Dietl International: Art logistics must adopt sustainable practices

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Jason Bailer Losh, director of business development, Dietl International


The art logistics community must take a multi-faceted approach to sustainability goals and implement actionable practices, Jason Bailer Losh, director of business development, Dietl International, told delegates at the Hauser & Wirth ‘Sustainability in Action’ conference.

He warned against adopting a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution such as switching to ocean freight, as well as greenwashing, where companies invest time and money in marketing their products or brand as green rather than adopting sustainable solutions.

“Transferring everything to ocean freight is often seen as the solution to reducing carbon footprint, but it is not a silver bullet,” said Losh.

“It can be problematic due to supply chain and capacity issues, as well as potential security threats and regional problems such as the current high harbor maintenance fees in the USA, for example.

“We need to adopt a multi-faceted approach including strategic carbon offsetting, educating staff and suppliers, and supporting stakeholders of all sizes in the supply chain to take part in green initiatives, which could mean subsidising smaller players.”

Dietl, a Global Critical Logistics (GCL) Company, has adopted an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) programme that integrates the principles of the UN Global Compact, an initiative committing companies to responsible business practices in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and corruption.

Under Dietl’s programme, customers can purchase carbon credits/offsets to offset their emissions by directing funds toward projects that reduce carbon dioxide and support sustainability programs, with one carbon credit offsetting one metric tonne of carbon.

Losh gave an example of one initiative that the programme supports. It involves working with a community in the Brazilian rainforest that practices slash and burn agriculture and teaches them skills such as fishery, agriculture and long-term sustainability practices.

The New York, USA, headquartered forwarder, which in the last three and a half years has moved 56,000 shipments and 23 million kilos of art, also offers green packaging options, including reusable and recyclable crating systems.

Losh added that companies needed to educate their staff about sustainability, as well as looking to support smaller stakeholders in the supply chain to adopt sustainable business practices.

“Educating everybody inside of your businesses, having them implement change for the long-term and spreading that wealth of knowledge can translate to an immeasurable advantage,” said Losh.

“It is also up to the big players to help and subsidize mid-tier and smaller counterparts with the participation of initiatives, most of which can often be costly or inaccessible to smaller galleries.”

Dietl International is the largest provider in the US for art shipping, with 11 offices, and one of the first in the industry to integrate sustainability into its business blueprint.

The Sustainability in Action event took place in Sussex in the United Kingdom last week, bringing together stakeholders from across the art community to discuss ways of collaborating towards sustainable goals.