Fairtrade's Climate Standard is tremendously important to us," said Katharina Tomoff, Vice President GoGreen at Deutsche Post DHL Group. "As the world's leading logistics group we see ourselves playing a leading role in climate protection. This is why we implement effective carbon efficiency measures in our own operations and help our customers reduce the emissions generated by their supply chains. The project in Lesotho allows us to offer customers climate neutral shipping while, at the same time, making a positive contribution to the local community."

"The ability of small farmers and village communities to build sustainable futures and reduce poverty will depend very much on whether climate change continues unabated or not. This is why Fairtrade considers climate change such a core issue," says Dieter Overath, CEO of TransFair e.V., which represents Fairtrade in Germany. "This is also why we encourage companies to expand their commitments in the area of environmental and social responsibility, and to use the new Fairtrade Climate Standard to champion climate protection. The Lesotho project is an example of local village communities and Deutsche Post DHL Group serving as role models for others."

"We are pleased with the further development of this project," said Dietrich Brockhagen, Managing Director of atmosfair. "Climate change is a global challenge, which can only be addressed through across-the-board engagement. We therefore welcome the meaningful initiative of Deutsche Post DHL Group, which will at the same time help to protect the climate and directly improve the lives of people in Lesotho."

"GoGreen Services" is the name for Deutsche Post DHL Group's portfolio of eco-friendly products, which includes both standardized solutions and customized consulting services. To either assess or offset a customer's emissions, the Group provides carbon reports designed to help customers understand the environmental impact of their transportation and logistics activities. Customers can choose climate neutral products to offset the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their transportation and logistics activities. In 2015, Deutsche Post DHL Group transported more than two billion climate neutral shipments, offsetting some 253,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The product portfolio "Green Optimization" includes individualized logistics solutions designed to help Group customers reduce emissions in their supply chains.

Econsense

Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business e.V.

econsense is an association of leading, globally active companies and organisations of German business specializing in the area of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Founded in 2000 on the initiative of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the goal of econsense is to provide a dialogue platform and think tank, with the dual objectives of advancing sustainable development in business and assuming social responsibility.