Green Postal Day logoBrussels, 18 September 2020 – With the COVID-19 crisis, e-commerce has known an unprecedented surge with 52% of consumers having bought more online from domestic e-retailers and 49% of consumers agreeing that COVID-19 means that they will shop more online in future1. Coinciding with the second Green Postal Day2, CEOs of 15 posts worldwide today reiterate the postal commitment to further reduce the carbon footprint of delivery, despite the increase in e-commerce. 

Holger Winklbauer, CEO, IPC states: “Over the years, with the increase of e-commerce and now with the COVID-19 crisis, the postal sector has once again demonstrated its flexibility and adaptability to economic and societal challenges. Ten years of working collectively towards our joint targets has demonstrated that the postal sector takes an important position in the fight against climate change and is exemplary for other industries. With a reduction of over 30% of their CO2 emissions in 2019, posts have overachieved their initial targets for 2020 by 50%. This is why posts have now decided to broaden their commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on which posts have the biggest impact.”

Electric vehicles account for a 15% share of posts’ fleets3, an increase of 10% over the last three years. The share of alternative-fuel vehicles is one of the indicators monitored and reported by posts collectively for the past 10 years which they will continue to monitor through their new Sustainability Measurement and Management System (SMMS).

In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9, posts have made considerable investment in developing low-carbon delivery solutions for the last-mile delivery of packets and parcels. Delivery in city-centres and urban centres is carried out on foot, by a traditional or e-bike, or through non-emissive and shared delivery systems. 

CO2 emissions reductionsFor longer distance delivery, the vehicle fleet is progressively replaced by electrical or alternative fuel vans. Posts also have a long record of developing tailor-made electrical vehicles taking into account the needs of postal workers delivering e-commerce items. 

Other SMMS results for 20194 published today, demonstrate determination of posts to pursue efforts to reduce their footprint and contribute to sustainable development:

  • Posts participating in SMMS reduced their absolute carbon emissions by 31% since 2008
  • Renewable electricity in buildings accounts for 31% of total electricity used
  • 47% of waste is separated for re-use or recycling


About the Postal Sustainability programme

The postal sector is one of the only industry sectors to have its own collective sustainability measurement and reporting programme. Since 2008 postal operators have achieved a reduction of over 30% of their joint CO2 emissions, well ahead of the 20% reduction target by 2020. The Postal Sector Sustainability programme results are third-party audited by PwC and the collective results have been published each year since 2009.

But sustainability is not only limited to CO2 emissions reductions. In 2019, posts launched the Sustainability Measurement and Management System (SMMS), and extended their efforts to measure, report and learn from one another. Based on extensive stakeholder engagement, reporting is based on seven categories which relate to five SDGs where posts could have the most positive impact. These include Health and Safety, Learning and Development, Resource Efficiency, Air Quality, Circular Economy, Sustainable Procurement and Climate Change. The five related SDGs are SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), SDG 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure), SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (Climate action). Currently 19 posts from America, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific are participating in the IPC SMMS programme.

Postal operators report their yearly progress in each of the seven categories, based on the 2019 baseline year, including:

  • Reduction in absolute carbon emissions
  • Carbon emissions efficiency
  • Increasing the fleet composition of alternative fuel vehicles and electric vehicles
  • Waste separated for re-use and recycling

Meanwhile, posts are continuing to work towards the Science Based efficiency target of 20% emission reduction per letter/parcel by 2025.

1  2020 IPC Domestic E-Commerce Shopper Survey Pilot based on a survey of 6,184 online shoppers in eight countries – Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, the UK and the US. The research took place from June to July 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2  The Green Postal Day was launched in 2019 by CEOs of leading postal operators in North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific, to highlight the benefits the postal industry has reaped by working together as a sector over the last ten years to reduce CO2 emissions. The Green Postal Day supports the International Zero Emissions day and the EU mobility week. More information: www.ipc.be/GreenPostalDay
3  Aggregated result for all the posts participating in the IPC SMMS programme. The Sustainability Measurement and Management System (SMMS) was launched in 2019. The new programme builds on the successful competition of all targets of the postal Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS), launched in 2008. The scope of the new programme has been aligned with the UN SDGs.  
4  Background information about these results can be found at www.ipc.be/sustainability

About International Post Corporation

International Post Corporation (IPC) is the leading service provider of the global postal industry that provides leadership by driving service quality, interoperability and business-critical intelligence to support posts in defending existing business and expanding into new growth areas. It is a cooperative association of 25 member postal operators in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. IPC’s solutions and services are used by over 180 posts worldwide. Since 1989 IPC has set standards for upgrading quality and service performance and developed technological solutions that help members enhance service for international letters, packets and parcels. IPC engages in industry research, creates business-critical intelligence, provides a range of platforms and programmes for member post CEOs and senior management to exchange best practices and discuss strategy. IPC also manages the system for incentive-based payments between postal operators.

For further information, please contact:

Eva Wouters
Communications manager, PR and media relations
International Post Corporation
+32 2 724 71 91