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ENGELBERG, CH: Peter Somaglia is a logistics executive and co-founder of the Swiss-based emissions calculator service CarbonCare. Despite the increasing use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), lightweight ULDs, digital airwaybills, carbon offset programmes and aircraft fleet renewals, he’s not convinced the air cargo sector is fully onboard with Sustainability - beyond the need to ‘sustain’ profits:


As government regulations evolve and public support to fight climate change increases, the logistics and transportation industry is looking for new strategies to offset the negative impact on the environment. All together, the industry is the second largest culprit in terms of CO2 emissions (24 percent) after Energy and Heating according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Only 2.8 percent of global emissions are coming from air transport with air cargo accounting for 0.7 percent. Even if such figures are lower than you would expect, they still have a strong impact on the environment, and in the last few years air cargo players have been committed to reduce it with the orchestration of a variety of measures.

However I think we are only at the beginning, not only in air cargo, but in the whole logistics and transportation industry. Governments and businesses worldwide have just started to take sustainability seriously. I expect the ‘wave’ to become really tangible in the next few years.

The IEA has forecast that global logistics will have the largest share of CO2 emissions by 2050 (40 percent) if we do not take corrective measures.

Regardless the provisions set by international agreements like the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Paris Agreement (2015), the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere keeps rising - which will have catastrophic consequences.

The precondition for improvement is an effective, realistic measurement of your footprint. Measurements do not reduce emissions of course, but they allow you to take the right counteractions to reduce the impact.

Of course transparency is also key if we want to make some progress. Some logistics companies are now integrating CO2 calculators on their websites and even including CO2 production measurements in their annual reports.

Our customer’s carbon offset is certified by Swiss non-profit organization myClimate, one of the leading environment protection organisations. Through the offset mechanism, myClimate finances the additional costs that arise, for example, when renewable energy sources are used instead of fossil fuels. This price depends on the scope of the project, the technology used and the country in which the project is carried out.

The funds are primarily used in developing and newly industrializing countries to replace fossil energy sources that are harmful to the climate with renewable energy sources or to implement energy-efficient measures. In this way, the same amount of climate-impacting emissions is ‘compensated’.

Besides air cargo, CarbonCare can be used for road, rail, sea and inland waterways, and the calculation method (based on the EN16258 standard) also includes emissions from cargo handling and transportation of cool cargo.

So its added value is almost unique as a logistics and transportation calculator, including the energy mixes from different countries for rail transport. In the case of air cargo, for example, the footprint of a shipment can be calculated door-to-door, not just airport-to-airport.

In order to promote CarbonCare on a global scale, we are partnering with companies that share our values and long-term visions for the industry. IT solutions provider Cargo Start’s strong focus on innovation makes it the ideal partner in the Italian market. In fact, its experts are not only reselling our tool, but they can also provide support when it comes to sustainability related matters.

I believe sustainability goes hand in hand with innovation, not only in the air cargo industry but in general. Innovation is the key to find new technologies that will help us achieve the common goal of making sustainability the new standard.

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