Our Environmental Commitment
In Aramex, we take our commitment to the environment seriously, which is why we ensure that, even though we are part of the transportation industry, we actively measure and manage our impact. From raising awareness of our employees on environmental issues, to converting our fleet and packaging material to incorporate more sustainable options, to surveying our supply chain to ensure environmental compliance, we are actively following up on our environmental commitments. Moreover, in 2013, we spent 3 million USD over the last two years on environmental investments and expenditure.
This was an important year in terms of compliance for Aramex, and in that spirit, we have worked and continue to work on expanding our compliance and policies to include environmental considerations. This includes updating our sustainable procurement policies, adding questions pertaining to environmental management on our supplier evaluation questionnaire. Moreover, in cases where the suppliers do not have environmental management systems or controls with them, we will work to help them implement them.
Our adherence to our environmental objectives and policies ensured that we did not receive any non-compliance fines or sanctions in 2013 related to the environment, nor did we receive any environmental grievances.
Given our type of industry, our measurable and significant impact lies on the environment in the carbon emissions that result from delivering services to our customers and the transportation of our workforce. To that end, we take an active effort in measuring, reporting and managing our carbon footprint, in order to minimize this impact. Our carbon footprint includes emissions resulting from our employee commuting and from our operations and services. However, we are aware of the responsibility we have to consider the impacts of climate change on our operations and surroundings.
We have been and still are committed to finding measures to reduce our energy intensity and carbon footprint, from being one of the first companies in the region to measure our footprint, to joining the WEF’s working group on the decarbonization of the logistics industry. We are aware of the risks that climate change poses to our operations and surroundings. From uncertainty related to environmental and energy governmental policies and regulations, to insurance covers and customer needs and concerns.
Upcoming carbon taxes as well as increase in fuel prices pose increased financial burden on our operations. Moreover, there is an ever-increasing need to invest in renewable and alternative energy and technologies, which, due to regulatory uncertainty, have an indeterminate return on investment.
Changing trade routes mean having to explore different methods to deliver our services in an efficient and timely manner, while keeping our cost minimal. Furthermore, erratic weather events, such as the snow storms that caused closings in London, Amman and New York, caused delays in our operation. The risk of increase of such weather events due to climate change presents us with a challenge in managing our operations despite them.
Moreover, being a light-asset based company; we rely on our suppliers, from airlines, sea liners and land freight operators. Therefore, we do not control our emissions across our entire supply chain. While we are incorporating measures related to supplier evaluation in order to assess suppliers’ environmental management efforts, it does leave some uncertainty and additional burden on our footprint if our suppliers do not impose the same controls we thrive to have.
However, given our company culture, we aim to find opportunities to better our approach to climate change and these challenges, from thinking ahead in terms of customer needs and regulations, to working both internally and externally to reduce our footprint; we are actively seeking ways to manage our impact. To that end, we have implemented several measures of environmental compliance, from added supplier evaluation and certifying our own stations to exploring renewable energy options, fleet upgrades and increasing operational efficiency. We are active in anticipating risk and finding creative solutions to minimize it.
Carbon Footprint Data Management
Aramex takes pride in being the first company in the region to calculate and report on its carbon footprint. We have been members of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) working group tasked with creating a framework for the decarbonization of the logistics industry. In the same spirit, we are continually seeking to expand on improving on the accuracy and scope of our carbon footprint calculations in order to develop the most effective carbon reduction and management plans. To that end, Aramex deployed a Carbon footprint management system, which allows for effectual, timely and accurate data delivery and management. This is a system that is developed in-house to meet Aramex’s needs fully. By doing so, we can identify any data gaps, trends in our carbon footprint and expand on our scope more effectively to capture the full frame of our emissions.
Our Carbon footprint
For the fourth year in a row we have taken active steps to measure and manage our carbon emissions. We report our emissions based on the World Economic Forum’s working group accounting tool- The GHG protocol. The GHG Protocol is the most widely used framework through which businesses, governments and other organizations quantify their emissions. The GHG protocol tools allow us measure our emissions as CO2 equivalent, which is the unit used for the global warming potential of each of the six GHG represented as a unit of CO2e. Moreover, we measured and reported our energy consumption within our operations for 2013, which related to our direct and electricity emissions.
