Marking the 10th anniversary of the launch of IPC’s Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS) programme, postal chief executives gathered in Bonn, Germany at the IPC 2019 Annual Conference to celebrate progress so far and look at challenges for the next ten years.

The IPC EMMS programme was one of the first sector-wide initiatives aimed at systematically reducing carbon emissions. With the Carbon Management Proficiency target reached in 2018, the programme has successfully reached the targets set in 2008. The EMMS group has achieved so far: 

  • A 30%-reduction in carbon emissions (2008 baseline) 
  • 91% in Carbon Management Proficiency, compared to 56% in 2008
  • Collective savings of €1,735m through fuel and electricity savings

Holger Winklbauer, CEO of IPC said: “The postal sector was one of the first to launch a collective initiative aimed at increasing their carbon management proficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Collaboration is a key facet of the programme and through knowledge transfer and best practice sharing, the sector has been one of the most proactive in reducing its carbon footprint”.

Building on the successful achievements so far, the initiative is now expanding to align its objectives with those of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on health and safety, learning and development, air quality, climate change, resource efficiency, circular economy and sustainable procurement.

“I congratulate members of the IPC for not only achieving their past emissions targets ahead of time”, said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, “but aligning their policies with the Sustainable Development Goals. This is exactly the leadership we need throughout the world as we urgently and collectively address climate change”.  

Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), said: “Achieving the SDGs and harnessing the potential they represent is beyond the reach of any single company. The ambitions of the Goals call for coordination and collective efforts from entire industry sectors. It is therefore critical that leading companies within sectors are coming together to develop an SDG roadmap.”

Achievement of Carbon Management target concludes original EMMS programme 

A global initiative, the EMMS programme consists of 19 participants worldwide. The full EMMS programme was launched in 2009, capturing data and measuring progress for the 2008 calendar year. 

In line with the programme’s aim to reduce carbon emissions across the sector, IPC and the participating posts together set two ambitious targets to be achieved collectively by the EMMS group by 2020 (from the 2008 baseline year): 

  • To reduce combined carbon emissions from own operations by 20% – achieved in 2014
  • To achieve a score of at least 90% in carbon management proficiency (CMP) – achieved in 2018 and reported in 2019 

AC EMMS results

“The postal sector has made a great first step by developing a collective structure and shared sustainability programme. Now it is time to take a next step to deliver on the programme objectives and create impact for the much-needed transformation of our economic systems. On climate change it would be good if the sector can develop a collective roadmap to decarbonise the postal sector and commit to using disclosure frameworks like the TCFD to report on progress. We look forward to seeing the leadership of the postal sector in accelerating the transition to a sustainable world”, added Peter Bakker.

Posts enlarge the scope 

Following extensive engagement with both internal and external stakeholders, the postal sector will  align its programme with the following UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have been identified as those on which the postal sector can have the most positive impact: Climate action (Goal 13); Sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11); Responsible consumption and production (Goal 12); Decent work and economic growth (Goal 8); and Industry, innovation and infrastructure (Goal 9). 

Holger Winklbauer, explained: “Based on collaboration between participants over the past three years, a new UN SDG-aligned management proficiency questionnaire and performance indicators calculator were piloted in late 2018. Through open discussions and best-practice sharing, we are currently refining the new questionnaire and calculator. Once finalised, they will be deployed in the 2019 reporting cycle. We recognise the importance of setting aspirational yet achievable targets to drive sustainability within the sector. This is evidenced by the impressive progress that our group has made to date against the EMMS programme targets. As we saw the optimism and the drive of our CEOs, we remain confident they will carry on this success and continue to make a positive impact, in their countries of operation, communities and beyond.” 

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

Fuel and electricity savings: a solid business case

Fuel consumption and electricity use are the most significant contributors to the postal sector’s carbon emissions. A focus on reducing emissions associated with these activities not only has considerable environmental benefits but also presents opportunities for financial gain. Since 2008, the group has achieved an accumulated saving of 1.3m tonnes of carbon emissions from own transport. The 458m litres of fuel saved represent a financial saving of €466m (US$525m).

The group’s year-on-year electricity consumption fell by more than 2.2% between 2016 and 2017, demonstrating posts’ continued momentum in this area. Since the start of the programme, participants have collectively reduced their annual electricity consumption by 24%, from 9.95 TWh in 2008 to 7.60 TWh in 2017. This translates into an accumulated saving of 14.0 TWh over nine years, which, equates to €1,269m (US$1,430m) saved over the period. The total savings made in electricity use and fuel consumption amount to €1,735m (US$1,995).

For more information about the IPC Sustainability Programme, click here.


Information for the editors:

The IPC 2019 Annual Conference ‘Postal sector sustainability: challenges for the next ten years’ featured keynote speeches from Peter Bakker, President and CEO, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as well as Dr Richard Hewston, Principal Consultant, Environment and Climate Change, Verisk Maplecroft and Marc Daelman, Partner, PwC Belgium. For the informal panel discussions, keynote speakers were joined at the table by Tonne Wille, CEO Posten Norge and Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL. 

The following posts were represented: 
The IPC Annual Conference gathered about 80 senior delegates, including CEOs, from the following posts from the IPC membership and beyond: An Post (Ireland); Australia Post (Australia); bpost (Belgium).Bulgarian Posts (Bulgaria); Correos (Spain); Cyprus Post (Cyprus); Deutsche Post DHL Group (Germany); Hellenic Post ELTA (Greece); Hrvatska Posta (Croatia);Iceland Post (Iceland); India Post (India); Japan Post Co.Ltd (Japan); Latvijas Pasts (Latvia); Le Groupe La Poste (France); Magyar Posta (Hungary); New Zealand Post (New Zealand); Omniva (Estonia); Austrian Post AG (Austria); POST Luxembourg (Luxembourg); Poste Italiane (Italy); Posten Norge (Norway); PostNL (The Netherlands); PostNord (Denmark and Sweden); Posta Slovenije (Slovenia); Posta Slovenska (Slovakia); Swiss Post (Switzerland); United States Postal Service (US) and representatives from PostEurop.

About International Post Corporation
International Post Corporation (IPC) is the leading service provider of the global postal industry that provides leadership by driving service quality, interoperability and business-critical intelligence to support posts in defending existing business and expanding into new growth areas. It is a cooperative association of 23 member postal operators in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. IPC’s solutions and services are used by over 180 posts worldwide. Since 1989 IPC has set standards for upgrading quality and service performance and developed technological solutions that help members enhance service for international letters, packets and parcels. IPC engages in industry research, creates business-critical intelligence, provides a range of platforms and programmes for member post CEOs and senior management to exchange best practices and discuss strategy. IPC also manages the system for incentive-based payments between postal operators.

For further information, please contact:
Eva Wouters, Communications manager, PR and media relations, International Post Corporation
+32 2 724 71 91
[email protected]