Sustainability – we're acting now

How do we create the sustainable logistics, transport and data flows of the future? We ask ourselves these questions so we can be part of a more sustainable world. To this end, we are changing our workflows, using innovative technologies, networking, optimising and analysing. It is our aspiration to combine ecological, social and economic interests in order to make our company future-proof.

Global Sustainability Magazine 2024

What promising projects and proven solutions can make logistics more environmentally friendly? Read the in-depth articles.

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Balanced Logistics: Our strategy for sustainability

To sustainably develop the company, we have identified a broad range of projects in nine fields of action. These fields of action are anchored in our Balanced Logistics sustainability strategy. One of our most important sustainability goals is becoming climate-neutral by 2040.

Goal: climate-neutral by 2040

With the implementation of our Balanced Logistics sustainability strategy, we are highlighting our commitment to bringing together environmental, social and economic interests to make our company future-proof. This is absolutely vital for us.

Our "Balanced Logistics" sustainability strategy highlights our commitment to combine environmental, social and economic interests.

Each is a prerequisite for the others, since a company only has the means and opportunity to invest in its employees and meet its obligations to society and the environment if it makes good returns.

We see innovation and technical excellence as crucial elements for developing sustainable solutions, being environmentally responsible and operating successfully in line with our self-image as the “Gateway To The Future”. If we invest in innovative, climate-friendly technologies at an early stage, our results will be accepted more quickly and equally by shareholders, customers, employees and society.

Open dialogue with our stakeholders is essential for reconciling different interests and developing a mutual understanding. Constructive contributions from all sides are indispensable for a sustainable future for logistics. Sustainable business practices must go beyond the optimisation of our own processes and technology. Forming a network with other players in the logistics field offers further potential. We want to follow this path in a purposeful, solution-oriented and harmonious way. In short, Balanced Logistics.

Supporting the 17 United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals

Our activities support the action areas of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We are thus making a small contribution for a more sustainable world.

HHLA connects port terminals to climate-friendly international transport chains through intermodal hinterland networks, thereby showing that sustainable business practices are firmly embedded in our company’s business model. Our sustainability strategy is focused on nine areas of action. In addition to climate protection and the design of climate-friendly logistics chains, it focuses on area optimisation.

We intend to cut our total CO2 emissions in half by 2030 and to operate climate-neutral by 2040.


HHLA makes its commitment to sustainability binding, transparent, measurable and comparable. We have therefore been publishing an annual sustainability report since 2008 and an integrated annual report since 2022.

We apply the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards on sustainability reporting, the most commonly used standards of their kind in the world. In doing so, we also facilitate comparison at an international level.  

We report on the Group and the AG in the form of a non-financial statement, the contents of which are embedded in the management report of the integrated annual report. This serves to fulfil the legal requirements that arise for us in accordance with the Act to Strengthen Non-Financial Reporting by Companies in Management and Group Management Reports (CSR Directive Implementation Act). Since 2022, the Integrated Annual Report has also included the information on the EU Taxonomy Regulation.

The nature of our business means we have a large number of stakeholders with different expectations and demands. In order to obtain an up-to-date overview of these expectations and demands, we again conducted a  materiality analysis in November 2021, in which the sustainability topics of potential relevance to our internal and external stakeholders were examined.

Sustainability news ticker

To achieve something, some things must change. Various projects and measures lead to sustainable changes.

You can find an overview of all our projects and measures in our newsroom.

Responsibility for the environment, society and the economy.

Our Balanced Logistics sustainability strategy consists of nine areas of action that together cover all dimensions of sustainability and out them into practice.

Balanced Logistics Projects

We create climate- and environmentally friendly logistics chains:

Rail transport is considered the most environmentally beneficial mode of land transport. By linking environmentally friendly modes of transport in seaports with Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, HHLA is making an impor- tant contribution towards sustainability and environmental protection. Connecting ocean-going vessels with rail transport requires nothing less than exemplary multimodal transport chains. These save energy while causing less noise and fewer accidents. A further advantage is the inland location of Hamburg’s terminal on the environmentally friendly transport route provided by the river Elbe.

More information about climate-friendly logistics chains

We reduce our carbon emissions through energy efficiency and innovation: According to scientific evidence, global climate change resulting from greenhouse gas emissions is directly associated with the use of fossil fuels to generate energy. Reducing consumption of the major fuel sources used by HHLA like diesel and electricity as well as gas and oil, underpins HHLA’s growth.

Read more about our climate action and energy efficiency initiative

We reduce our environmental impact and conserve natural resources: Protecting the environment is more than just climate protection and land conservation. Climate and resource protection includes a wide range of issues. These include noise prevention, water protection, wastewater disposal, the economic use of raw materials, the reduction of harmful emissions of all kinds and modern waste management.

More information about our environmental and resource protection

We use the limited space available for port and logistics areas as efficiently as possible: The ever-growing use of land for transport, work and residential purposes has one of the biggest impacts on the environment – and not just in Germany. Impermeable surfaces can barely support natural life. Because persistent rain and downpours cannot seep into the ground, they also increase the risk of flooding. The indirect consequences are even more problematic: for example, each new container terminal built on a undeveloped land requires full infrastruc- ture links, which often also translates into transport routes. Compact container terminals such as those operated by HHLA make particularly efficient use of space due to the highly condensed container storage areas.

More information about our space optimisation initiative

We offer customised solutions and work responsibly with our suppliers: The fair treatment of all business partners, be they customers, suppliers, investors or creditors, is a prerequisite for any company that wants to compete successfully on the market today. Compliance with sustainability standards also plays an important role for HHLA in this regard.

More about our digitalised invoicing process

We aim to make a significant and long-term contribution to value creation and prosperity throughout our established regions: As the largest port in Germany by far, the Port of Hamburg directly and indirectly employs over 165,000 people in the greater Hamburg metropolitan region. It is one of northern Germany’s key economic drivers and – as an international trade hub – plays an extremely important role for supply routes in Germany and Europe.

More about HHLA Next, the innovation and venture building unit

We invest in vocational education and training with tailored staff development programmes: One of HHLA’s greatest strengths is the high educational levels of its staff. Training and education in industrial, commercial and academic professions, as well as ongoing staff development, are extremely important to HHLA and are being continually expanded.

More information about our future lab

We ensure safe and fair working conditions and promote health-conscious behaviour: Around the clock, 360 days a year, they work with heavy machinery and heavy loads in all kinds of weather: the wor- king conditions at HHLA’s terminals and facilities place high demands on all of our employees. Even repetitive office tasks or a multitude of individual conditions can endanger health.

More information about health and occupational safety

We invest in social dialogue to get feedback and provide information on port logistics:

Social responsibility is a cornerstone of the sustainability strategy, because social acceptance is of major importance to HHLA. As a major port and logistics company at the heart of the northern German economy, HHLA is in the public eye – particularly in the greater Hamburg region. Conversely, HHLA requires political and public support for its operations and investment programmes, as well as for the necessary expansion of infrastructure.

More information about our social responsibility

Sustainability in all business areas

We put the nine areas of action into practice through various projects, wherein we focus on cooperation, innovation and exchange with our stakeholders. Each project brings us one step closer to our goal.