Collaboration key for over one million tonnes CO2 emissions reduction by postal sector

  • 2012 IPC Postal Sector Sustainability Report announces another 3.5% of CO2 emissions reduction realised by EMMS participants, bringing the total to over one million tonnes saved since the start of the programme in 2008.
  • Over 2012, the programme added another two participants from Latin America and Africa to further expand its geographical scope
  • Coverage extended into scope 3 reporting, illustrating the importance for the posts of greening the whole value chain

Brussels, 27 November 2012 – Sustainability and carbon emissions reduction is a matter of working together towards one common goal: protecting the planet and its environment. As a global postal sector initiative, IPC’s Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS) is an example of sector-wide collaboration to reduce carbon emissions.

The 2012 IPC Postal Sector Sustainability Report continues to show remarkable progress towards the common goal of reducing carbon emissions of 20% by 2020. This year’s more extensive ‘scope 3’ reporting shows the importance of considering the entire value chain as organisations do not work on their own and their sustainability results also depend on the wellconsidered choices of suppliers and partners throughout their entire supply chain.

Collaboration and Expansion

As the first sector-wide sustainability programme in the services sector, the EMMS is founded on collaboration, whether within participating posts, to save CO2 emissions and make the right management decisions for a sustainable organisation, or between participants in the programme, by sharing best practices and knowledge. This year’s report presents another significant improvement after the successes of the previous years. Management proficiency improved with 5% year-on-year from 65% to 70%, while a further reduction of 261,000 tonnes or 3.5% of CO2 emissions was noted compared to last year, bringing the total reduction of CO2 emissions to 1,187,000 tonnes since the launch of the programme in 2008.

Within the scope 1 reporting category, one of the marked results that stood out in this year’s report is the impressive increase in the fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles used by the EMMS group, from 10% recorded in 2010 to 17% in 2011 of the 527,000 vehicles in the fleet of the posts in the IPC sustainability programme.

The 2012 IPC Postal Sector Sustainability Report features both an expansion of the geographical reach of the EMMS over the last year and of the measurement scope. A broader Scope 3 reporting entails that the entire value chain of participating postal operators is being considered, including measurement criteria such as employee commuting and subcontracted.

In the first eight months of 2012, two new participants were added to the EMMS group: Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telégrafos from Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy. And Nigerian Postal Service, expanding the programme into a second African post after South Africa Post Office in 2011. This on-going expansion of the programme demonstrates how the EMMS programme is a key driver of collaboration between postal operators across both developing and developed economies, working together to tackle this global problem.

Broadening the Scope

Herbert-Michael Zapf, President and CEO of IPC concludes: “The impressive results reflect the continued efforts by the EMMS participants to innovate, both in terms of the efficiency of their products, services and technologies and in driving the behavioural changes needed to address the challenge of climate change. If we continue at this rate, we will reach our goal of a 20% CO2 emissions reduction by 2020 much earlier than anticipated.” 
For the 2012 IPC Postal Sector Sustainability Report, the number of participants measuring and reporting emissions of their own operations as well as of their wider value chains has significantly increased, hence the theme ‘broadening our scope’.

Scope 3 emissions include indirect emissions associated with the wider supply chain and distribution networks. As the scope 3 emissions category can be very broad, IPC and EMMS participants have agreed to primarily focus on transport-related impacts, with data collection narrowed down into four core categories: outsourced or sub-contracted road transport; outsourced or sub-contracted air transport; employee commuting, and business travel.

This year EMMS participants have submitted their best-practice cases within the scope 3 boundaries and have presented a variety of collaborative initiatives engaging suppliers, subcontractors and even clients to ensure a greener value chain. For instance, in Sweden PostNord and air cargo specialist Amapola have bundled forces to considerably reduce fuel consumption and environmental impacts of airmail deliveries, complementary to PostNord’s own long-term emissions reduction goal.

In the United States, USPS and UPS are working together to help each other to achieve operational and sustainability goals, reduce costs and the carbon footprint of its networks to the benefit of their respective customers. UPS provides air and ground transportation and international service for USPS, while USPS provides last-mile delivery, known as Parcel Select TM for certain UPS customers.

The online version of the 2012 IPC Postal Sector Sustainability Report, which presents numerousother examples of how posts work on greening their supply chain can be consulted online at


 About IPC’s Environmental Measurement and Monitoring Programme

IPC’s EMMS programme, the first sector-wide carbon reduction initiative for a services industry was launched in 2009 with a target of reducing postal sector CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020, based on 2008 baseline figures. To date, the sector has already achieved about 3/4 of that target (over 14%). Launched as a pilot in 2008 with 16 posts, EMMS was expanded in 2009 to 20 posts reporting on carbon emissions reduction efforts, to 22 in 2010 with the signing of Poste Italiane and Österreichische Post, to 23 in 2011 with the addition of South African Post Office, and to 25 in 2012 when Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telégrafos from Brazil and Nigerian Postal Service joined the programme. In the 2012 Postal Sector Sustainability Report, IPC announces that participating posts have collectively cut their carbon emissions by 1,187,000 tonnes, almost three quarters of the 20-2020 target.

 About International Post Corporation

International Post Corporation is a cooperative association of 24 member postal operators in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Over the past two decades IPC has provided industry leadership by driving service quality and interoperability, supporting its members to ensure the high performance of international mail services and developing the IT infrastructure required to achieve this. IPC engages in industry research, creates business-critical intelligence, provides a range of platforms for member post CEOs and senior management to exchange best practices and discuss strategy, and gives its members an authoritative, independent and collective voice. IPC also manages the system for incentive-based payments between postal operators. With members delivering some 80% of global postal mail, IPC represents the majority of the world’s mail volume. For more information please visit our website.

For more information, please contact

Eva Wouters

PR & Media Relations Manager

International Post Corporation

+32 2 724 71 91



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