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    SDK FREJA puts sustainability in focus – Q3 Newsletter

    Read in Danish

    Dear reader

    Welcome to FREJA’s third newsletter in 2022, where we would like to share what is happening in our part of the transport & logistics world.

    Our first overall sustainability report focuses on climate and people

    From 2025 and onwards, trucks must pay road tax in Denmark according to how much CO2 is emitted from driving.

    The entire Danish transport industry and the Minister of Transport have made the EU Commission roll back their decision on the interpretation of ‘return-of-vehicle’

    We thank you for your interest in our newsletter and wish you a pleasant reading.

    Yours sincerely
    Jan Sunde

    From 2025, a new CO2 differentiated and kilometer-based toll for trucks will pave the way for the green transition – But the revenue will not be used for green transition.

    “From now on, trucks will have to pay road tax in Denmark according to how much CO2 is emitted from driving. The government, Radical Liberals, Socialist People’s Party and Enhedslisten agree on this. The change will take place from 2025, so truckers and others will be given the opportunity to adjust. The overall agreement is estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by approx. 0.3 million tonnes in 2025 and approx. 0.4 million tonnes in 2030.”

    Writes the Ministry of Transport in a press release. on 24 July 2022.

    The agreement is another step on the way to realizing the goal of 70 per cent greenhouse gas reduction in 2030.

    FREJA supports the green transition and looks positively at initiatives that help convert the industry. FREJA is ready for change and has worked through several initiatives to create the best framework for hauliers. However, it is crucial that the tax is allocated to the green transition and not just become another tax that is not fed back into the industry. Immediately, we cannot see any plan for a real green transition in the agreement on road charges. According to the agreement papers, it indicates that the income from the agreement will not support the green agenda, but instead administration.

    Read also: Bestseller and FREJA cut 500 tonnes of CO2 per year with trucks and used cooking oil.

    It is a pity, as FREJA would like to see a green development of the industry, hand in hand with the initiatives proposed by the government. And if you want to be sure that the agreement has the desired effectiveness. FREJA would like the income to be invested in the green transition instead of going to the state treasury.

    The mentioned initiatives from the government are the following:

    Road tax for lorries: From 1 January 2025, lorries must pay road tax according to how far they drive in Denmark. The tax will be differentiated according to the trucks’ CO2 emissions. Green trucks will thus pay the least in tax. The average tax rate will be approx. DKK 1.2 per km in 2030.

    Making road freight transport more efficient: The measures are expected to make road freight transport more efficient in Denmark. This is done by changing the national regulations on weight and dimensioning of lorries in road freight transport. The changes also come into force on 1 January 2025.

    Better conditions for rail freight in Denmark: The initiatives are expected to improve the conditions for rail freight in Denmark, including a pool with a loan scheme for freight operators on the railway as well as a mapping of the challenges with the rail freight terminals in Hirtshals and Esbjerg.

    Read the text of the agreement here for the specific decisions.

    SDK FREJAs first sustainability report after the merger

    SDK FREJA formalizes our new ambitions within the sustainability agenda as we target climate footprint and people in the first collective sustainability report since the merger between SDK and FREJA in 2021.

    In our first ever ESG report, SDK FREJA focuses on forming the basis for future work with social and environmental sustainability. Aiming to direct a data-driven and conscious effort to move in a more sustainable and responsible direction in the future, the report divides the different business areas within the recently merged company. The purpose is to prioritize efforts that ensure the maximum impact possible in the areas, where a real difference can be made.

    The following are  the focus areas that SDK FREJA wishes to engage in the future:


    Climate impacts under our control

    • We seek to lower emissions under our control by 60% by 2040
    • SDK FREJA wishes to convert our own truck fleet to use alternative fuels by 2035.
      and reducing our empty Haulage on road transport to 8%.

    Climate impacts from our value chain

    • We seek to lower emissions in our value chain 50% by 2040
    • SDK FREJA want to create more options for our customers to choose other forms of transportation such as Rail freight to create more opportunities for partners in our value chain to use alternative fuels.

    Resource and waste management

    • SDK FREJA wishes to increase our waste sorting from 54.75% this year to 65% by 2025 already.


    Health and safety

    • Lost time injury frequency per 1,000,000 in 2024 below 8.
      Sickness absence below 2.5%.

    Diversity, Equality, and inclusion

    • Our ambition is to have 33% of the underrepresented gender on the SDK FREJA Board of Directors by 2023.
    • In the upcoming years, we will prioritize a more balanced gender composition in all of SDK FREJA.

    Employee attraction and retention

    • It is a clear priority of ours to set up various programs to educate and attract the next generation of talent.
    • By treating our drivers with decency and respect, we open up for an equal dialogue that fosters respect and motivation.

    Community engagement

    • Our strategy is to support smaller communities and sports athletes that hold the same values as SDK FRJEA, and to whom our contribution can make a meaningful difference to their development.

    Corporate Governance

    • Our ISO Certifications are an important part of our governance, we aim to have ISO 9001 certification of our Quality Management Systems for all our entities by 2024.


    • FREJA is AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) certified in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland.
      For operations at harbors, cross docking terminals, and warehouses, compliance to Health and Safety regulations and requirements are supervised by QHSE.
    • Road transport is a mix of EU and national regulations within different requirements for hours of resting, cabotage, minimum wages, the return of vehicles to their countries of origin, and customs requirements in and out of the EU.

