The world of logistics is never boring, as everyone involved in air cargo knows. Nevertheless, a certain shipment-envy arises when taking a look at a couple of DHL projects recently. From the charitable transport of chimpanzees to a cool cooperation with the most successful band of the 21st Century (over 100 million albums sold worldwide): Coldplay, DHL has published two interesting stories in the space of a single week, interlinking sustainability and entertainment.
“It’s World Chimpanzee Day and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to share some amazing news! Thanks to your generosity, Fifi, Simão, Tzé, and Tita, chimps who’ve been living in terrible conditions for years, are finally in their new sanctuary home,” the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance posted on LinkedIn, on 14JUL22. “We are so grateful to the dream team of people and organizations that supported this effort! […] DHL donated their air cargo services to move the chimps to Liberia.”
“A true miracle that this all came together” - Jenny Desmond
In a 4.5-minute video, reminiscent of Qatar Airways Cargo’s “Rewild the Planet” lions’ film last year, DHL Express SSA documents the relocation of four rescued chimpanzees from Guinea-Bisau to Liberia, on 09JUL22, in partnership with Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection (LCRP). This special journey was the result of months of operational and logistical preparation, and a premiere: “the first time [that] western chimpanzees have been able to be relocated within their home region, which is vital to preserving their unique culture and characteristics,” the release states. “The decision to relocate the four chimpanzees named Fifi, Tze, Simao, and Tita from Guinea-Bissau to Liberia, was based on Guinea-Bissau’s Directorate-General for Forests and Fauna’s commitment to combating international wildlife trade (IWT).” Since Guinea-Bissau has no own chimp sanctuary, the Liberian sanctuary was chosen and an elaborate collaboration involving the two countries’ governments, LCRP, several animal protection initiatives, and DHL Express SSA, commenced.
Contributing to species protection
DHL Express deployed an ATR72 LCD (Large Cargo Door), to ensure minimal impact during on and off loading, and adjusted the aircraft cabin for optimum transport conditions during the 2-hours-20-minutes flight from Osvaldo Vieira International Airport in Guinea- Bissau, to Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia. Veterinarian Jim Desmond, Co-Founder of Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection, accompanied the four VIP passengers. Anthony Beckley, VP Operations DHL Express SSA, commented: “With many years of experience in transporting wildlife, we have gained valuable knowledge in ensuring the specific needs of the ‘special cargo’. Each wildlife mission we undertake has its unique requirements. That is why we always connect with our experts and specialists in order to guarantee that the animals arrive safe and in good health at their intended destinations. Besides, by supporting initiatives that are committed to wildlife, we can contribute to the protection of endangered species, habitats, and biodiversity.”
Jenny Desmond, who founded LCRP in 2016, to rescue chimpanzees who are victims of illegal bush meat and pet trades, voiced her gratitude. “DHL’s experience in the transportation of wildlife is world-class, and we could not envision partnering with another logistics organization to ensure the safe passage of these vulnerable chimps. This initiative would not be possible if governments from Guinea- Bissau and Liberia and our many partners did not commit to working tirelessly together to ensure its success. Chimpanzees, a critically endangered species, are protected in both countries, and it is illegal to harm or keep them as pets.” It is a sad fact that Western chimpanzees are now extinct in three, soon to be five of eleven native countries. World Chimpanzee Day falls on 14JUL because that was the date, 62 years ago, that the famous primatologist, Jane Goodall, began the longest, uninterrupted study of the world’s chimpanzees at Gombe National Park. In her address on World Chimpanzee Day, she talks both of the cruelty and dangers of keeping chimpanzees as pets and for entertainment purposes, as well as what is being done these days, to preserve chimps’ habitats, by encouraging education and various sustainable projects.
From one sustainable project to another
Entertainment and sustainability are also combined in DHL’s partnership with Coldplay. It recently became the band’s official logistics partner, and will be supporting it on its Music Of The Spheres World Tour, with a special bent: the focus is on ensuring that the tour is carried out as sustainably as possible. In other words, minimizing the tour’s carbon footprint; the target is a 50+% reduction in CO2 emissions, and Coldplay’s choice fell on DHL because of its pioneering and multi-faceted approach to sustainable logistics, for its GoGreen Plus Service, to the use of advanced biofuels, electric vehicles, and trucks fueled with Bio-LNG (liquified natural gas made from organic waste), for example. “As leaders in our industries, it is our responsibility to lead the change but also inspire and facilitate sustainable solutions for other businesses and brands. We feel honored and proud that Coldplay has selected DHL to embark on this journey for change,” Monika Schaller, Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications, Sustainability & Brand, Deutsche Post DHL Group, stated.
Coldplay hot on green issues
Coldplay’s Co-Manager, Phil Harvey, explained: “When we announced this tour, we pledged to reduce primary carbon emissions by more than 50% compared to the last tour. This can only happen with tour partners who share this vision and are willing to invest the necessary resources to make it happen. We’re grateful to DHL for their help in minimizing our tour’s freight emissions through their expertise and investment in sustainable logistics.” Coldplay’s sustainability drive does not just concentrate on the complex logistics of the tour, it also extends to other areas: the band has declared its intention to make its tour as low-carbon and environmentally beneficial as possible, and has therefore planned various initiatives. For example, each show is powered by a mix of renewable energy (wind or solar) and certified renewable biodiesel. Fan energy will be “harnessed” using state-of-the-art kinetic floors and power bikes, and Coldplay has pledged to plant a tree for every ticket sold, along with investing in a diverse range of carbon offsetting initiatives to compensate for the tour’s CO2 emissions.
“DHL and Coldplay’s shared hope is that the Music Of The Spheres Tour will provide lessons and best practices for other artists to build on and push the live music industry towards an ultra-low-carbon and sustainable future,” the release concludes. Certainly, a positive step in the right direction, and one that will reach an incredibly large audience. Kudos to DHL and Coldplay for leading by example.
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