DHL's strategy supports the transition to solar power

DHL Group has operations in more than 220 countries and territories, with a considerable network of buildings – some 12,300 locations - worldwide. As a part of its sustainability strategy, and in line with its mission to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, DHL Group leverages the latest green technologies to have carbon-neutral buildings across its businesses worldwide.

One of the key factors is the integration of solar power. Given the substantial rooftop space of large terminal and warehouse buildings, they can accommodate significant solar power installations, enabling DHL to maximize its usage across properties.
"Everything we do is geared toward achieving zero emissions by 2050. We have a clear directive regarding solar power—every location is evaluated for solar energy adoption. For existing sites, factors such as property size and lease duration are considered when assessing solar panel installation. However, for all new sites, we can install solar panels right away," says Jussi Jylhä, Infrastructure Manager, DHL Express (Finland) Oy.

Locally produced energy also offers marketing benefits

In Finland, DHL Express is aiming for greater energy self-sufficiency and locally produced electricity, thus planning solar plants for each of its own properties.

In Pirkkala, DHL Express has an approximately 4000 square meter property where Solnet Group installed a solar plant in 2019. DHL was involved in soliciting bids for this project, and an external contractor managed the construction of the building. Solnet Group was then cooperating with the construction company.

"It's crucial for us to achieve our emission reduction targets while also generating electricity directly on-site. We have also noticed the marketing benefits of solar power in building our brand. For instance, considering our Pirkkala location, we use its images and videos in our sales materials," Jussi Jylhä mentions.

Safety is paramount for DHL

When selecting partners for the Pirkkala project, safety was already a significant consideration. Since then, safety has become even more critical and is unequivocally one of the most influential factors in DHL Express’ decision-making. Solnet Group’s offered intelligent solar power system with remote management and the ability to cut off power to the panels were crucial factors.

"The safety features and references of Solnet Group’s solution were convincing. Additionally, Solnet provides production insights, displayed on screens in our lobby, garnering positive feedback and making the solar plant visible to staff and visitors. Despite its size, the solar plant is not visible from the roof, so the display allows us to demonstrate its impact on emission reductions and electricity production," Jylhä explains.

Offering advice to those implementing solar plants for the first time, Jylhä recommends engaging an experienced consultant: a company that comprehends the variables affecting yields and system sizing and understands the technical specifications.

"When you have a reliable partner and a solar plant built with quality equipment, owning it becomes relatively maintenance-free. Solnet Group conducts maintenance once or twice a year. We monitor and report the system's output ourselves, and Solnet Group handles the maintenance and monitors panel-level operations. Integrating the production view was also effortlessly done," Jylhä says.

After this project, Solnet Group won two more projects for DHL.

Joanna Viileinen,
Head of Marketing and Communication