Published on September 17, 2021

Green Postal Day – 17 September 2021

Posts collectively commit to ambitious sustainability targets by 2030 and highlight challenges ahead.

17 September 2021 Posts worldwide celebrate today the third Green Postal Day. CEOs of 16 posts worldwide reiterate their commitment to contribute to a more sustainable economy and society, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Posts pursued their efforts to reduce CO2 emissions despite the disruptions and the increased volumes linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Posts worldwide show readiness to deliver the additional e-commerce volumes linked to COVID-19 pandemic in the most sustainable way. However, posts worldwide highlight challenges that need to be addressed.

Posts announce ambitious collective targets for 2030

Posts worldwide, through the IPC SMMS Programme (1), commit to have their yearly collective CO2 emissions (2) by 2030 compared to 2019 levels.  To meet this goal, posts will focus mainly on emissions generated by buildings and transportation, which respectively account for 45 and 55% of their total emissions. By 2030, posts collectively aim to have 50% of their fleet as alternative fuel vehicles (against 22% in 2020), of which 25% of electric vehicles (against 16% in 2020) and 75% of their energy consumed, generated from renewable sources (against 33% in 2020).

In line with the UN Sustainability Development goals, postal commitment also goes beyond CO2 emissions. By 2030, they collectively commit to having 50% of reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging sold.

In line with the UN Sustainability Development goals, postal commitment also goes beyond CO2 emissions. By 2030, they collectively commit to having 50% of reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging sold. As part of their engagement, posts are committed to improve their Sustainability Management Proficiency Group Score by 38 points to 90 points in 2030 (3) with the results third party validated by PwC.

Sustainability Management Proficiency covers management initiatives based on four core management pillars: Strategy and Policy, Embedding, Measurement and Evaluation, and Reporting and Disclosure. Posts already made strong progress towards the target in 2020, increasing their group score by nine points compared to 2019, to 61% points.

Today, posts have achieved a reduction of their joint yearly emissions (4) by 34% (5), compared to 2008. In 2014, posts achieved their 20% reduction target, initially set for 2020. Since 2013, posts have collectively adopted the science-based target of reducing total emissions linked to packet and parcel delivery by 20% per item (6). Thanks to their joint efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of delivery, posts are 16% away from their 2025 objective.

Posts have been pioneers in implementing sustainability policies and actions, in their operations and in meeting the expectations of their stakeholders regarding sustainability. Global postal operators were one of the first sectors to launch their own sector system to monitor and measure their carbon footprint and to establish joint targets to reduce their emissions.

Posts best placed to ensure sustainable last mile delivery

Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of e-commerce. Up to half of the online cross-border shoppers (7) would prefer the delivery of their parcel to be carbon neutral and would like the packaging material of their parcels to be sustainable.  

Stakeholders and regulators around the world are increasingly demanding businesses to take actions to mitigate the effects of climate change. Resulting from the pandemic, consumers have bought more items online and intend to continue doing so. Indeed, the global share of e-commerce as a percentage of total retail sales increased by 3.4% over the last year (8). Thanks to their unrivalled nation-wide networks delivering to every home, posts provide the most sustainable option for delivering the substantial growth in e-commerce parcel volumes.

Carbon Neutral Parcel

Posts highlight challenges ahead

However, the lack of charging infrastructure for electric cars and of alternative-fuel options for large delivery trucks are seen as possible challenges for achieving those targets. Posts worldwide call for cooperation with partner industries and stakeholders to address those and speed up innovation.

  1. (1)IPC Sustainability Measurement and Management System

  2. (2)Scope 1, and 2

  3. (3)The baseline is 2019

  4. (4)Scope 1 and 2

  5. (5)2020 SMMS results

  6. (6)Scope 1, 2 and 3

  7. (7)IPC Cross-Border E-Commerce Shopper Survey, January 2021

  8. (8)Euromonitor International Data

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