Federal minister Philippe De Backer, Flemish energy minister Lydia Peeters, bpost CEO Koen Van Gerven and ENGIE Fabricom CEO Mark Dirckx today officially inaugurated the solar panel system on the roof of bpost’s sorting centre in Antwerp. It is the fourth sorting centre to run on solar energy. With these initiatives bpost aims to retain its title of “world’s greenest postal operator”, while ENGIE continues its mission to turn Belgium into a role model in energy efficiency. bpost will also switch more than half of its fleet to electric vehicles by 2030. In some cities, including Antwerp, bpost already uses the “Colibus”, a new 100% electric vehicle especially designed for the parcels market.
The 3,700 photovoltaic panels were installed by ENGIE Fabricom and have a capacity of 1 MWh. With the new system in Antwerp, bpost now has solar panels covering a total surface area of 33,000 m² on various buildings in Belgium, which clearly makes it one of the leading solar energy producers in Belgium.
As the energy transition leader, ENGIE has invested heavily in energy efficiency for many years. ENGIE is not only the biggest green power producer in the country, it also ensures that its customers are able to produce green energy locally. To date, ENGIE has installed more than 900,000 solar panels, of which 12,460 for bpost on the roofs of the sorting centres in Ghent, Liege, Charleroi and Antwerp. The four systems have a total capacity of 3.2 MW, the equivalent of the annual consumption of around 900 households, and should generate CO₂ emissions savings of more than 1,200 tons per year. ENGIE has financed the investment through the third-party investors structure and will supply green energy at an economical price. Ownership of the systems will be transferred to bpost after 10 years. ENGIE Fabricom is also responsible for maintenance of the solar panels.
Since 2007, bpost has cut its CO₂ emissions by almost 40%. And the company’s efforts to visibly reduce its ecological footprint have not gone unnoticed. IPC, the international network of postal operators, recently named bpost the “world’s greenest postal operator” for the sixth consecutive year.
-20% CO₂ emissions, thanks to the switch to an electric fleet
In addition, bpost remains conscious of the impact of the increasing use by Belgian consumers of online stores, which leads to a growing number of parcel deliveries. To handle this growth in an ecologically responsible way and retain its position in the leading group of the most sustainable players, bpost has set new CO₂ reduction targets for 2030.
As one of Belgium’s leading companies, bpost wishes to play a pioneer role and has set itself the goal of reducing CO₂ emissions from its activities by at least 20% by 2030. This target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, ensuring that bpost is in line with Paris’ climate targets.
To achieve this goal, bpost will replace 50% of its diesel vehicles with electric alternatives by 2030. Some 600 new electric vans will be deployed across Belgium by 2022, which will increase to more than 3,400 by 2030.
Presentation of the new Colibus, 100% electric and ergonomic parcel delivery
bpost runs Belgium’s biggest electric fleet and broadens it with the Colibus, a first for the Belgian parcel market. The Colibus is a 100% electric vehicle especially designed for the parcels market. It will replace the medium-sized diesel vans in urban areas. The vehicle can carry more than 100 parcels.
bpost is the first postal operator in Europe to use the Colibus, after a 10-month pilot. In addition to the new Colibus and the electric vans, bpost also has 2,652 electric bikes and 324 electric trikes.
Koen Van Gerven, bpost CEO, says: “With its activities and as one of Belgium’s biggest employers, bpost plays an important role in the society. So we are more determined than ever to set the right example by minimising the CO₂ emissions of our activities. In that respect, the solar panel system that we have inaugurated today at our sorting centre in Antwerp is without doubt a major step in the right direction, as is the increasing use of electric vehicles to deliver letters and parcels to our customers. Sustainable logistics has been a top priority for bpost for years and that will continue in the future.”
Mark Dirckx, ENGIE Fabricom CEO, says: “The system we inaugurate at bpost today illustrates the ambition of ENGIE to contribute to a harmonious development with local and ever-greener energy. We believe more than ever in the potential of solar energy and the projects we develop with our B2B customers encourage us to further expand these activities. As an energy transition leader, we are very well placed to offer the best solutions, adapted to the needs of our customers, as we do for bpost today.”