World Postal Operators to Release Emissions Data

World Postal Operators to Release Emissions Data

The world’s postal sector will measure its carbon footprint and release the findings in December in time for the international climate change negotiations in Copenhagen.

The International Postal Corp., which represents 24 postal operators from around the world, said last week it would publish a report detailing the sector's carbon proficiency, based on 2008 data from 21 participating postal operations.

The metrics will include carbon dioxide emissions per 1000€ (US$1,391) turnover, emissions per kilogram of mail per kilometer traveled, and emissions per item. It will include a quantitative assessment of carbon efficiency, as well as an analysis in 11 qualitative management proficiency areas. The group wants the framework to be compatible with operations of varying size.

The program follows a successful pilot in 2008, according to Jean-Paul Bailly, IPC chairman and CEO of La Poste, France.

“The focus for our first year has been carbon, but we hope to eventually expand the system in future years to include wider issues relating to employees, society and ethical supply chains,” Bailly said in a statement. “We hope that our approach will act as a blueprint for other global sectors.”

Operators in the measurement program hail from the U.S., Spain, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Portugal and Norway, among other countries. IPC membership is responsible for 80 percent of global mail volumes, operates a 600,000-strong vehicle fleet and maintains nearly 100,000 buildings.

Postal operators from around the world have taken steps in recent years to reduce their environmental impacts. In North America, for example, the U.S. Postal Service maintains the country's largest civilian alternative fuel vehicle fleet, its boxes and envelopes are Cradle to Cradle certified and it has incorporated renewable energy into its mail centers. Canada Post expects its total greenhouse gas emissions will have declined 14 percent by 2012, compared to a 2002 baseline. The Royal Mail Group in the U.K. has implemented a carbon management strategy that focuses on improving building and fleet efficiency, and offseting residual emissions.

Mail image CC licensed by Flickr user Pink Sherbet Photography.