"The company has performed very well"
An interview with Rainer Wend, Executive Vice President Corporate Public Policy and Responsibility, upon the publication of the 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report on May 3, 2012.
Rainer Wend, EVP Corporate Public Policy and Responsibility
Mr. Wend, let's start with a general question: Have companies' views about the issue of corporate responsibility changed recently?
Rainer Wend: To begin with, you have to say that the views of customers, employees and investors have changed. They expect a commitment by companies that extends beyond mere business success - the most obvious example of this is environmental protection. Companies that fail to view corporate responsibility as part of their success will be less successful in the long run.
Let's now turn our attention to Deutsche Post DHL. Today, you released your report on corporate responsibility for 2011. How did the company perform?
Rainer Wend: The company has performed very well in just about every area. In 2011, the importance attached to corporate responsibility continued to increase in our Group - among both management and employees - and customers, investors and international organizations took note of this. Just think about our first Corporate Responsibility Day in February 2011 and the Global Volunteer Day in September, when we called on all employees around the world to pitch in. Or consider our partnership with Teach for All and the SOS children's villages that we introduced to Spain, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Madagascar, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Vietnam. Our CR Report provides a good overview about the programs and offers many specific facts.
Can you tell us about one of Deutsche Post DHL's accomplishments with CR in 2011?
Rainer Wend: For example, our fleet of yellow vehicles took on a much deeper shade of green last year: In 2011, we used over 4,000 vehicles - and thus 1,000 more than the previous year - that were powered by alternative drive systems and fuels, and that have undergone aerodynamic or engine-related modifications.
Are there areas with which your are dissatisfied?
Rainer Wend: There certainly are things that could be better. But, generally speaking, this has to do with the positive performance of our logistics business - and you cannot do anything if you do not have business success. Here's an example of what I'm talking about: If we increase worldwide express shipments carried by plane, this is very good news for the Group - but it is not such good news from an environmental point of view. After all, this means more flights and increased use of jet fuel. Such examples intensify our commitment to creating a good balance among commercial, societal and environmental goals by undertaking efforts in all divisions. As the report for 2011 demonstrates, we have achieved this balance on a high level.
You just mentioned the Corporate Responsibility Day. It is now being held for the second time. What are your goals?
Rainer Wend: We are determined to bring together as many interested people as possible in order to get more ideas and suggestions about sustainability issues for today and tomorrow as well as to submit our own projects to close public scrutiny. I am looking forward to animated, fruitful discussions with representatives from all sorts of areas. The list of participants shows just how attractive our CR Day has already become: In Klaus Töpfer, for instance, we have a respected environmental, energy and development expert serving as a speaker and discussion partner.
A CR report always looks back on the past. What are you planning for the future in your work?
Rainer Wend: We have planned all sorts of new projects for 2012 and beyond. But this work involves something more than looking at "the big picture even if it is occasionally difficult to accept this: Sustainability is a journey of small steps. No matter whether we are talking about the Deutsche Post DHL World Safety Day being planned for 2012 or the creation of additional transparency about CO2 reduction goals and the CO2 efficiency of our subcontractors in road transports. No matter whether we are talking about increasing the share of green electricity in our grids to more than 60 percent or adding partnerships with Teach for All country organizations: With a company of our size, the number of sensible and good measures alone can make a big difference. The Corporate Responsibility Day is a good example of our continuous focus on the future. Our new study "Delivering Tomorrow - Logistics 2050" is another good example. We cannot get involved in trends of the future soon enough. This is the only way that we will be able to set the right goals.