Our 2030 environmental targets

Working to evolving international frameworks and aligning to the targets to which we have committed via the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), we have set the following tangible targets for 2030:

■    33% absolute reduction of total emissions (scopes 1, 2 and 3) against 2019 baseline
■    100% renewable energy, maintain 100% renewable electricity in all Contract Logistics locations
■    Zero Waste to landfill
■    Maintain 10% water consumption reduction (vs. 2019)



The four key levers to decarbonise

Customer engagement
Supplier collaboration
Low-carbon fuels, renewable energy and technology
Data and analytics

Starting at home: Reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions

Emissions coming from our own fleet of trucks or the natural gas or electricity used to operate our offices and fulfilment centres are both the easiest to measure and reduce as they are in our direct sphere of control.

As higher levels of transport sector activity resumed in 2022, so did scope 1 emissions from Kuehne+Nagel's company cars and own trucks increase by 22% to 137,000 tonnes CO2e. At the same time, emissions from offices and fulfilment centres decreased significantly thanks to Renewable Energy Certificates and on-site photovoltaic (PV) installations. With the electrification of our own fleet of trucks and investments in renewable energy, described in more detail as the report continues, this positions us on a trajectory to meet 2030 targets.

Scope 1 and 2 emissions

in tonnes CO2e

Sustainable and efficient energy initiatives

Both evaluation and management of energy performance play a key role in the reduction of building emissions and, as such, are coordinated on a corporate level, with collection and analysis of energy consumption data (gas and electricity) at all sites. Locations report monthly consumption (along with water usage, waste to landfill and recycling efforts) in the Global Facility Carbon Calculator (GFCC). A major achievement of 2022 was the replacement of the GFCC 1.0, enabling strategic target setting, more transparent, more accurate and automated reporting.

While overall electricity consumption decreased by 1% in 2022, electricity intensity (electricity consumption per FTE and per 100 m2) decreased by 4%. Natural gas consumption also decreased 7% compared to 2021.

Making the transition from fossil fuels, Kuehne+Nagel continues to favour a cleaner electricity mix thanks to Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and on-site photovoltaic (PV) installations and is proud to report that 100% of Contract Logistics fulfilment centres globally were powered by renewable electricity in 2022. All sites combined, this figure sits at 99%. Contributing to this are 69 sites with PV modules, allowing for a peak capacity of 50MWs. Together, these measures allowed significant progress towards the company-wide transition to 100% renewable energy for all sites by 2030. Given the fact that energy sources such as Natural Gas and LPG are not considered ‘renewable’ as per GHG Protocol, the overall renewable energy share currently sits at 64%, seeing a further increase of 15% compared to 2021.



Energy consumption


Our ambition is to support customers and suppliers with the right solutions


98.4% of Kuehne+Nagel's emissions are created in our value chain (scope 3).

Direct emissions

■  Company cars
■  Road Logistics trucks
■  Buildings (gas/fuel)

Scope 1

Kuehne+Nagel scope 1+2:
0.22 million tonnes CO2e | (2022)

Indirect emissions

Electricity for buildings (our offices and operated fulfilment centres)    

Scope 2

Kuehne+Nagel scope 1+2:
0.22 million tonnes CO2e | (2022)

Other indirect emissions

Suppliers' emissions for Air, Road and Sea Logistics

Scope 3

Kuehne+Nagel scope 3: 13.95 million tonnes CO2e | (2022)


Kuehne+Nagel scope 1+2+3 emissions:  
14.17 million tonnes CO2e (2022)

Emission data from recent mergers and acquisitions (incl. Apex Logistics) not included. Consolidation and re-setting of baseline to be conducted in 2023.

Scope 3 emissions – Our journey to decarbonisation

Asset light, Kuehne+Nagel’s business model is one that partners with a global network of suppliers to offer the most sustainable solutions on the market at any one time, as outlined in the Value Chain section. That means more than 98% of our GHG emissions fall into the scope 3 — other indirect emissions — bracket.

While Sea and Air Logistics are the main contributors to Kuehne+Nagel’s financial results, they are also the largest source of scope 3 emissions, with approximately 12.3 million tonnes of CO2e being generated by logistics services via sea and air during 2022 (accounting for more than 85% of total emissions). Scope 3 emissions from Road Logistics accounted for almost 12% total emissions in 2022.

Overall, emissions decreased during the reporting year compared to 2021. A combination of factors contributes to this, including a slight decrease in total volumes in Sea Logistics and a slowing of the air logistics market during the second half of the year. In addition, data from recent mergers and acquisitions (including emission data from Apex Logistics, one of the leading Asian freight forwarders being renowned for their air logistics services) have not been integrated in the 2022 emission reporting. These data gaps will be closed during the 2023 reporting year.

Furthermore, improvements in our CO2e emission calculation methodology for Road Logistics where we have moved from a high-level towards a more granular approach using the latest standards and frameworks, have led to a decrease in Road Logistics emissions.


Resetting our baseline

The full integration of emission data from recent mergers and acquisitions will be a priority for the 2023 reporting year, in order to fully account for our total carbon footprint. Consequently, and as we will continue to align with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) this will require resetting our baseline. Once all the sectoral guidance from SBTi is available, this may also include re-assessing our long-term targets.


Water conservation

Water is recognised as a precious utility at Kuehne+Nagel. As such, its usage is tracked and reported across sites and most of our water intensive operations are located in the US and Europe in areas that are not subject to water stress or water scarcity. Cleaning of crates for re-use, along with domestic cleaning and washing of vehicles represent some of the heaviest water usages. Water conservation efforts are in place to reduce and reuse water consumed, allowing the company to report an overall reduction of 30% since 2019.

Kuehne+Nagel can report an overall 30% reduction of water consumption compared to 2019.


megalitres water consumption


megalitres water consumption


megalitres water consumption


megalitres water consumption

Zero Waste

As a contract logistics service provider, Kuehne+Nagel offers freight forwarding services, but also operates warehousing activity on behalf of its clients. Divided into ‘inbound’ and ‘outbound’ activity, packaging — be it made from wood, cardboard or plastic — represents potential for waste generation.

As such, waste management is another key component of our environmental programme. Waste data is collected on site and recorded in a central database on a monthly to bi-monthly basis. Whilst our activities in sustainable packaging for outbound activities were reinforced (see the following section), this year saw our attention also turn to internal waste in the form of inbound packaging.

In 2022, we continued to move towards our 2030 target of zero waste to landfill with 75% of all waste being either recycled (58%) or recovered (17%), and an overall decrease in waste volume of 19%. Overall, waste sent to landfill decreased by a further 10% compared to 2021.

In 2023, and with the global roll-out of Global Facility Carbon Calculator (GFCC)  2.0, we are going to further improve our data collection system to capture waste data and waste composition more accurately.

In 2022, we reduced waste sent to landfill by 10%

tonnes of waste to landfill
tonnes of waste to landfill
Our Online Report showcases a selection of ESG topics. For the full report, please download the pdf.