Aramex’s energy consumption and intensity
For 2013, our electricity consumption per shipment was 0.84kwh/shipment and our fuel consumption per shipment was 0.39 liters per shipment As per the Protocol, we have broken down the various direct and indirect components of our gross emissions into three scopes:
|Global Emissions Breakdown||TCO2e|
GHG emissions-Scope 1
Fuel (38358 tCO2e) Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions generated by Aramex-owned and operated vehicles. Aramex produced 38,358 tons of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) emissions from fossil fuels (including CH4 and N2O) in 2013. These were generated directly by Aramex-managed, owned and leased vehicles using diesel and unleaded fuels purchased from local private or public petrol stations. The figures used to calculate these results were provided. 2013 marked a year of growth in our operations; this growth was accompanied by an increase in fuel consumption and thus our scope 1 emissions. This increase is a direct result from the increase in the number of shipments and expansion of our operations.
GHG emissions-Scope 2
Electricity (22,078 tCO2e) In 2013, Aramex produced 22,109 tCO2e of emissions from electricity generation, comprising actual CO2 emissions from electricity use, as well as CH4 and N2O emissions. These are the result of electricity consumption from heating, cooling, lighting, and technology use in our offices and warehouses across the globe. Aramex purchases electricity that is provided by local companies or governmental entities.
GHG emissions-Scope 3
Business travel (1,106 tCO2e) In 2013, Aramex employees generated 1,106 tCO2e of emissions from business travel, compared to 1,000 tCO2e in 2012. The reason behind the increase is the fact that our operations expanded and our employees grew by 2 percent. As part of our commitment to reduce our emissions, we adhere to utilizing video conferencing whenever possible to cut down on business travel.
Commuting (20,202 tCO2e) In 2013, our commuting footprint increased at the same level as our employee numbers. Aramex employees generated 20,202 tCO2e of emissions by commuting to and from work, based on data obtained via an employee survey in 2012 that asked around 50 percent of our employees to identify their precise method of transportation and travel time. This rise was also a direct result of the 2 percent increase in the number of employees. Our efforts to reduce these emissions include engaging our employees through periodic training programs on environmental sustainability, as well as being vocal about our environmental concerns. We have developed and distributed a Green Office Handbook designed to educate employees on the company’s ecological footprint and encourage them to adopt practices that will minimize their carbon emissions, both at work and at home. We also provide a shuttle service for our facilities in Jordan and Dubai. At our Dubai Logistics City facility, the shuttle transports employees between the facility and the nearest Metro station.
Express shipments and freight consignments (45852 tCO2e) In 2013, Aramex shipments and freight consignments produced 45,852 CO2e of emissions, according to data obtained from our operations and IT departments. The rise since 2012 was due to increases in the number and weight of shipments, as well as the inclusion of new stations in the consolidated data. We are utilizing new and improved technologies to minimize driving hours and are promoting land freight as an alternative to air and sea transport, as this significantly reduces emissions. However, due to political occurrences beyond our control, namely the crisis in Syria and uprisings in surrounding areas, which has limited our routes and resulted in border closures, we had to shift some of our land freight to the more carbon-intensive air freight in order to deliver to our customers and provide to and from the region.
Emissions per shipment For 2013, our emissions were 13.5kg of CO2e per shipment; moreover, we had 0.000541kg of NOx and Sox per shipment. This calculation takes into account all of our three scopes. We only had a 1% increase in emissions per shipment from our base year which was 2012. However, our scope 1 (fuel) emissions per shipment decreased in 2013 by 0.5%, while our scope 2 (electricity) emissions per shipment decreased by 7%. While we expanded our operations and warehouses, we were able to maintain our emissions per shipment. However, most significantly, due to instability in the region, most notably the Syrian crisis, we had to shift our shipping modes from land to the more carbon intensive air freight in the affected areas and borders, which resulted in a slight increase in emissions.
NOx, SOx and other emissions The amount of NOx and SOx released by our operations in 2013 was 21580.28 Kg. These emissions resulted from the use of fuel in our vehicles. Furthermore, we do not produce, import or export any ozone depleting substances in our operations.
