Press releases

Commitment to responsibility: Hamburg Süd publishes Responsibility Report

In early February 2013, the Hamburg Süd Group published its first Responsibility Report. It bears the title “Making it our Business” and documents not only the ecological but also the social and societal responsibility the company exercises. At the same time it presents in a detailed and vivid way the concrete measures with which Hamburg Süd and Aliança live up to this responsibility.

“We take account of the protection of natural resources in each entrepreneurial and organisational decision we make,” explains Dr Ottmar Gast, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hamburg Süd. “Accordingly, our environmental accounting system, introduced in 2010, takes as its goal the continuous reduction of environmental impact both at sea and on land.” The core element of this environmental accounting system is an input-output balance sheet, for which numerous departments at corporate headquarters and 80 Hamburg Süd locations spread around the globe are involved in supplying environmental data. “This enables us to see precisely what goes into the company in the way of energy carriers and raw materials, and what subsequently comes out in the way of emissions and waste water. Because genuine stewardship requires transparency,” Dr Ottmar Gast adds.

Within the context of its environmental protection measures, the Hamburg Süd Group has set itself concrete and binding environmental targets. Thus by 2020 the company aims to reduce the CO2e emissions of owned and chartered container vessels per unit of transport capacity (TEUkm) by 26 per cent compared with 2009 levels. A further target is to increase the proportion of floors made from fast-growing bamboo in dry-container newbuilds to 80 per cent by 2015. In parallel – also by 2015 – the energy consumption of existing refrigerated containers is to be lowered by 15 per cent and that of newbuilds by no less than 20 per cent compared with 2010.

Furthermore, in cooperation with Germanischer Lloyd, the shipping group successfully launched the project GL EmissionManager in 2011 and, starting in 2013, will be gradually equipping owned and chartered vessels with the corresponding software. EmissionManager enables, for the first time, the collection of all environment-related data in one tool – and thus the evaluation of the environmental performance of a single vessel or an entire fleet on a reliable, detailed data basis.

In the Responsibility Report, Hamburg Süd also presents fundamental advances in the areas of ship technology and ship operation. This includes, for instance, the six new ships of the “Cap San” class, which permit significant fuel savings thanks, among other things, to an optimised hull shape. The 9,600 TEU newbuildings will be the shipping group’s largest ships to date and are to be delivered between May 2013 and January 2014. Moreover, in a first for the industry, Hamburg Süd has been using the Becker Twisted Fin® on its container ships since the beginning of the year. The fin is a steel construction attached to the “Santa” class vessels forward of the propeller and partly cancels out the negative effect of the swirl in the propeller wake, producing an energy saving of up to four per cent.

Apart from environmental protection, the issues of social and societal commitment are important cornerstones of the Responsibility Report. The shipping group documents this responsibility with, among other things, a broad portfolio of initial and further-training opportunities specially tailored to the different requirements ashore and at sea. At the same time the report points up the diverse range of benefits with which Hamburg Süd takes account of the growing value of an attractive work-life balance. In this way the shipping group is making an important contribution both to the well-being of its employees and to the long-term competitiveness of the company.

Covering 70 pages, the Responsibility Report is a comprehensive and lavishly produced work of reference, which carries conviction with a wealth of background information as well as illustrations and infographics. Available in German and English, it can be downloaded as a PDF at or ordered by email through the Corporate Communications Department (