Green Postal Day at An Post – As e-commerce booms, posts commit to further reduce their delivery footprint

With the COVID-19 crisis, e-commerce has known an unprecedented surge with 52% of consumers having bought more online from domestic e-retailers and 49% of consumers agreeing that COVID-19 means that they will shop more online in future.

Throughout the world, posts have played a major role during the lockdown by delivering essential goods and e-commerce items to communities.

Coinciding with the second Green Postal Day, CEOs of 15 posts worldwide including An Post, today reiterate the postal commitment to further reduce the carbon footprint of delivery and contribute to a more sustainable society.  As demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 crisis, posts are playing a key social role and care about people. Taking care of people also means contributing to the fight against global warming. This is what postal operators have been doing for more than 10 years.

David McRedmond, CEO of An Post said today “The postal sector commits to sustainability at its core. As an industry with a deep and long history through many generations, and with a presence in every community we know and feel the need to build a long-term, sustainable future for generations to come. Posts have led on the decarbonisation agenda and on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Today in the midst of a global pandemic we broaden our commitment so that the sector can continue to lead for a sustainable world.”

Electric vehicles account for a 15% share of posts’ fleets, an increase of 10% over the last three years. The share of alternative-fuel vehicles is one of the indicators monitored and reported by posts collectively for the past 10 years which they will continue to monitor through their new Sustainability Measurement and Management System (SMMS).

In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9, posts have made considerable investment in developing low-carbon delivery solutions for the last-mile delivery of packets and parcels. Delivery in city-centres and urban centres is carried out on foot, by a traditional or e-bike, or through non-emissive and shared delivery systems.

For longer distance delivery, the vehicle fleet is progressively replaced by electrical or alternative fuel vans. Posts also have a long record of developing tailor-made electrical vehicles taking into account the needs of postal workers delivering e-commerce items.

Other SMMS results for 2019 published today, demonstrate determination of posts to pursue efforts to reduce their footprint and contribute to sustainable development:

  • Posts participating in SMMS reduced their absolute carbon emissions by 31% since 2008  
  • Renewable electricity in buildings accounts for 31% of total electricity used
  • 47% of waste is separated for re-use or recycling

About the Postal Sustainability programme

The postal sector is one of the only industry sectors to have its own collective sustainability measurement and reporting programme. Since 2008 postal operators have achieved a reduction of over 30% of their joint CO2 emissions, well ahead of the 20% reduction target by 2020. The Postal Sector Sustainability programme results are third-party audited by PwC and the collective results have been published each year since 2009.

But sustainability is not only limited to CO2 emissions reductions. In 2019, posts launched the Sustainability Measurement and Management System (SMMS), and extended their efforts to measure, report and learn from one another. Based on extensive stakeholder engagement, reporting is based on seven categories which relate to five SDGs where posts could have the most positive impact. These include Health and Safety, Learning and Development, Resource Efficiency, Air Quality, Circular Economy, Sustainable Procurement and Climate Change. The five related SDGs are SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), SDG 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure), SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (Climate action). Currently 19 posts from America, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific are participating in the IPC SMMS programme.

Postal operators report their yearly progress in each of the seven categories, based on the 2019 baseline year, including:

  • Reduction in absolute carbon emissions
  • Carbon emissions efficiency
  • Increasing the fleet composition of alternative fuel vehicles and electric vehicles
  • Waste separated for re-use and recycling

Meanwhile, posts are continuing to work towards the Science Based efficiency target of 20% emission reduction per letter/parcel by 2025.

Source: An Post

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