    Data Privacy and security

    • we continuously strive to ensure we embed more digital innovation and IT security.
      Our information security management system conforms to internationally accepted best practice as defined in relevant standards such as ISO 27002..

    Reporting and handling of misconduct

    • SDK FREJA’s whistle-blower service is managed by a third-party and available in several languages for easy access. Our whistleblower service provides our employees with the opportunity to anonymously and freely express concerns or grievances in confidence through our website and our intranet.
    • We currently have two separate Codes of Conduct – one for our employees and one for the suppliers of our Logistics division. In Q3 2022, a unified Code of Conduct for SDK FREJA will replace our current Codes of Conduct, and it will, like the existing ones,


    • We aim to be compliant with the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) before entry into force in 2025/2026.

    Sustainability is in focus going forward

    SDK merged with logistics and transport company FREJA in 2021. A perfect match which gave rise to the perfect opportunity to compile and launch the Group’s first unified Sustainability Report. The synergy creates seamless opportunities for cooperation in-between the entities, which benefits all of SDK FREJA and the customers.

    Sustainability is the dawn of new possibilities to create a better future. We are certain the sustainable agenda will be a benefit for successful operations across our organization all our partners.

    Read the full report  here

    Before ESG, FREJA put out CSR rapports every year since 2017. You can see them all here

    The entire Danish transport industry and the Minister of Transport have made the EU Commission roll back their decision on the interpretation of ‘return-of-vehicle’

    On 23 June, a united Danish transport industry wrote a letter to the Ministry of Transport in which, among other things, stated the following:

    “It will be devastating for the competitiveness of the European road freight sector if the Commission’s interpretation is allowed to remain in force. The logistics and the organization of the flow of goods and goods in Europe will be complicated to an unprecedented degree, which will lead to a noticeable decrease in the efficiency and productivity of the sector. Capacity will be sucked out of the market in a situation where the opposite is needed, and this will result in increased costs for companies, consumers and society, without anyone benefiting from it.”

    The letter is a response to the EU Commission’s decision and interpretation of the EU’s Road Package, which came into effect in February 2022.

    Read also: The EU Commission insists that the law on the return of lorries also applies to trailers.

    A few days after the letter was sent, Transport Minister Trine Bramsen met the industry’s wishes and sent a letter to the EU Commission, in which the minister writes that Denmark does not expect to follow the Commission’s interpretation of sending both trailers and semi-trailers home every eight weeks .

    On 14 September 2022, the EU Commission rolled back their previous interpretation and only trucks must return every 8 weeks – no longer the trailer.

    The latest Mobility Package rules, which included the 8-week mandatory return of vehicles, were approved by the European Parliament in summer 2020 with effect from February 2022.

    The mobility package included the mandatory return truck rule, which states that a vehicle must return once every eight weeks to the location from which the business is operated. However, the legislation should also apply to trailers and semi-trailers, according to a Q&A sheet published by the EU in the summer of 2022.

    Read the full letter from the Danish transport industry to the Minister of Transport here.


    Synergies and opportunities in sustainability across the entire USTC

    Following the company’s strongest financial year to date, United Shipping and Trading Company (USTC) presents its first unified Sustainability Report, showing baselines and ambitions across the Group based on individual reporting by subsidiary companies of USTC including SDK FREJA, Unit IT, Uni-Tankers, and Bunker Holding.

    Corporate Governance

    As USTC has grown both organically and through acquisitions, we have had a continuous focus on strengthening governance across the Group. At the same time, we have slowly and steadily been implementing a generational shift in the ownership, ensuring that Torben Østergaard-Nielsen’s baton has been passed to his two daughters Mia Østergaard Rechnitzer and Nina Østergaard Borris. These developments have been natural, intentional, and highly connected.

    Climate Impacts

    Group companies operate as intermediaries and facilitators, and the overwhelming share of the carbon footprint of each company comes in the form of indirect emissions from their value chain. For USTC, these Scope 3 emissions account for 99.9 percent of the total footprint.

    Diversity, Equility and Inclusion

    USTC supports all companies in the Group which encompasses people as diverse as bunker traders, IT specialists, truck drivers, dock workers, and financial experts. Whilst each company in USTC works with Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, as the challenges and potential solutions relate to them and their markets


    The world that USTC operates in is not the same as when the company was established more than 40 years ago. It might not look that way, as we still essentially support our customers with bringing their goods and services to market in the best possible way. But the way we do this is shifting fundamentally, especially during the last decade.


    Once a small local shipbroking company, SDK’s journey can be traced all the way back to parent company USTC’s tentative beginnings in 1876. Over time, SDK experienced tremendous growth through acquiring smaller companies; a growth journey only made possible by the active engagement and involvement of the family-owned parent company USTC – or United Shipping and Trading Company. In the latest of its endeavors, SDK merged with logistics and transport company FREJA in 2021. A perfect match which gave rise to the perfect opportunity to compile and launch the Group’s first unified Sustainability Report.

    Open conversations between the owners and USTC entities around aligning efforts and ambitions for sustainability have of late been high on the agenda.

    By setting direction and ambitions for sustainability, parent company USTC is creating value for the entire group of companies and ensuring their long-term prosperity

    Read USTCs full sustainability here.

    Before ESG, FREJA put out CSR rapports every year since 2017. You can see them all here