Energy efficiency gains help Royal Mail Group hit emissions reduction target

Leveraging data has been key to reducing Royal Mail Group’s environmental impact and achieving the organisation’s 2020 target of a 20% reduction in carbon emissions four years ahead of schedule.

In 2011/12, Royal Mail Group set the challenging goal of a 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 with a baseline of 2004/5. To help achieve this, the company has undertaken a programme to combine both technical and behavioural solutions for reducing energy consumption. Recently, this initiative has included the installation of Real Time Energy Monitors (RTO) across the top energy consuming sites within Royal Mail Group, including the Leeds Mail Centre.

The RTOs establish a baseline of energy consumption and allow for a comparison of energy usage across the different concentrations of employees within the centre. This helps identify unpopulated areas with active consumption and also helps determine any operational impacts of initiatives. Data from the RTOs is regularly analysed to identify improvement opportunities and ensure spikes or increased energy consumption are targeted with mitigation strategies.

Based on data derived from the RTO pilot initiative, Leeds Mail Centre has:

  • Installed LEDs lighting in key areas
  • Introduced a temperature sensor in the Air Handling Units that ensures they stop operating when not needed
  • Empowered front line staff to adopt sustainable behaviour with data driven information
  • Championed best practice and knowledge sharing to the wider organisation through internal presentations

In 2017 these actions contributed to a 15.5% reduction in total annual energy consumption at Leeds Mail Centre and a 21% reduction in the associated carbon footprint compared to the previous year. This represents more than a 3% reduction in the carbon footprint of the entire organisation.

Utilising data has empowered decision makers, driven positive behaviour change and ‘visualised’ the sustainability achievements; instituting support for the programme and activities across all stakeholder levels of the organisation. Looking forward, Royal Mail Group is working on new target proposals to enable it to continue to drive down carbon emissions and reduce its impact on the environment.