Climate Goals: How Postal Companies are Beating COP21

Postal industry achieving target 6 years ahead of carbon objective 2020
Climate Goals: How Postal Companies are Beating COP21 Climate Goals: How Postal Companies are Beating COP21
Publ. date 13 Nov 2015
Early December, Paris will be flooded by global leaders from governments, businesses, NGO's and civil society organizations to join COP21. Sustainability practitioners from all over the world will bend their heads over how to achieve the climate change goals on a global scale. Although the negative messages about governments not reaching climate objectives for 2020 kept us busy lately, there are still evidential cases for reducing the carbon footprint in time. One of those success stories is coming from the postal industry, where the International Post Corporation (IPC) announced that the sector's participants have reached the 2020 ambition of reducing 20% CO2 emissions already in 2014.

Collaborative climate change approach by 21 global postal operators 

Back in 2008, the IPC set up its Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System in response to stakeholders' and CEO requests for the postal sector to lower its carbon footprint. Participants such as Correos, Bpost, PostNL, Deutsche Post DHL, Royal Mail Group and Swiss Post collaboratively joined forces to address the impact of global climate change by:

  1. Reducing the group's carbon emissions by 20% by 2020
  2. Improving Carbon Management proficiency to 90%

Already halfway the term, the group reached its first milestone as its yearly emissions have decreased by 20.6% (from 8,879,000 tonnes to 7,050,000 tonnes since 2008). At the same time the Carbon Management proficiency improved to a group average of 81% coming from 56% in 2008. 

Materialities as the starting point for a clear business case 

As part of their Climate Strategy, eco-efficiency is critical for transportation to boost competitive advantage from both a cost and environmental perspective. Data from the IPC participants demonstrate that the transport emissions decreased by 5% between 2008 and 2014, which saved about 1.2 tonnes of CO2 over the past six years. The approximate number of liters diesel saved amounts 447m liters, representing a cost-reduction of €327m, whereas electricity consumption accumulated in saving 7.5 TWh, representing €577m. 

What to learn from the postal sector?

Which lessons learned from the IPC's program can be transferred to other industries? Key success factor was the building of a clear business case for sustainability for the 21 participating companies in which eco-efficiency was the central value creator as it benefits both the environment, society, ánd IPC-members. The industry-wide initiative accelerated change within the sector which is now leading in the fields of climate strategy and carbon emissions, and they are planning to turn the Carbon Management proficiency in a success story as well. 

Need for a clear business case for sustainability?

With our process approach GLOBE-US, Finch & Beak has supported companies throughout Europe in the process of developing the business case for sustainability, resulting in societal and financial positive impact. If your company is looking for a clear business case, please do not hesitate to contact Josée van der Hoek, Founding Partner, at josee@finchandbeak.com or +31 6 28 02 18 80. 

Image source: David Goehring, Flickr 

About Josée van der Hoek

Experienced strategic issues management specialist with expertise in strategy development, food waste and DJSI. | josee@finchandbeak.com

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