Int'l Postal Operators on Track to Deliver 2020 Climate Goals

Int'l Postal Operators on Track to Deliver 2020 Climate Goals

Image CC licensed by Flickr user nikoretro

Global postal operators cut emissions 7 percent last year, putting the sector on track to meet its 2020 climate goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 20 percent.

More than 75 percent of global postal operators participating in the International Post Corporation's (IPC) Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS) made significant strides in reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The 20 original participating postal operators collectively avoided 597,000 tonnes of emissions, according to the recently released Postal Sector Sustainability Report 2009.

The operators represent about 80 percent of total global mail volume, including members U.S. Postal Service, U.K. Royal Mail, and the Australian Postal Corp. The group began collecting emissions data in 2008 and announced in December it would reduce its aggregate GHG emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

"We remain convinced that, with the EMMS system in place, and with continued support from our members who provide annual monitoring and reporting, participants will be able to comply with (and ideally exceed) both the IPC emissions reductions goal as well as targets set by international organizations and governments," the IPC wrote in the report.

The group estimates that 53 percent of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions can be attributed to electricity used in buildings and operations, with the remainder caused by transport and heating.

The IPC has laid the foundation to collect data on Scope 3 emissions, which includes supply chains. Eighteen postal operators offered Scope 3 emissions data, revealing that 37 percent comes directly from sub-contracted road transport, followed by 30 percent from employee commuting.

The EMMS allows individual postal operators to be scored in a range of areas, including setting targets, employee engagement, and disclosure and reporting. The operators excelled in the policy and procedure, management and strategy, and target setting categories. The principles and standards, performance, and disclosure and reporting categories received the lowest scores.

"Comparatively poorer scores for performance relate partly to declining mail volumes throughout the sector," the IPC report said. "This makes sustained emissions reductions per unit of turnover challenging. It relates also to many companies having already implemented quick-win emissions reductions, such as switching to green electricity and implementing more efficient transportation methods."

Image CC licensed by Flickr user nikoretro.