Sustainability Report

Embracing sustainability



Kuehne+Nagel's sustainability programme embraces the elements of environmental, social and governance topics. These can be summarised with the following commitments:

  • Implement global standards and frameworks,
  • Keep the highest levels of ethics and compliance practices,
  • Ensure the health and safety of our employees,
  • Proactively address climate change,
  • Minimise the impact of our services on the environment,
  • Defined sustainability targets for corporate and regional management,
  • Give back to local communities.
Corporate Governance model

Sustainability Governance

  Meetings 2021Planned in 2022
Global Head of Sustainability 3 15
Management Board KNIGL 2 3
Sustainability Core Panel 1 8
Sustainability Sounding Board 4

The function Global Head of Sustainability provides the overall strategic direction of Sustainability in alignment with the Management Board.

During 2021 the new function had three meetings with relevant stakeholders such as the Management Board (CEO, CFO; EVP Sea, Air, Road and Contract Logistics, IT and HR), the Sustainability Core Panel consisting of experts from the respective business and functional units. With the Sounding Board consisting of experts, champions and sponsors throughout, we ensure company wide implementation of actions agreed from the set strategy.  

In 2021, the company created the position of a Head of Sustainability, reporting directly to the CEO. The key objective of this new position is to design future-proof strategies that meet the evolving needs of customers and deliver competitive advantage through Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) best practices — creating sustainable value and driving the low carbon transition.
The topic of sustainability is addressed on a regular basis with the executive management board (KNIGL) including the integration of sustainability in the business strategy and the company’s approach with customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders (e.g. investors, NGOs, and government bodies).

To assist the Head of Sustainability to efficiently develop and drive the corporate sustainability agenda, as well as effectively capture the individual and collective knowledge on sustainability topics, a sustainability core panel has been set up comprising senior members from each of the business units as well as the sales team. This core panel meets bi-monthly, or as necessary, to review topics and decisions of strategic importance to the company. Two members of the executive management board (representing Sea Logistics and Contract Logistics) have been appointed as sponsors to provide support and guidance to the panel.

In addition, a sustainability sounding board, comprising senior members from all corporate functions as well as senior members from the business operations in all five key regions, has been set up to act as a sounding board to the core panel and to be the champions and sponsors of sustainability throughout the company globally. The sounding board convenes two to three times a year or on an adhoc basis as necessary. Kuehne+Nagel acknowledges that from 2024, the company will be legally bound to report on their climate-related risks following the TCFD guideline and as such, has started to prepare for fulfilling these requirements.

Out of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Kuehne+Nagel commits to 10 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goals that cannot be effectively influenced or with minor impact out of scope, include the SDG 1 (no poverty), 2 (zero hunger), 4 (quality education), 6 (clean water and sanitation), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 14 (life below water), and 15 (life on land).

These areas are important to our processes and services; we can make progress under the guidance of SDGs and UN Global Compact (UNGC) principles. The respective SDG and UNGC references related to our activities can be found in the GRI/SDG/UNGC Index.

Corporate and regional targets

With reference to sustainability, in particular tackling climate change, the corporate and regional managers have been given measurable sustainability targets in 2021 that were  monitored and that have an impact of up to 20 per cent of their actual bonus payment scheme.

Sustainability programme

KN Trophy

For the reporting year 2021, the company launched a KN Trophy to reward employee-led activities supporting the transition for climate change. This embraced activities in energy efficiency, decarbonisation, waste recycling and paper reductions. All regions participated and reached a high level of employee engagement and support. The winning country of each region was awarded with a prize. More details can be found in section Community engagement.