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The Logistics Sector - "Fit for 55" and the Global Climate Challenge: Key Takeaways

On 10 May, the Alliance for European Logistics organized the following webinar: The logistics sector - "Fit for 55" and the global climate challenge. Gathering various stakeholders of the logistics industry and the European Commission, the event aimed at discussing the post-pandemic recovery and the steps forward to meet climate neutrality by 2050.

In its keynote speech, Volker Ratzmann (Head of Corporate Public Affairs, EVP at DPDHL) shed light on the key role the logistics sector has been playing in the battle against Covid-19 but pinpointed the significant carbon footprint of the industry. Mr Ratzmann called for a joint effort from companies, citizens, politicians, and administrations to drive the transition. He also insisted on the fact that being more sustainable is a real advantage for companies due to consumers' increasing sustainability awareness. Among the shared considerations put forward by the speakers in the panel discussion, the crucial need to develop infrastructures, to adopt a systemic and holistic approach, and to decarbonize all different modes of transport was highlighted.

Clara de la Torre (Deputy Director-General for Climate Action at the European Commission) gave an overview of the upcoming initiatives under the "Fit for 55" package and emphasized the need to ensure the interoperability of solutions. Mrs de la Torre acknowledged the efforts provided by the logistics sector over the last years and recognised the complexity of the challenge lying ahead.

Regarding transport, Bénédicte de Bonnechose (Member of the Group Executive Committee for Long-Distance and Urban Transportation at Michelin) stressed the importance of multimodality and alternative fuels infrastructure. According to Mrs de Bonnechose’ s intervention, the green transition must also not overlook social aspects.

On another note, Clemence Cheng (Executive Director of Hutchison Port Holdings Limited and Managing Director/Division Head for Europe) emphasized the role that digitalization and big data can play to cut emissions, notably by improving efficiency and optimization of the supply chain. Echoing Mr Cheng’s message, Sascha Treppte (Head of Corporate Development and Strategy, duisport at Duisburger Hafen AG) raised the importance of developing partnerships and focus on stakeholder management in order to lower the carbon footprint of logistics.

The voice of a start-up was also raised via the intervention of Patrick Sluga (Managing Director at SWS PS Power Solutions GmbH). Mr Sluga shed light on the difficulty for SMEs and start-ups with regard to the different standards and the complex homologation process. He urged the EU to ensure harmonization between national laws and to put the focus on innovative technologies and products.

Torsten Albig (AEL Chair), who chaired the panel discussion, referred to a common sustainable signal sent by all stakeholders and reiterated the necessity to act jointly towards the climate neutrality goal.

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