Q&A: DHL Exec Shines A Light On Eco-Partnership With Bryan Adams To Plant Almost A Million Trees

By Karen Bliss 5/6/19 | www.samaritanmag.com

DHL plane at Munich International Airport — photo credit: Instagram @eddmspotter.

Bryan Adams is shining a light on the environment with a simple but effective gesture for his current world tour in support of his new album, Shine A Light.   Teaming up with shipping partner and green logistics experts DHL, the Canadian rock singer will ensure one tree is planted for every ticket sold. Adams headlines arenas and is expected to play at least 80 dates in 2019, with a tree-tally of about 850,000.  He started in Europe back in February and just kicked off his North American leg.

"DHL are our Shine A Light tour partners for their 50th anniversary," wrote Adams on his Instagram page, with a photo of the branded plane taken by @eddmspotter at the Munich International Airport. "They plan to plant a tree for every ticket sold this year, which we estimate will be around 850,000 trees! That’s a small forest. I hope more artists do this kind of eco-partnership in the future, I’m proud to be part of this initiative."

Adams, whose albums have sold some 65 million copies worldwide, and made enduring hits of his songs like  “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” “Summer Of ’69, “Run To You” and “Straight From The Heart,” didn’t just get a philanthropic streak once he became majorly successful. 

At 15, he started volunteering for Greenpeace to stop the whaling. He became a vegan in his late 20s, which went hand in hand with animal rights and protection, and is a vocal advocate of healthy living.  His involvment with causes extends beyond animals, from early support of famine relief (Tears Are Not Enough and Live Aid) and Amnesty International to fundraising for Shriners Hospital For Children on tour a few years ago where volunteers at each venue sold his Get Up CD.

In 2006, Adams registered his own foundation in the U.K. The causes supported by The Bryan Adams Foundation, whose motto is “helping people help people,” are varied, but his particular soft spot is for kids and education.

DHL, founded in America, is the international courier, parcel, and express mail division of the German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL, delivering over 1.3 billion packages a year. It has a corporate social responsibility mandate to achieve zero emissions by 2050.  “We utilize our expertise to make your logistics greener and more sustainable – giving you an edge over the competition,” it states on its web site. “We can also help you find ways to apply circular-economy principles to eradicate waste and retain more of the value that goes into your products.”

Germany’s Dirk Ude, head of global DHL advertising, Deutsche Post DHL Group, answered some questions via email for Samaritanmag about the company’s partnership with Adams and why it is a perfect fit.

How did the partnership with Bryan come about and why pick tree planting vs. a donation elsewhere, like to his foundation?

Both Bryan Adams and DHL have a long-standing commitment to sustainability. While Adams supports sustainability projects through the Bryan Adams Foundation, Deutsche Post DHL has committed to reaching zero emissions group-wide by 2050.

As part of this goal, DHL has been expanding its offer of environmentally shipping options, particularly through electrification, like the StreetScooter, and last-mile solutions such as cargo bikes. Both Bryan Adams and DHL share the same values and the same goal “to make the world a better place.” Our commitment to plant trees with Bryan is one way of delivering on this purpose – and the more concerts he is playing and the more fans visit his concerts, the more trees will be planted.

DHL is the most international company in the world. Bryan Adams not only plays the big stages as a world star, but also goes specifically to his fans in the smaller countries. This is 100 percent consistent with our brand values, global and local. Last but not least, we like him as a person and his music. He is playing straightforward rock’ n roll and has an unbelievable voice.

How is DHL involved in his tour? A sponsor? Shipping gear?

As the official logistics partner of his Shine A Light world tour in 2019, DHL will be managing transportation services for Adams and the band across some 20-plus countries. The global logistics leader will be commemorating its own debut on the business stage in 1969 by travelling the globe from the UK to Australia and beyond with the superstar, whose prolific career includes megahits like “Summer of ’69” and “Run to You.”

Adams will be promoting his fourteenth studio album, Shine A Light, [which was] released on March 1. DHL is transporting some of the band’s equipment to more than 20 countries on the Shine A Light world tour, via air and road freight. We will evaluate the best options to reduce the carbon footprint by using efficient aircraft and vehicles. Additionally, we are checking opportunities for a carbon neutral service.

Who is the third party planting the trees? 

We are assessing suitable projects with our tree planting partners around the world. The trees will be planted according to the planting season in the respective region. All projects that are supported by DHL benefit the local community, the ecosystem and the biodiversity. DHL will plant one tree for every ticket sold and will cover the cost for this.

Has DHL done something like this before with a musician/band?

DHL engages in a lot of different partner programs as the official logistics partner, i.e. in the area of sports, fashion and entertainment. However, this is the first time that we agreed on such an “sustainable extension” of our partnership – with Bryan we found a congenial partner for this.

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