Reduction in energy consumption Electricity reduction due to LEED Our station in Amman, Jordan is currently in the commissioning phase of its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. However, from the initial year, we began to notice large reductions in our energy use in this station. Since we moved to the new stations in 2013, our electricity consumption declined by 93% per square meter.
Reduction of GHG emissions While our operations grew, we were able to reduce our Scope 2 emissions by 4%. This is a result of several initiatives put in place during this year, from the Greenzilla competition’s focus on electricity reduction (which is halfway completed), to incorporating LEED and ISO 14001 environmental management systems in our facilities. We are actively seeking measures to reduce our energy use and emissions and are keen to continue this trend in the coming years.
Investing and utilizing of renewable energy in our operations is part of Aramex’s long-term plan. The integration of renewable energy into our energy mix has proved challenging due to the lack of available and efficient technology, as well as the ambiguity and instability of related policies. However, we continually investigate opportunities to incorporate renewable energy in our operations where available and where possible.
Shipment Carbon Footprint Calculator
Aramex is in the process of rolling out a carbon footprint calculator for our customers, allowing them to calculate the emissions associated with their shipments. This calculator will assist our customers in managing the carbon footprint along their supply chain, while giving them different options to help them make more environmentally-friendly shipping decisions. This also gives us the chance to look at our emissions on a shipment level, which provides another level of detail and accuracy in how we manage our emissions and provides our stakeholders with transparent information related to our operations.
This year, we launched the Greenzilla award, an internal environmental competition between the Aramex entities. The focus of the competition will change every year, covering an environmental theme, from electricity use to printing to employee commuting. Greenzilla is a way for all Aramex employees to take the lead in applying environmentally friendly practices to their surroundings. The theme for 2013-2014 is electricity consumption, and so far, Aramex employees have come up with creative ways to raise awareness on the issue and reduce consumption. To that end, different Aramex entities are using a combination of awareness materials and trainings, employee volunteering (Green Champions), and switching smart energy appliances in order to bring down their consumption. From the first month, we began to see a change in consumption. Aramex stations are becoming familiar with their consumption behavior and are engaged in attempting to understand these trends, the impact of energy on the environment. It is within this internal motivation that we are seeing a difference in the awareness of environmental issues.
Within months of initiating the competition and starting this conversation internally, employees began to look further towards other ways they can be environmentally friendly, whether at the office or at home. In order to support our employees, we revamped and distributed the Green Office Handbook. We also make a point of distributing sustainability tips via email and our internal communication network. We began to notice reduction in energy consumption in a number of our entities; the competition results will be shared with the network in April 2014.
The Green Champions program at Aramex is an environmental awareness and stewardship program. The Green Champions are employees that volunteer to work alongside our sustainability team to raise awareness related to the environmental impacts of our operations. Green Champions are tasked with assisting with goals related with the reduction of resource consumption (Greenzilla) and coming up with employee- led ideas and initiatives to ‘green’ our offices and stations. The program is in its pilot phase in Amman, and is planned to expand across the network within the next two years.
This year, two of our warehouses in Egypt received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification. Moreover, we are currently in the commissioning phase of the LEED Certification process for our facilities in Amman and Dubai.
In 2013, we renewed the ISO 14001 certification for Environmental Management Systems, for two of our facilities in Amman. We were also able to certify four more facilities during this year in Muscat, Cairo, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Below is a breakdown of our station certifications. With the addition of these facilities, we were able to reach our goal of certifying six of our facilities this year.
|Certification||Certified in 2013||Renewed in 2013||Total Certified Entities|
Currently, 22 of our facilities are IS0 14001 certified.
Moreover, 20 of our facilities are OHSAS 18001 certified, and 33 are ISO 9001 certified.
Where possible, we continue to update and convert our fleet to more environmentally friendly vehicles, including Low Emission Vehicles as well as complying Euro 4 and Euro 5 vehicle emissions standards.
Moreover, we continue to utilize vehicles that rely on natural gas to further reduce our emissions. Below is our fleet breakdown for 2013:
Route Management System
In 2013, we launched our route optimization software (E-Courier), which will be utilized for navigation for our couriers. This software enables plan pick-ups and deliveries using the best routes. Thus we are maximizing our efficiency in order to reduce our energy and carbon footprint.
