Brussels, 4 April 2013: Today, the social partners of the European Social Dialogue Committee (SDC) for the postal sector signed the "CSR Joint Conclusions on Environment" in the presence of high-level representatives from the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) and members of the SDC, PostEurop and UNI, to acknowledge the postal sector's social role and commitment to address the environmental issues impacting the industry.
Social partners of the European Social Dialogue Committee (SDC) for the postal sector signed the "CSR Joint Conclusions on Environment" in a ceremony attended by prominent representatives representing employees, employers and the European institutions including Mr. Norbert Schöbel from DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Mr. Dominique Bailly, Chairman of the SDC, Mr. John Baldwin, Vice-Chairman of the SDC, Mr. Botond Szebeny, Secretary General of PostEurop and Mr. Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa.
Postal operators and trade unions are integrating principles of sustainable development into work policies and programs as they consider sustainability to be the heart of their actions. This is also the result of increasing expectations from the sector's main stakeholders including employees, clients, shareholders, consumers, non-governmental organisations and the general public in seeking greener solutions. It is therefore a matter of legitimacy for postal operators to be and appear as environmentally responsible players both outside and within the sector.
These joint conclusions acknowledge that the postal sector has a particular responsibility in mitigating the environmental impact of its activities and is committed through concrete initiatives to address the environmental issue. These initiatives include forming partnerships with the suppliers for the development of electrical vehicles and improving building technology to ensure the use of energy generated from renewable sources such as wind or hydro power.
Based on the findings of the CSR working group in 2011 and 2012, this joint document presents the different ways in which the social partners will contribute to reduce the environmental impact of the postal activities, particularly through providing employees’ with adequate green skills, knowledge, ideas as well as raising the awareness and acceptance of green change amongst the sectors' main stakeholders. It formalizes the increased engagement from postal operators and trade unions that are already active and further contributes to the overall industry effort against climate change. It also formalizes the social partners' commitment to continue to follow the main developments in this area and ensure a constant dialogue between all stakeholders.
"The greening of our economy is a vital part of the Europe 2020 strategy to ensure the well-being of present and future generations. However, the move to a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy can only succeed in close co-operation with social partner organisations. Hence, the Commission welcomes the engagement of European social partners and the results achieved on this issue in the framework of a constructive social dialogue at EU level" said Norbert Schöbel from DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the European Commission.
"Environmental issues are vitally important to all of us. The postal sector as a major user of natural resources can play a major role in contributing to the achievements of global reduction targets. The postal sector has a proud history of social responsibility and the joint conclusions confirm the on-going commitment of the social partners in the European Union" affirms John Baldwin, Vice-Chairman of the SDC
Dominique Bailly, Chairman of the SDC, concludes, “further building environment awareness with the right steps and education is becoming part of our daily lives. Green initiatives can only come to life when we as responsible individuals engage and implement these green solutions through dialogue and concrete actions. The SDC provides a great opportunity to raise the awareness of all the stakeholders from the sector on this issue and its impact on our industry.”
John Baldwin, Vice-Chairman of the Social Dialogue Committee (left) and Dominique Bailly, Chairman of the European Social Dialogue Committee for the Postal Sector and Chair of the Social Responsibility Committee at PostEurop (right) signing the CSR Joint Conclusions on Environment