A Green Postal Day has been added to the mobility actions in the European Mobility Week campaign and Zero Emissions Day. “Green Postal Day” promotes sustainable mobility and climate protection. This year will mark the world’s very first Green Postal Day, in which eighteen postal companies across the globe are participating. The goal of Green Postal Day is to highlight how the past ten years of sector cooperation has helped reduce carbon emissions. The participants from the postal sector are offering to work together with other industries to share information regarding best practices. The goal is to encourage a sectoral approach to climate change. Since 2008, postal operators participating in the Postal Sector Sustainability program have reduced their collective carbon emissions by almost 30%, and their collective electricity consumption by 24%. Posts have doubled the share of alternative-fuel vehicles in their fleet from 73,000 vehicles in 2012 to 150,000 in 2017; equivalent to 23% of the total vehicle fleet.
Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS)
Although the postal sector is responsible for less than 1% of the world’s carbon emissions, postal companies worldwide have joined together to combat the impact of climate change by pursuing a joint approach to decarbonization. That’s why worldwide posts joined forces through the International Post Corporation (IPC) to launch the Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS) to develop an industry-wide program for measuring and reducing carbon emissions, making postal companies among the first in 2009 to choose a joint approach.
The EMMS initiative aims to contribute to steadily reducing the carbon footprint of all postal-sector companies with the help of data collection and analysis, a common reporting structure and various feedback mechanisms as well as regular opportunities to share best practices. The targets originally set for 2020 of reducing combined carbon emissions by 20% and achieving a minimum score of 90% in carbon management proficiency were already achieved in 2014 and 2019.
The cooperative nature of the initiative has been especially beneficial in enabling the companies to steadily improve their carbon efficiency throughout the past ten years. In preparation for meeting future challenges, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have now been integrated into the IPC sustainability initiative. The focus is on Good Health and Well-Being, Quality Education, Life on Land, Climate Action, and Responsible Consumption and Production.
Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary: “The postal sector has shown great leadership by adopting a common approach to reduce their carbon footprint. Not only have the posts achieved their targets well ahead of schedule, but now they are taking it a step further by aligning their objectives to UN Sustainable Development Goals. We are convinced that this is the right way to go and we urge other sectors to follow this example”.
PostNL, the Dutch postal company, further diversified its alternate fuel vehicle fleet – which already included several hundred biogas and e-cargo bikes – by replacing fifteen large trucks with trucks running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2018. Along with lowering carbon emissions by 10%, the trucks improve the quality of life in urban environments by significantly reducing noise emissions. One of Poste Italiane’s contributions has been in the area of information sharing with the publication of an e-book entitled Perché muoversi in modo sostenibile? (Why do we need sustainable mobility?). The e-book outlines a number of best practices along with the economic benefits of living a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle with the goal of raising awareness about sustainable mobility among Poste Italiane employees and promoting their own sustainable mobility.
Deutsche Post DHL Group
Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group says, “What’s important to me is to point out not only what we at Deutsche Post DHL Group have achieved, but also to highlight the joint efforts of the postal sector as a whole in the area of climate protection. We share our innovations and ideas for reducing carbon emissions with each other and encourage each other to carry out planned initiatives to fruition. Our goal is to cooperate as a sector in making a crucial contribution to slowing down the pace of global warming and minimizing the long-term effects of climate change.”
Deutsche Post DHL Group’s Mission 2050 climate strategy aims to reach net zero in the Group’s logistics emissions by 2050. The main driver of the net zero emissions strategy is the GoGreen environmental initiative launched by the Deutsche Post DHL Group back in 2008 with the goal of lastingly reducing the Group’s carbon footprint. The GoGreen initiative involved developing offers for green products and solutions for customers, measures to improve carbon efficiency in transport operations and in building management along with clean delivery and pickup concepts. In addition to bicycles, e-bikes and e-trikes, StreetScooters can be seen on the roads of Germany with increasing frequency.
The StreetScooter is considered a model for success in electro-mobility and counts as one of the most prominent success stories in the history of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The electric scooter was developed by Deutsche Post DHL Group in cooperation with RWTH Aachen University after the Group’s unsuccessful search for a small electric delivery vehicle already on the market. More than 10,000 StreetScooters are on the road today, which has already saved around 32,000 tons of CO2.
The examples above illustrate the variety of climate protection initiatives in existence and demonstrate the effectiveness of the postal sector in reducing its carbon footprint along with the sector’s initial achievements. Each year, Green Postal Day will highlight that year’s achievements in order to motivate other industries to develop similar initiatives and thus effectively combat global warming by working together.