Posts are clearly taking the road to low-carbon delivery. Since 2012, the total number of vehicles in postal operations has increased by 77,000 (+13%), while the total number of alternative-fuel vehicles has increased by 31,000 (+42%).


  • Posts participating in IPC Sustainability programme continue to invest in alternative-fuel vehicles and see the value of eco-driving in their business case
  • IPC Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS) programme reports excellent results in all three reporting categories for reporting year 2016
  • Carbon Management Proficiency results stay ahead of the required rate to reach 2020 objective 

Brussels, 10 November 2017 – Posts are clearly taking the road to low-carbon delivery. Since 2012, the total number of vehicles in postal operations has increased by 77,000 (+13%), while the total number of alternative-fuel vehicles has increased by 31,000 (+42%). In 2016, alternative-fuel vehicles account for 15.7% of the EMMS group’s1 combined fleet, compared to 12.5% in 2012. Between 2015 and 2016, the total number of vehicles increased by 10,000, while the number of alternative-fuel vehicles increased by 12,000. This reflects a decrease in both the number of non-alternative-fuel vehicles and also traditional bicycles, and demonstrates participants’ ongoing efforts to increase the proportion of alternative-fuel vehicle models within their fleets. 

Holger Winklbauer, CEO of IPC says: “Today, many participants in our programme are increasing the number of electric vehicles in their delivery fleets. The number of electric vehicles reported by the EMMS participants increased by 3,000 between 2015 and 2016, such that electric models now account for 29% of all alternative-fuel vehicles and 4.6% of the total vehicle fleet. In comparison, globally only 0.2% of all cars in circulation are electric vehicles. This clearly shows that our participants are leading the way when it comes to investing in low-carbon delivery.” 


Fuel and electricity savings continue to present a solid business case

Fuel consumption and electricity use are the most significant contributors to the postal sector’s carbon emissions, and their reduction presents opportunities for participants to realise considerable financial gains. Over the eight years of the programme, the group has achieved an accumulated saving of 1.3m tonnes of carbon emissions from own transport. Using a conservative conversion factor for diesel, this equates to 460m litres of fuel saved, and represents a financial saving of €403m (US$446m).

When looking at the savings made through the reductions in the group’s electricity consumption since the start of the programme, decreasing from 9.95 TWh in 2008 to 7.77 TWh in 2016 (an accumulated saving of 11.6 TWh over eight years), this corresponds to a saving of €1,081m (US$1,196m).

The total savings made in electricity use and fuel consumption amount to €1,484m (US$1,642).

Carbon management remains on top of postal leadership agenda

Following consistent annual improvements in the EMMS group’s score since 2008, the group is on track to achieve the 90% Carbon Management Proficiency target before 2020. In 2016, EMMS participants achieved an average of 87% (2015: 85%). This represents an increase of 31 percentage points since 2008, equating to an annual average increase of 3.9 percentage points. 

Winklbauer continues: “While we recognise that achieving further improvements becomes even more challenging as participants attain higher scores, with only a further three percentage points required to reach the target we are optimistic that the group can achieve this goal in the next four years. Indeed, the group’s 2.2 percentage point improvement between 2015 and 2016 exceeds the 0.8 percentage point rate that is required to reach the 2020 target within the next four years.” 

Carbon management efforts pay off well in continued CO2 emissions reductions

Having reached the 20% absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction target in 2014 – six years ahead of schedule – the group continues to translate their improved carbon management into further emissions reductions. The group’s emissions have decreased by an impressive 26.9% since the start of the programme, from 8,830,000 tonnes in 2008 to 6,458,000 tonnes in 2016. This equates to aggregated savings of more than 12.7m tonnes of carbon emissions since 2008, which is the equivalent of the CO2 emissions from over 1.3m US homes’ energy use in 2015.

Efficiency target (2013 – 2025): impressive reductions continue per parcel, mail takes off as well

Having achieved the 2020 reduction target for total volumes of Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions in 2014, a new group target (approved by the Science Based Targets (SBT) steering committee) was introduced in the same year: to achieve a 20% reduction in emissions per letter mail and per parcel by 2025, from a 2013 baseline. The group’s letter mail delivery efficiency has improved from 36.9 grams of CO2 per item in 2013, to 35.8 grams per item in 2016. 

Parcel delivery efficiency has seen a significant improvement from the baseline year, with the group reporting 436.0 grams of CO2 per item in 2016 compared to 505.0 grams per item in 2013. This represents a 14% decrease in emissions per parcel in just three years.

Despite the year-on-year decline in letter mail volumes, delivery efficiency has improved from the 2013 baseline as a result of the group reducing emissions associated with letter mail delivery by almost 1m tonnes. Nonetheless, the continuing decline in letter mail volumes presents a growing challenge for participants in improving letter mail delivery efficiency. 

Meanwhile, the growth of e-commerce is driving a rapid increase in parcel volumes. As a result, while the group’s emissions associated with parcel delivery increased between 2015 and 2016, the number of parcels delivered increased at a much greater rate.

IPC published the 2017 IPC Postal Sector Sustainability Report at the occasion of its Board meeting in London, United Kingdom. The online version of the ninth annual Postal Sector Sustainability Report can be consulted here. It also includes 16 best practice cases showcasing particularly successful environmental initiatives taken by EMMS participants. More information on IPC’s Sustainability Programme can be found here. For a full download of the report please click here.


1 The 20 participants in IPC’s EMMS programme are: An Post (Ireland), Australia Post (Australia), Austrian Post (Austria), bpost (Belgium), Correios (Brazil), Correos (Spain), CTT Portugal Post (Portugal), Deutsche Post DHL Group (Germany), Le Groupe La Poste (France), New Zealand Post Group (New Zealand), POST Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Poste Italiane (Italy), Posten Norge (Norway), Posti  (Finland),  PostNL (The Netherlands), PostNord (Denmark & Sweden), Royal Mail Group Plc (United Kingdom), South African Post Office (South Africa), Swiss Post (Switzerland), United States Postal Service (United States)


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 24 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 more information, please contact:
Eva Wouters
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International Post Corporation
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