We are living in exciting times! As the most important partner for retailers, parcel and delivery services are operating in a booming growth sector that is characterised above all by the megatrends of globalisation, digitisation and the personalisation of services. This is presenting all parties involved with new challenges, especially with regard to the development of infrastructure and personnel.
Nonetheless, we are convinced that opportunities outweigh the risks. Together with you, our Hermes stakeholders, we are looking to continue to actively shape progress in line with the motto of this sustainability report – Networked Action. And this current report is a contribution to the increased appreciation of logistics as the guarantor for the proper functioning of retail and public life. In short, the CEP and transport industry is behind much of what we do every day and on which we can, of course, rely.
This makes it all the more important for logistics companies in particular to accept their responsibility. As part of the Otto Group, Hermes is a pioneer: sustainable management is part of our tradition and DNA at Hermes. Since the 1990s, sustainability has been an integral part of our day-to-day business and has become an indispensable part of our operational activities.
The many initiatives and measures we promote and advance as a company are not there for their own good, but serve to create value for our company. Much of what we do is an investment in the future, because as the Hermes Group we want to continue to grow successfully, creating secure and attractive jobs for our employees. In order to secure our economic success in the long term, we adopted a clear sustainability strategy at an early stage with the mandate ‘Hermes - WE DO!’, committing ourselves to a policy of continuous improvement in all aspects of our business.
1. Reducing CO2, noise and pollutant emissions in delivery
through flexible and customer-oriented services. Our goal is to reach the customer even more frequently during the first delivery – this not only saves additional journeys, it also reduces emissions. By 2025, deliveries to the inner-city areas of Germany's 80 largest cities are to be completely emission-free. As early as 2018, Hermes will successively introduce around 1,500 electric transporters to the fleet in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Vans.
2. New solutions for deliveries in urban areas
focussing on city centre deliveries. Today, 70% of the people in Germany live on just 12% of the land space. Logistics companies are therefore called upon to work with retailers, municipalities and local authorities to create alternative delivery options, e.g. via ParcelShops, parcel box systems or microdepots. In ‘Urban Blue’, Hermes has a holistic concept for this. This is the only way to ensure compliant deliveries to city centres in the future despite the continued strong increase in consignment volumes in the cities.
3. Fair and attractive working conditions
Our employees are the key players in our business development. Inspiring and developing them is an essential goal. This applies not only to our 15,300 employees worldwide, but also to employees working for our service partners. This includes working to ensure that all parties involved along the logistics chain are treated fairly and are adequately remunerated. To ensure this, Hermes is the only logistics company to maintain an external audit system, which is has been doing since 2012. This is continuously adapted and optimised to meet current requirements.
4. Positive contribution to society and politics
As part of a large family-run trading group of companies based in Hamburg, we would like to play an active role in society, making a positive contribution. We do this by supporting a variety of social initiatives, such as Hanseatic Help or Die ARCHE with financial and voluntary contributions and services.
As the Hermes Group, we have committed ourselves to global goals, most of which we implement in regional projects. The guiding principle behind this is to be effective where our business takes place and where we are closest to our customers. For us, sustainable management means above all acting with foresight. We are currently in the middle of the largest future and investment project in our company history in Germany. With clear investments in infrastructure and services, we want to position Hermes as a future-oriented and particularly customer-centric company.
In addition, we have launched an early awareness campaign to raise appreciation of the value of parcel delivery services. In the run up to Christmas 2017, we were the first in the industry to agree volume limits in consultation with the major retailers in the interests of providing reliable quality, while at the same time adjusting our prices in line with market developments. We invested revenues primarily in higher wages, directly benefiting delivery staff on the so-called ‘final mile’.
This was a correct and courageous step, for which we received a lot of support from you – from the market, from clients and customers, and from the press and the public. This has shown that success and progress depend on courage, transparency and collaboration.
I am delighted and very proud that this third Hermes sustainability report is the first fully digital report we have published. This gives us the opportunity to constantly update our progress from this point. Thank you for accompanying us on this journey and measuring us against our actions. We know there is still a lot to do - please support us with your suggestions and criticism. Many thanks!
I trust you will have an insightful and informative read!
Sincerely, Olaf Schabirosky