DHL Express CEO: How to Create a More Sustainable Business Landscape

DHL Express Americas CEO Mike Parra discusses the importance of sustainability in business and the role of the public and private sectors in improving ESG outcomes.


Air Date: May 11, 2022

Moderator: Steve Rochlin, CEO and Founder, Impact ROI

Featured Guests: Mike Parra, CEO, DHL Express Americas

With ongoing shifts in today’s global landscape, companies, government organizations, and citizens must all make critical decisions to achieve continued and sustainable growth. As such, many organizations have focused their efforts on environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) initiatives.

As part of the Chamber of Commerce’s 2nd Annual Global Forum, leaders came together to discuss these important issues surrounding the global economy. One of the event’s speakers was Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express Americas, a global logistics company with a clear commitment to combating climate change. In conversation with Steve Rochlin, Founder and CEO of Impact ROI, Parra discussed the role of the public and private sectors in creating a more sustainable and resilient business landscape.

Businesses Are Implementing Sustainability Solutions for the Future

As a logistics and shipping company serving the global economy, DHL Express Americas is taking active steps to reduce its carbon footprint in its buildings and fleets.

“We already have pivoted to high-energy efficiency lighting, solar panels on roofs [...] and we’re also buying power from wind projects,” Parra said. “Going forward, our commitment is that all of our new buildings will be carbon-neutral and include charging infrastructure to handle future electric vehicle delivery vans.”

With respect to aviation, Parra reports the company has focused on using sustainable fuel, optimizing aircraft and fleeting routines for efficiency, and implementing electric aircraft as of 2025.

Collaborating with Partners Helps to Improve All Aspects of ESG

Parra noted that partnerships with both corporate and government entities are the key to increasing sustainability across the whole economic system.

“We need to control not only our own emissions [...] but also work with our air cargo partners [to] reduce their emissions,” he explained.

“We also know that collaborating with the government is critical,” Parra continued. “We have an obligation as a major global company, along with our partners and competitors, to drive the public policy agenda.”

These partnerships are critical to improving all aspects of ESG outcomes, not just the environmental piece — a nuance that can often be overlooked in the greater conversation around sustainability, Parra added.

“When people discuss sustainability, they can focus on the environmental part of ESG,” he said. “But the social and governance components are also critical, and economic access [and] reliability are critical as well.”

Addressing the Climate Crisis: It Takes All of Us

Many in both the public and private sectors, as well as individual consumers, are looking to do their part in the fight against climate change — a complex and multifaceted issue.

“Addressing the climate crisis isn’t only a business responsibility, a government responsibility, or a consumer-only effort,” emphasized Parra. “It’s going to take us all [...] and this requires a holistic and collaborative effort to identify feasible goals and practical solutions.”

Parra explained that both national and local chambers of commerce play a key role in the discussion by “creating a space for the public and private sector to come together to be better informed, or to work together with governments around the globe.”

“Business groups can [also] play the convener role and promote more collective movement [to] help set standards, promote policy, and facilitate change that benefits companies and the environment,” he added.