Royal Mail to roll-out 5,500 electric vans by Spring 2023, accelerate net zero target

Mon 06 June 2022 View all news

Royal Mail has promised to introduce 5,500 electric vans to its fleet by Spring next year and invest £12.5m in EV charging infrastructure as part of its new sustainability strategy, under which it has also announced that it is bringing forward its net zero target by 10 years to 2040.

Royal Mail's plan - Steps to Zero - includes a long-term target to reduce the organisation's average carbon emissions per parcel it delivers in the UK from 205gCO2e today to 50gCO2e.

In bringing forward its net zero target to 2040, Royal Mail is committing to meeting short-term emissions targets in line with climate science, cutting 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 will also be trialling new innovations for zero and reduced-emissions deliveries, including drones for remote locations, micro electric vehicles and a programme to optimise on-foot deliveries with a van delivering to a central point, serving a number of postal workers who deliver the mail on foot.

The company’s plan has four 'pillars':

  • 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 customers do the same through its 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

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

Royal Mail says it will report on Steps to Zero every June and that the commitments will be assured by independent auditors.

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