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BASEL: Panalpina has released its first standalone Sustainability report – reflecting a goal to reduce costs and further strengthen customer relationships.

According to CEO Peter Ulber, the company’s ability to provide customers with key environmental transit data via its PanGreen programme not only builds trust but also identifies areas to reduce supply chain costs.

Panalpina peopleHe acknowledges that “many of our important customers are scrutinizing the sustainability performance of their suppliers, us included”. He adds that Panalpina will be doing the same to its suppliers “in the coming years”.

The company says it assesses potential subcontractors based on compliance, credibility, pricing, quality of service, consistency and performance. In addition, they must be willing to “engage in a cooperative partnership,” it adds. Although currently it doesn’t screen suppliers using labour practice criteria, impact on society or environmental performance, “this subject is of increasing interest and discussions are underway to implement such screening criteria in the future,” Panalpina warns.

Ulber says his company now has a business continuity plan in the event of supply chain disruption from global warming that proactively identifies vulnerable zones and circumstances: “We are confident in our ability to manage such risks and already incorporate weather-related risks into our corporate risk assessment methodology.”

Last year the company launched its first roundtrip paperless air cargo service and now operates such services to Europe, Hong Kong and the U.S. on its Atlas Air ACMI 747-8 freighters. Panalpina says it aims to replace 80 percent of general air cargo document pouches with cost-cutting e-freight by 2015.

And just in case anyone wonders why he has spent time and money on this report, Ulber explains: “We will be focused on enhancing our sustainability performance as outlined in this report, and in the policies and programmes we have put in place regarding energy, environmental, and social performance. We see these issues as supporting our goals to achieve sustainable profit and secure our position as one of the world’s top five companies in the freight forwarding and logistics industry.”

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