Royal Mail have revealed the carbon cost of them delivering a parcel is equivalent to making 4 cups of tea (with milk). In their Steps to Zero plan, the short term Royal Mail carbon target aim is to reduce this to 1 cup. In techno speak, Royal Mail’s target is to reduce their average carbon emissions per parcel that they deliver in the UK from 205gCO2e today to 50gCO2e, 13% of which is account for in the final mile of a delivery.
The Royal Mail carbon target is all part of their ambitious new environment plan – They have also brought forward their Net Zero target by 10 years to 2040 and are committing to near term emissions targets in line with climate science, reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025/26 and Scope 3 emissions by 25% by 2030, from a 2020/1 base year.
Royal Mail’s 90,000 posties walk over a billion steps a day, delivering to 31 million addresses. These ‘feet on the street’ help make the company the greenest option for delivering parcels, based on competitors’ reported emissions.
Royal Mail carbon target – Steps to Zero
Royal Mail’s the four-pillar Steps to Zero plan goes further, recognising the urgency of addressing climate change. Each pillar features ambitious new commitments, including:
- Net Zero deliveries: Rolling out more electric vans for final mile deliveries, with 5,500 vans by Spring 2023
- Net Zero operations: 100% renewable electricity across the Royal Mail business, reducing reliance on domestic flights and increasing the use of rail
- Making circular happen: Transforming operations to embrace the circular economy and helping our customers do the same through our Parcel Collect service
- Collaborating for action: Calling for standardised industry-wide reporting on CO2e per parcel so customers can make an informed decision, and collaborating with partners to speed up the roll out of electric and low emission vehicles across the UK
A seven-day parcel service, to and from the customer’s door, delivered by a postie you trust and with the lowest emissions is the winning proposition. Environment is the next battleground for businesses and we are determined to lead. Setting an ambitious target to reduce parcel emissions to 50 gCO2e demonstrates our commitment to driving change and minimising our impact on the environment.
We now merchandise the emissions per parcel for every delivery on the Royal Mail App, so customers can understand the impact of their order on the planet. We want to go much further and transform the way we collect, process and deliver the 10 billion letters and parcels we handle each year. All this means we can pull forward our net zero target by ten years to 2040.– Simon Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Mail
Royal Mail want to be seen as an industry leader and so are calling for industry-wide standardised reporting on CO2e per parcel for UK deliveries, so, they say, that customers can make an informed decision. They point out that not all carriers report the carbon cost of a delivery and that there is no standardised method of measurement.
The reality is that consumers often have little choice on which carrier is used so it’s down to retailers to sell them on carbon efficient deliveries and generally it all comes down to cost and service – end customers might say that they prefer green deliveries but at the end of the day many just want their parcel delivered in a convenient timely manner for free or at least as low a cost as possible.