2013 Material Consumption
In order to reduce our waste stream, since pouches are used for 99% of our shipments, we make sure that they are made from 100% degradable material. This means that these pouches have a two-year life span and degrade, therefore, reducing waste reaching the landfill. Moreover, we ensure that all our cardboard boxes and flyers are produced from recycled paper, where available.
Below is the amount of materials we used throughout 2013:
All of our materials are made of non-renewable resources since the majority are plastics.
We continue to automate our internal processes, enforce printing restrictions and encourage increased utilization of our Intranet and internal communication channels. Since 2012, we have been introducing and expanding the spread of electronic scanners in our stations to track shipments, delivery times and capture signatures, in an effort to further reduce our paper consumption.
Furthermore, our sustainable procurement policy requires that all printers must have double sided printing capabilities, while also raising awareness on responsible paper use practices in our training programs. Additionally, we strongly promote electronic shipping systems to our clients and encourage the use of small printed labels instead of large paper waybills.
The nature of our business ensures that our water consumption is restricted to domestic use for drinking and water cycles, which is paid for as a utility expense included in our facilities rent. We purchase our water from local municipalities and suppliers. Therefore, no significant water sources have been affected by the withdrawal of our water.
In 2013, our total water consumption was 184,033 m3 as per our municipal bills. We actively raise awareness with regards to water usage in the offices and stations, through our green office handbook and environmental training awareness. However, with the expansion of our facilities, operations and work force, along with the inclusion of new station, our water consumption has risen for 2013.
Our output is restricted to public sewage systems (or recycling) and does not pose any risk of pollution to local water bodies or sources. The exact quantity of wastewater we produce is not possible to measure since we often operate from commercial buildings with shared wastewater facilities. However, we reuse and recycle water where possible. For example in our station in Dubai, we recycled and reused 68% of our water which supplied 65% of our irrigation requirements in 2013.
As a service-oriented logistics company, we produce very little waste by-products. We strive to recycle waste produced in our stations. In 2013, we recycled 35,173 Kg of paper, which is the equivalent of around 500 trees.
Moreover, we do not handle or dispose of any hazardous material, and we did not have any major spills in 2013. It is against Aramex policy to transport, import or export material that is considered hazardous.
The below table shows a breakdown of our recycling for 2013:
|Type of Waste||Weight (kg)|
Moreover, we do not own or lease any land adjacent to areas that are protected or important to biodiversity in any of the locations in which we operate, and we always take the utmost care in ensuring our activities do no not harm or disturb any habitat or species in the vicinity of our operations. In this regard we are particularly sensitive to the plight of species that are featured on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List and other conservation watch lists.
Environmental initiatives from the Stations
Having a wide spread global presence allows Aramex to work on a wide range of environmental projects in our different locations. We encourage our stations, no matter where they are located, to engage with the local communities and identify long lasting projects and partnerships that will provide environmental and social benefits to those areas.
Agreement with APN
We have continued our commitment with the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature to plant tree in different parts of Jordan.
The program is aimed at increasing green spaces, promoting environmental and soil conservation. APN partners with local NGOs to educate communities about the importance of trees and vegetation for the environment, as well as providing them with economic benefits resulting from the use and sale of the produce from these fruit trees.
Through our partnership with APN, we have planted 200 trees, and are in the process of planting 600 more around Jordan.
Partnership with City Yange Foundation
Our offices in Uganda, in partnership with the City Yange Foundation, took on a project that includes social themes that engages various stakeholders, individuals, corporates, government and its affiliate bodies, schools and parastatals in cleaning up and beautifying the city of Kampala. The goal is to inspire and educate individuals and involve the community towards a greater ownership of their environment. In particular, Aramex worked to help cut down on car littering. This included sticker distribution to raise awareness. Moreover, Aramex employees were involved in city-wide clean ups.
Partnership with the UAE Department of Transport
Our offices in Abu Dhabi is working with the UAE department of transport on filing and disseminating surveys and information regarding transportation habits and needs in order to assist the city in its transport mobility management strategy aimed at reducing congestion and improve mobility options. Through our participation with the Department of Transport we are able to gauge where Aramex stands in relation to the application of sustainable approaches to transportation and commuting.
Partnership with TEMA
In Turkey, Aramex has partnered with TEMA (The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats) on a project to promote paper recycling through sustainability training given to the employees.