Dubai-listed Aramex sets science-based target to cut emissions by 2030

Courier company joins SBTi initiative as part of its sustainability strategy towards net-zero carbon

A delivery staff member wearing a protective mask unloads parcels from a vehicle outside Aramex office amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, in Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank July 19, 2020. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma
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Dubai-listed Aramex will set its greenhouse gas emission reduction target in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Middle East's largest courier company said it will join the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to significantly cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as part of its sustainability strategy to reduce its environmental impact, prevent climate-related risks, decrease energy consumption and ensure that its progress towards net-zero carbon is aligned with climate science, it said in a statement on Sunday.

SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the UN Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the Worldwide Fund for Nature, which defines and promotes best practices in science-based target-setting and independently assesses companies’ goals.

"Signing the commitment with SBTi is proof that we are further strengthening our commitment to driving our sustainability agenda forward and broadening our approach to environmental responsibility through science-based targets," said Raji Hattar, chief sustainability officer at Aramex.

"Companies in the transport and logistics industry have a major role to play in reducing harmful emissions and support countries to reach their GHG emission targets."

Aramex joins more 1,000 companies that are working with the SBTi to reduce their emissions in line with climate science as the world seeks to transition to a zero-carbon economy.

Aramex's move also comes after the UAE unveiled an ambitious strategic initiative to reduce its carbon emissions by 2050.

Under the “net zero by 2050 strategic initiative”, which aligns with the Paris Accord of 2015, the UAE will invest Dh600 billion ($163bn) in clean and renewable energy sources in the next three decades.

It comes in a crucial year in the fight to protect the planet, with the UAE building momentum before the Cop26 climate talks in the UK next month.

The UN-backed Paris Agreement seeks to limit global warming to “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels by reducing carbon emissions to net zero.

Aramex believes its environment goals could also ripple through its own supply chain.

“Beyond reducing our carbon emissions, we also want to create a positive impact by empowering our peers, suppliers and other stakeholders to follow and take on an active role in protecting the environment," Mr Hattar said.

In 2020, the company exceeded its 2016 goal of reducing emissions per shipment by 20 per cent, it said. This was underpinned by Aramex’s investments in renewable energy and electric vehicles, it added.

Global transport emissions increased by less than 0.5 per cent in 2019, compared with 1.9 per cent annually since 2000, owing to efficiency improvements, electrification and greater use of biofuels, according to the IEA.

However, transportation is still responsible for 24 per cent of direct carbon emissions from fuel combustion. Road vehicles – cars, lorries, buses and two and three-wheelers – account for nearly three-quarters of transport CO2 emissions.

"Emissions from aviation and shipping continue to rise, highlighting the need for greater international policy focus on these hard-to-abate subsectors," it said.

Updated: October 10, 2021, 10:00 AM