Recycling is not just a paper exercise

It requires action from around the DSV world and can make a difference that extends to local businesses and communities.

Basadi Recycling in DSV South Africa

As a global transport and logistics company, DSV has a global impact – and a great corporate responsibility.

Our more than 1,000 sites around the world vary from small office spaces to huge warehouses with more than 100,000 m2. Each of them uses paper, wooden pallets, plastic and cardboard that can be collected and reused. That’s one way, we try to minimise our impact on the environment.

Across DSV, we are working to increase the number of sites with a systemic approach to garbage collection and recycling. For 2018, the goal is to recycle as many materials as possible in a systemic way in 78% of our sites.

“It’s important that we recycle as many materials as possible and that we manage our waste in a responsible way to help minimise our impact on the environment. Even though the individual sites vary in size and the amounts each site can recycle differ, it adds up to be a lot that makes a difference on a global scale”, says Jesper Petersen, Senior Director, Group CSR.

The recycling and waste management initiatives come to life in many ways across the DSV world.

we have to walk the talk and really do our part to conserve the environment and recycle as much as we can… Thinking of our environment is a mindset and culture change – and we need everyone to get on board.

A little goes a long way

Many DSV sites recycle spare cardboard and paper from operations and activities. DSV Solutions Canada recycled 640 tonnes of cardboard and paper combined in 2017. The cardboard comes from cartons during the operations pick, pack and shipping processes in the warehouses and is compacted on site, before an external vendor then picks up the compacted cardboard for recycling. DSV Finland also sorts and recycles paper and cardboard. Here, the recycled cardboard fibres are used as raw material for coreboard, typically known as the core of tissue paper.

Other sites work on using as many recyclable materials as possible in the operations. In Pune in India, a DSV warehouse with an extensive picking process has a multitude of containers for many small parts, such as bolts. Previously, these were all kept in plastic containers, but they are made from non-recyclable material and the production is bad for the environment. Instead, the Indian warehouse is now replacing old plastic bins with corrugated cardboard/paper boxes. These can be recycled and are more environmentally friendly.

Recycling empowers local business

In South Africa, the recycling efforts are nationally overseen by a QSHE Council which, among many other things, helps guide and govern the local sites on how to recycle and manage waste in the best way possible.

The Automotive Supplier Park in Rosslyn, Pretoria was experiencing a high demand for a recycling initiative.

“The ASP handles around 4,500 order lines to over 200 dealers daily”, says Vanessa Van Vollenstee, General Manager, QSHE, South Africa and explains: “That generates waste and it was proving difficult to handle for us – so we needed a solution to minimise landfill and reuse more of the materials.”

A local entrepreneur, Basadi Recycling, was contracted as the single provider to manage the waste streams and handle the recycling on behalf of DSV in Rosslyn, Pretoria. Basadi Recycling received training in how to handle the waste streams and recycle correctly and responsibly and were taught how to better understand and manage their business – all while increasing their business’ revenue by about 60%.

Of the recycled materials, the waste wood (pallets) from DSV is now being used to build small wooden houses that provide shelter for the less fortunate. In addition, the QSHE Council in South Africa is now taking contact to local entrepreneurs in small towns near DSV sites to spread the initiative to other parts of South Africa as well.

This initiative ensures DSV a reliable, repeatable and sustainable service compliant with procedures and legislation, and this while empowering local businesses and supporting communities.  

“It’s not just a paper exercise”, says Vanessa Van Vollenstee and elaborates we have to walk the talk and really do our part to conserve the environment and recycle as much as we can… Thinking of our environment is a mindset and culture change – and we need everyone to get on board.

And the process of getting everyone on board is in progress. Around the South African sites, there are many different initiatives, ranging from minimising the use of paper to educating staff on how to beat plastic pollution.

 Read more about our DSV's responsibility efforts here