Background

Carbon neutral from 2030: Swiss Post is making progress on the climate

If we look into the near future, Swiss Post will still be a reliable partner in the day-to-day lives of its customers, but with one difference: the company will be carbon neutral. This isn’t a work of science fiction, but rather the result of its ambitious climate and energy target.

Günseli Ünlü

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Installation of solar panels

We need to act fast to tackle climate change. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. In any case, here at Swiss Post, we are looking ahead to the next two decades with some optimism. The fact the Group has now set itself even stricter environmental targets is something that Christian Plüss, Head of Mobility Services and Executive Management sustainability ambassador, sees as a “really promising sign that I’m really happy about. It means that Swiss Post wants to reduce its CO2 emissions as quickly as possible.”

A huge responsibility

Sustainability has been a major priority at Swiss Post for over 25 years. But we’ve got to be honest with ourselves: despite really important programmes, such as efforts to electrify our delivery vehicles and a number of other things we’re doing, Swiss Post generates a lot of CO2 – 1 percent of the total emissions in Switzerland annually to be exact. The reason: Swiss Post is one of the largest logistics companies in the country. But this is precisely where Christian Plüss sees the biggest opportunity for Swiss Post: “This very fact actually gives us the leverage to make a real difference on emissions.” Swiss Post’s more ambitious climate and energy target is something that Plüss, a climate scientist himself, is very passionate about.

Specifically, Swiss Post aims to be carbon neutral in its operations by 2030. We are striving to achieve net zero across the entire company − including our value chain − from 2040. This target is line with the specifications of the Science Based Target Initiative and will help to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. A whole host of measures will make this possible. Here is an overview of how the Group will develop over the coming two decades, and in doing so take on responsibility for society as a whole and the environment.

E-vehicle fleet: Swiss Post sees its future as electric.

Very soon Swiss Post will no longer have any vehicles with conventional petrol or diesel engines. As early as 2024, the company aims to have 100 battery-powered Postbuses in operation. And that is only the start: by 2030 all our delivery vehicles will be electric, and our entire Postbus fleet will be electric by 2040. The proportion of delivery vans and buses with an environmentally friendly drive system will also increase significantly. This also means a shift for Swiss Post employees: “Our delivery staff and bus drivers will gradually need to get to grips with electric vehicles,” Plüss notes.

The electricity will be environmentally friendly too

But where will the energy for such a huge fleet of electric vehicles come from? From Switzerland of course! Swiss Post solely sources certified green power from Switzerland, for instance from wind and solar power. Talking of solar power, we even generate some of it ourselves. After all, Swiss Post has a lot of buildings − which means a lot of roofs. Needless to say, the company is not going to let such huge spaces go to waste, and so the company operates some of the largest PV systems in Switzerland on its roofs, and increasingly on building facades too.

Switching to modern heating systems

Of course, even without gas central heating, it’s important nobody goes cold in the winter at Swiss Post: by 2030, Swiss Post is planning on equipping 80 percent of its premises with modern heating systems. The plan is to then use green heating technologies, for instance heat pumps, pellets and district heating systems. And there is still so much more potential to save on energy in Swiss Post buildings: when it comes to new builds and modernization, the company is committed to ensuring excellent insulation and to meeting the most stringent of energy efficiency standards.

Carbon neutral

Unfortunately, CO2 emissions can’t be completely prevented – and probably not even in 2040, either. Yet Swiss Post can still reach the target of 0.0 g of CO2 on its environmental balance sheet by neutralizing the remaining emissions. In practice, this means removing CO2 from the atmosphere. This can be achieved with a range of environmental technologies. Plüss: “We are testing various methods and will put together a portfolio of measures that will enable us to achieve this by 2030.”

More information

  • Carbon neutral in our own operations means that Swiss Post will reduce its own emissions in line with the specifications of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) by 4.2% per year through 2030 (base year 2021) and neutralize the rest.
  • Net zero means that Swiss Post will reduce emissions along its entire value chain by 90% by 2040 (base year 2021) and neutralize the rest.

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Günseli Ünlü