Our path to climate neutrality

For over 130 years, H.D. Cotterell has been a family-run logistics company specializing in the receipt and storage of cocoa beans and semi-finished cocoa products in the Port of Hamburg. We approach challenges with curiosity in order to constantly improve.

As a company and employer, H.D. Cotterell feels a special responsibility to protect the environment for future generations and to promote a shift in thinking towards greater sustainability.

H. D. Cotterell is therefore applying new, more sustainable technologies.

Thus, H.D. Cotterell has committed itself to electric mobility and since then the share of e-cars in our fleet has been growing. Currently, the percentage of electric-powered vehicles is 59%. In the medium term, we will reach 100%.

Since 2020, we have been using climate-neutral electricity from our own photovoltaic system. For the electricity demand that cannot be covered by the photovoltaic system, we purchase 100% green electricity. Further photovoltaic systems are already being planned in order to cover our electricity requirements ourselves as far as possible.

In our day-to-day operations, we use electric forklifts and, more recently, an electric wheel loader for our daily cocoa shipments. This replaces the previous diesel-powered wheel loader.

In 2018, we participated in the climate-neutral transport of organic raw cocoa beans from Belize via Hamburg to the Zotter chocolate factory in Austria as a warehouse operator in the logistics chain. Since then, we have taken over the climate-neutral storage of the organic cocoa beans once a year and organize the climate-neutral onward transport of the goods to the Zotter chocolate factory in Austria.

Since 2020, we have been donating to a protection forest in Panama. Each of our employees is dedicated 20sqm of forest every year. This will protect the forest for at least 50 years against outside influences such as clearing or cultivation.

As a logical consequence and necessity, we have set ourselves the goal of becoming a climate-neutral company within the shortest possible time and have taken the next step to achieve this. We have been creating our carbon footprint since 2018 to make our savings measurable and comparable. In the base year 2018, we emitted a total of 753 tons of CO2. In comparison, we achieved a reduction of CO2 emissions by 24.22% in 2020 (2020: 570 tons CO2). The share of emissions from container logistics has also decreased by almost 50% thanks to the shift of transports of cocoa containers within the Port of Hamburg from road to water to our warehouse.

Our efforts are leading to a significant reduction in our CO2 emissions, but we have not yet been able to avoid them entirely. Therefore, we offset our emissions by participating in the climate protection project “Tropical Mix”.  This project involves reforesting degenerated land to create mixed forests. In the process, sustainable timber production and cocoa cultivation are promoted, which in turn leads to more employment and thus to an improvement in the economic and social situation of the population.

Since 2021, H.D. Cotterell has been a climate-neutral company.