Environment and sustainability
Environment and sustainability
However, with environmental concerns growing in importance, consumers are increasingly looking for more sustainable deliveries, including zero emissions. In response to this, we have developed a new, more stretching environment strategy.
Our strategy includes the following targets:
- Delivering net zero: we will be a net zero carbon emission business by 2050. This target will be periodically reviewed and brought forward if possible.
- Clean air: 100 per cent of our fleet will be powered by alternative fuel by 2050.
- Responsible consumption: we will reduce waste generated, and water used, by 25 per cent by 2030
Progress in 2019-20
In 2019-20, our total UK carbon footprint decreased by two per cent compared with the previous year.
We are committed to taking action to reduce our emissions and improve air quality in the communities in which we operate. Our vehicle strategy focuses on three areas, improving fuel efficiency, trialling and deploying alternative fuel, advanced technology vehicles and ensuring an efficient transport network.
In 2019-20, we successfully introduced new trucks fuelled with CNG. These offer significant reductions in CO2e and air emissions when compared to their diesel equivalent.
We own, operate, lease and maintain a large property portfolio. The energy used to run our buildings made up 24 per cent of our carbon footprint in 2019-20, which means that energy management is a key priority for us.
We power our buildings and operation with electricity 100 per cent backed by low-carbon generation. We currently have solar panels installed at six of our sites and are reviewing the potential install more.
We recognise the impact of poor air quality on some of the communities in which we operate. We understand we have a role to play in improving air quality. Long-term, our aim is that 100 per cent of our fleet will be powered by renewable energy by 2050.
In 2019-20, we introduced a additional 193 electric vehicles to our fleet, bringing our current total to 295. At Mount Pleasant, one of our largest Mail Centres, we have 87 electric vehicles in operation. This is helping to reduce emissions from our fleet in central London.
We continue to trial and deploy new approach to reduce the environmental impact of our fleet. Read about our latest van trial here
In 2019-20, we set new targets for responsible consumption. We aim to reduce the amount of waste generated, and the amount of water consumed, by 25 per cent by 2030, compared to 2018-19 levels.
During 2019-20, we generated 38,692 tonnes of waste, an increase of 10 per cent from the prior year. We continue to focus on reducing waste generated, while increasing the amount of materials we reuse, redeploy or recycle.
Our ‘Green Parts’ programme removes all reusable parts from end-of-life vehicles, for reuse within the business, or for resale to others.
Also, in 2019-20, our Apprentices led a project to design and develop new waste signage using materials from obsolete High Capacity Trolleys. The signs are now part of a wider project to improve waste management across our sites.
During the year, we used 1,419,440m3 of water. We use water predominantly for domestic purposes, such as washroom facilities and cleaning vehicles.
This year, we successfully trialed waterless vehicle washing. This reduces water consumption and avoids the risk of non-compliance of permits on our sites. This waterless system saves over 150 litres of water per wash and is now currently in operation at our Home Countries North Mail Centre. We are currently assessing the potential to roll out to other sites across the UK.
If you would like more information on our progress please see our latest CR report here.