The COP26 Climate Change Conference, which has entered its second week of talks in Glasgow, Scotland, has focused the world’s attention on the road to net zero. As world leaders discuss actions for climate change, the postal sector continues to take positive steps forward in reducing its environmental impact.“A key sustainability challenge for the postal sector is to do more with less, so that means increasing our social and economic impact for customers and governments, whilst simultaneously reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” explained James Hale, Environment and Sustainable Development Expert at the UPU
At the 27th Universal Postal Congress in Abidjan earlier this year, the UPU set out its intentions for greater action and cooperation in the fight against climate change, passing a resolution Hale described as “a major step forward.”
The resolution commits the UPU to investigate possible emission reduction targets and carbon-neutral cross border services in the postal sector. It will also encourage knowledge sharing on emission reduction strategies, climate finance and climate adaptation. The UPU already supports carbon reporting across the postal sector through its Online Solution for Carbon Analysis and Reporting (OSCAR).
“The resolution puts us in a strong position at a time when governments are gathering in Glasgow for the COP26 Summit, and a key issue that is going to be discussed is climate finance. This is a huge opportunity for the postal sector because collectively, if we work together, we can access funding for infrastructure improvements, particularly infrastructure that is climate resilient and low carbon,” Hale added.
Knowledge sharing among posts will be extremely important moving forward as a lot can be learned from the various green initiatives being undertaken worldwide.
In Singapore, SingPost’s sustainability efforts are focused on four pillars: fleet efficiency, building efficiency, operational efficiency, and stakeholder collaboration. The post is targeting a 35% reduction in Scope 1 (directly generated by company) and 2 (indirect, but related to energy generated to operate the company) emissions for its operations in Singapore by FY2029/2030, from a baseline FY2018/2019 level.
Michelle Lee, Head of Corporate Services and Sustainability for SingPost, said, “We are also looking to examine our Scope 3 emissions.” Scope 3 emissions refer to those created indirectly by a company across its entire value chain.
“We are committed to electrifying our entire fleet by 2026 and are already piloting the use of suitable vehicles to inform charging infrastructure arrangements and fleet management. We are also pursuing initiatives to bring about enhanced efficiencies in all our buildings and are looking into renewable energy. We hope to invest more in this space and are prioritizing photovoltaics installation on our own buildings,” added Lee.
Meanwhile, KazPost, the national postal operator in the Republic of Kazakhstan, is committed to improving its environmental performance through a plan outlining its transition to low-carbon development by 2030.
Assel Sadvakassova, Chief Environmental Manager at KazPost, explained that by its 2030 deadline, the Post plans to transfer 150 of its facilities to natural gas and replace luminescent lamps with modern LED lamps across 450,000 m2 of space. The postal operator will also update its fleet.
“Meanwhile, from 2023 we plan to launch a pilot project to install solar and wind power plants at production facilities. The implementation of all of the above measures will help reduce greenhouse gases by up to 37% by 2030,”explained Sadvakassova.
In 2020 Magyar Posta in Hungary set a new target to reduce its gross carbon emissions by 18.1% by 2030 compared to the 2017. To achieve this, the operator has made investments in electric vehicles, eco driving, reducing waste, upgraded lighting and energy consumption. Last year, the Post procured 50 electric three-wheeled mopeds and 261 electric bicycles and plans to procure more over the coming year.
“We have also upgraded lighting at 50 sites and replaced boilers and air conditioning at certain locations, because of which we expect to save 15 MWh of energy. Through advanced monitoring of energy consumption in buildings and the vehicle fleet, we aim to eliminate irresponsible energy use, and even reduce overconsumption caused by breakdowns through regular maintenance,” said Gyöngyi Albu, who works with the Post’s Environmental, Health and Security Affairs Department.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Aside from investments in electric vehicles, LED lighting and greener heating systems, BH Pošta in Bosnia and Herzegovina is also investing heavily in the use of renewable energy sources for its facilities as, according to manager Enes Džihić, “these can give the greatest contribution to the reduction of harmful gas emissions.” BH Pošta owns more than 300 facilities, most of which are potentially suitable for the installation of solar systems.
“I carried out an investment program for our first solar-powered plant at our facility in the city of Mostar, which has many sunny days, and we expect a significant effect from this investment. Solar power can greatly reduce electricity costs for posts, and it can also be put back into the distribution network, which results in extra income,” Džihić added.