Royal Mail has today become the latest major company to pull forward its net zero emissions target date, pledging to reach the goal by 2040, a full 10 years earlier than its previous target.
The new target date provides the centerpiece of a wide-ranging update to the company’s environmental strategy, which also includes new interim targets to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2025/26 and cut its Scope 3 emissions by 25 per cent by 2030, against a 2020/1 base year.
In addition, Royal Mail said it would work to cut the average carbon footprint of delivering a letter by around 75 per cent, reducing emissions from 205gCO2e today to 50gCO2e – equivalent to the carbon emissions of making a cup of tea with milk.
Royal Mail has long argued that its focus on delivering letters and parcels by foot makes it the “greenest option for delivering parcels”, but the new plan, titled Steps to Zeroaims to further accelerate its emissions reduction efforts on a number of fronts.
For example, the plan commits to delivering 5,500 electric vans by Spring 2023, increasing the use of rail, and ensuring 100 per cent renewable electricity across its operations.
In addition, the company said it would continue to call for standardized industry-wide reporting on CO2e per parcel so customers can make an informed decision, and collaborate 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,” said Simon Thompson, CEO at Royal Mail. “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.”
He added that the company was also committed to promoting its environmental credentials to customers.
“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,” he said. “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 10 years to 2040.”
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