28. June 2021 | Press release

DPD measures Hamburg's air quality and publicises the measurement data

Aschaffenburg, 28 June 2021 – In Hamburg DPD Germany is launching its Breathe project, which is aimed at measuring air quality in the Hanseatic city. Laser-based sensors positioned at 19 branches of the Budnikowsky drugstore chain, the group's strategic partner, on 100 DPD delivery vehicles and at the company's Hamburg depot provide the data in real time. DPDgroup is pursuing the goal of measuring the air quality in 20 European cities by the end of 2021. In this way the international parcel and express service provider aims to contribute real value to the air quality debate and to document the improvements it is striving for in the future. The key advantage is that the data is public and can be accessed by everyone.

The pollution of our air is one of the greatest environmental and health risks of our age. We see it as our responsibility to make an active contribution towards solving this problem."

Björn Scheel, Chief Operating Officer of DPD Germany.

"The pollution of our air is one of the greatest environmental and health risks of our age. We see it as our responsibility to make an active contribution towards solving this problem. We want to show in practical terms where air pollution is particularly severe – and accordingly where there is a need for action to intervene in traffic management," says Björn Scheel, Chief Operating Officer of DPD Germany.

"The parcel service in our stores and the cooperation with DPD has given us a unique opportunity to take a close look at the air quality in the Hamburg metropolitan region. After all, in order to reduce CO2 emissions and make future reductions measurable we need to know what the current position is. By making our branches available as locations for the sensors we are providing this opportunity to all BUDNI customers in the vicinity of the first 19 test shops to know exactly what the air quality is like on their own doorstep," explains Christoph Wöhlke, Managing Director of Budnikowsky GmbH & Co. KG.

Residents can use the service by checking the DPD website for details of the air quality on their doorstep or at any other location within the city. In this way it is possible, for example, to avoid specific areas on days with high levels of particulate matter pollution.


Accurate measurement provides reliable insight into air quality

The roll-out of the initiative in Germany is part of a Europe-wide DPDgroup programme which has already seen the launch of pilot projects in Paris, Lisbon and London. The comprehensive data obtained in Lisbon, for example, enabled the authorities there to introduce a low-emission zone in the heart of the city. In future around 2,400 sensors are to be in use throughout Europe.

Every twelve seconds the sensors collect up-to-date measurement data, which is then used to display the urban air quality on a high-resolution map. The measurement data provides a precise and realistic insight into Hamburg's air quality and offers an important indicator for avoiding health risks from high levels of particulate matter. The sensitive sensors detect even the finest particles in the size of PM2.5, in other words particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres. These can penetrate more deeply into our respiratory tract, remaining there longer and causing lasting damage to the lungs. The sensors therefore provide important data that can serve as the basis for effectively improving the air quality in Germany's second-largest city.


Parcel by parcel delivered with zero local emissions

DPD already delivers every parcel in Hamburg's city centre between the Alster and the Elbe with vehicles that are locally emission-free. In addition, parcels for the inner city are delivered to the micro-depot in HafenCity and then distributed using TRIPL electric three-wheelers. Such measures are essential because, in spite of national and international environmental protection measures, the damage to health caused by air pollution in cities is increasing worldwide. Urban traffic is responsible for 40% of all CO2 emissions. These CO2 emissions and nitrogen oxides – which account for part of the PM2.5 particulate matter – have the same origin: both develop during the combustion of fossil fuels, as is the case with diesel and petrol engines. As a parcel service provider DPD feels it has a responsibility to act sustainably by measuring and continuously reducing its impact on the environment. The Breathe initiative in cooperation with Budnikowsky and Pollutrack, the developer of the sensors and the first mobile tracking system for particulate matter, marks another important step by DPD in fulfilling its corporate and social responsibility under its DrivingChangeTM strategy. As a next step DPD is planning low-emission deliveries in 23 German cities and 225 cities across Europe by 2025, resulting in 89% less CO2 and an 80% lower pollutant level than in 2020.

Press contact

Peter Rey

Group Manager Communications

Image: Small white boxes at the rear of the delivery vehicles measure air pollution and transmit the collected data in real time. Anyone interested can access the data in the form of a city map on the DPD website.