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Royal Mail takes new steps to go green

Words by Smiley Team

The Royal Mail is launching an ambitious new project to reduce its carbon emissions and tackle climate change.

The mail and delivery company previously hoped to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. With this latest announcement, they have revealed that they will be bringing their deadline forward to 2040.

“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,” said Simon Thompson, Chief Executive Officer at Royal Mail. “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.”

The plan to reach net-zero emissions dubbed Steps to Zero’, is a four-step process, including:

  • Net Zero deliveries
  • Net Zero operations
  • Making circular happen
  • Collaborating for action

The first two steps are all about Royal Mail investing in renewable energy. According to Royal Mail, they already have the largest fleet of electric vehicles of any delivery service in the UK, though they are looking to expand that fleet to 5,500. They also intend to reduce single-use items as much as possible, such as rubber bands and collaborate with communities across the UK to help move forward for climate action.

The Royal Mail has already reported that they are the greenest delivery service in the UK, thanks to the 90,000 posties walking over a billion steps every day to deliver parcels and mail. According to this research done by Royal Mail, they have the lowest carbon emissions rate per parcel compared to other competitors in the UK.

Now, the Royal Mail is planning to move away from planes, and focus on using trains and, in an innovative new trial, drones to deliver parcels around the country at a lower emission rate.

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. “[The] environment is the next battleground for businesses and we are determined to lead. Setting an ambitious target to reduce parcel emissions to 50g CO2e demonstrates our commitment to driving change and minimising our impact on the environment.”

Eventually, the Royal Mail hopes to lower its emissions per parcel from a current rate of 205g CO2e (205g of carbon equivalent) to 50g CO2e (50g of carbon equivalent), which is about as much as it takes to make a cup of tea.

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Give to Carbon Neutral Britain to help offset your carbon footprint.

GET INVOLVED: Search the Friends of the Earth UK website to find out how you can volunteer and take action against climate change today.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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