Do you know that 99% of everything you buy, consume, eat and drink was transported to you by emissions-generating combustion engines? Most goods and food are not produced near your home. They need to be transported by vehicles with combustion engines to stores, depots, and even directly to your doorstep. At Ziegler, this is what we do – ensuring goods get to where they are needed. But combustion engines emit excess carbon, which is responsible for warming our climate by retaining heat in the air. We are architects for transport and logistics, but not ‘engineers’ who can invent low-emission engines or build stronger, lighter batteries. But we are ‘entrepreneurs’, and as such we take our social responsibility seriously.
How seriously? It was more than a century ago when we first began our transport business, and we used a horse and carriage. Horses needed hay, comfortable accommodations, and veterinary care to sustain them. Ziegler needed coachmen for the horses and carpentry to maintain the carriages. And then one day, a new and mind-boggling technology changed everything – combustion engines had arrived! Ziegler needed to completely transition its infrastructure and people towards transporting goods with trucks, boats, trains, and planes. Ziegler successfully navigated that transition and continued to thrive in the new paradigm. This experience gives us the entrepreneurial courage and conviction that we will successfully tackle the next transition, and continue to thrive as the future becomes the present.
We envision that electrification is the next transition our industry will undergo, and it will be the operating model for transportation in the years to come. To get there means investing in autonomous electric vehicles and cargo bikes. It requires experimenting, not just with solar panels to produce renewable energy, but also linking them with industrial batteries to store electricity and charge e-vans. It also means finding and implementing a CO²-measurement framework that is coherent, transparent, and based on internationally accepted frameworks. It also means helping our customers figure out how to make their supply chains more sustainable.
Sustainability is not limited to electrification or CO² reduction.
There are more topics to delve into and we do this by engaging with our stakeholders, bringing to bear our materialities, and planning out a solid road map to tackle them. This is our blueprint for thriving during the next great transition.