IPC’s EMMS group has set a carbon efficiency target of 20% emissions reduction per letter mail and per parcel by 2025, from a 2013 baseline. IPC is listed on the Science Based Targets website for having successfully developed science based targets.

Having achieved the initial Scope 1 and 2 emissions 2020 reduction target of 20% in 2014, a new group target was introduced in that same year: to achieve a 20% reduction in Scope 1, 2, and 3 (where Scope 3 includes outsourced transport only) emissions per letter mail and per parcel by 2025, from a 2013 baseline. Since then, the group’s letter mail delivery efficiency has improved from 36.9 grams of CO2 per item in 2013, to 35.3 grams per item in 2017, a decrease of 4%.

This achievement is particularly noteworthy given the 11% decline in letter mail volumes reported by participants over the period, meaning that absolute emissions have been falling at a faster rate (15% from the baseline) than the number of items delivered. Meanwhile, parcel delivery efficiency has seen a significant improvement from the baseline year, with the group reporting 423.9 grams of CO2 per item in 2017 compared to 505.0 grams per item in 2013. This represents a 16% decrease in emissions per parcel in just four years, compared with a 51% increase in the number of items delivered over the period.

Delivery Efficiency: Letter Mail

As shown in Figure 6, EMMS participants have improved their letter mail delivery efficiency since the 2013 baseline, with the group reporting 35.3 grams of CO2 per item in 2017 compared to 36.9 grams per item in 2013. This progress shows that despite the ongoing challenge of declining letter mail volumes, participants are maintaining their efforts to improve the efficiency of their letter mail operations. Indeed, the rate of decrease in emissions associated with letter mail processing and delivery between 2013 and 2017 is greater than the rate of decline in letter mail volumes, illustrating the group’s commitment to enhancing operational efficiencies. Based on the group’s progress so far and by maintaining its current momentum, we are still confident the group can achieve the 2025 target of 29.5 grams of CO2 per item.

Delivery Efficiency: Parcel

We are especially pleased to again see a significant improvement this year in parcel delivery efficiency: 423.9 grams of CO2 per item in 2017 compared to 436.0 grams per item in 2016 (a decrease of 3%), as illustrated in Figure 7. This trend is particularly impressive when we consider the growth currently being experienced within the parcel sector. Indeed, while parcel volumes again increased between 2016 and 2017, by nearly 1 bn items (9%), the associated emissions from deliveries increased at just 6%. Since 2013, our group has reported a 51% increase in parcel deliveries, yet emissions per item have decreased by 16% in the same period.  The continued annual improvement in parcel delivery efficiency from the 2013 baseline reflects EMMS participants’ ongoing commitment to minimising emissions amid continually increasing parcel deliveries.