The logistics service provider received the “Hanse Globe 2023” accolade, awarded for the 13th time by the Hamburg Logistics Initiative. Its chairwoman, Kerstin Wendt-Heinrich, emphasized
that Sovereign Speed’s “holistic decarbonization strategy”, dubbed “ourwaytozero”, led the jury to its decision.
The award was presented by the 1st Mayor of the city, Peter Tschentscher, and the Senator for Economic Affairs, Melanie Leonhard.
It was handed over shortly after the management announced the inauguration of the company’s new headquarters in Hamburg.
Sovereign Speed won the Hanse Globe because of its holistic long-term strategy which includes waste reduction, (green) energy efficiency gains in its warehouses, and – above all – the reduction
& avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions arising from road and air transport by its vehicles and freighter aircraft. Sovereign Speed’s environmental policy focuses on operational reduction
measures such as eco-driving, alternative fuel use (e.g., more than 10,000 liters of HVO100 per month), and is supported by a complementary compensation of over 9000t of CO2 through certified
climate protection projects in South Africa, Brazil, and Nigeria.
Sovereign Speed operates a large fleet of different vehicles in the range of 3.5t and 40t. Reducing CO2 pollution caused by its road services is the first point on its environmental agenda. With more than 100 overnight transports of urgent and express goods all across Europe, Sovereign Speed has become one of the top players in this segment. Road services are complemented by air transport. For this reason, freight carrier Businesswings was acquired by the Group in 2019.
However, the successful sustainability strategy, now honored by the Hanse Globe, would not be possible without a mental change among employees, starting with top management and extending to drivers and warehouse staff. Perhaps this is even the most important factor.
Hamburg's Senator for Economic Affairs, Melanie Leonhard, paid tribute to this integrative and holistic approach, which above all explains why Sovereign Speed finally prevailed against 30 competitors for the Hanse Globe: “The logistics company is increasingly designing its services to be CO2-neutral. Logistics is the cardiovascular system of our economy. If it gets sick, it affects all areas of life and business – be it consumption, production, or construction. It is therefore vital to adapt to new challenges, the sooner, the better. The Hanse Globe is a showcase for companies that implement innovative solutions and demonstrate how sustainable logistics already works today,” the politician emphasized in her speech.
Award as inspiration
Addressing Ms. Leonhard and the invitees of the ceremony, Moritz Tölke, Senior Manager Environmental Sustainability at Sovereign Speed, replied, “the award is a great recognition for us as a company of our work and progress in this elementary area of our actions, past, present, and future.”
And his colleague, Hendrik Bender, Member of the Executive Board and Vice President Group Sales, Business Development & Marketing, added: “The award confirms our corporate responsibility with regard to our environment, and is not only an award for our company, but above all for our 800 employees who got us here in the first place by implementing all the initiatives in their daily working lives. In addition, it can be an inspiration for other companies to devote more attention to the issue and take their first steps.”
School as business generator
Sovereign Speed was incepted in 1998. The idea of founding a neutral and independent express carrier with headquarters in Hamburg was not born in a garage, but in a boarding school on the North Sea. The initiators were the two students, Karim El Sayegh and Martin Araman, both endowed with entrepreneurial spirit.
Since then, the company has grown from operating a single linehaul service between Hamburg and Brussels, to a trans-European premium provider of express freight. Today, the group is one of the most important European players in the transport and ground handling segment of time-sensitive air freight.
Because of its constant growth, it has built new headquarters in the west of the city, called the “Black Tower” because of its dark color. The 6-story building is also the result of a collective effort. Because “our staff played a decisive role in the design of the premises,” emphasizes CEO, Frank Liebelt: “We called for participation in various internal project groups – with astounding resonance. This allowed employees to determine for themselves the size of the individual offices, which departments are to be housed together on one floor, and how the premises would ultimately be furnished.”
In the meantime, the move has been completed in time for the company's upcoming 25th anniversary. It will be celebrated twice in MAY23: (a) at the upcoming transport logistic trade show in Munich with clients and partners, and (b) with all employees in Hamburg, shortly thereafter.
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