A new lease of life...

What actually happens to clothes, vehicles and other things when they reach the end of their useful life at Swiss Post? Our top priority in this case is to reuse them! We take a look at this second phase of life.

Janina Gassner
Blog

...for Swiss Post clothes

Every year Swiss Post provides 35,000 employees with some 300,000 items of clothing. What happens to these mountains of clothing once they are no longer needed? Our employees can return their disused work clothing to us. We donate it to the Swiss Red Cross in the Bern-Mittelland district, where the clothes are sorted and the Swiss Post logo is removed. Clothes that are almost as good as new are sold by the Swiss Red Cross at low prices in their second-hand shops. Clothes that are in very good condition but have small flaws are given to organizations, including Swiss Mountain Aid. Mountain farming families receive the clothing for free. Any items of clothing that can no longer be worn are thermally recycled. The proceeds from the sale of the clothes go towards social projects in Switzerland. Swiss Post takes responsibility for its clothing – from production right through to disposal. For our commitment to socially responsible clothing production, we have been awarded Leader status by the Fair Wear Foundation.

...for old Swiss Post scooter batteries

Since January 2017 Swiss Post’s scooter fleet has comprised only electrically powered two- and three-wheeled vehicles. After approximately seven years, their batteries have a storage capacity of around 80 percent – not enough to continue using them in mail delivery, but more than enough for use in a stationary energy storage unit. 

That is why the project entitled “A second lease of life for Swiss Post scooter batteries” was launched. A pilot storage unit has already been installed at Umwelt Arena Schweiz, while another will be fitted in the Swiss Post building at Neuchâtel railway station in May 2017 – in a building that has been equipped with a new energy system and features a post office, electric scooters and solar power system on the roof. The second use of the scooter batteries enables optimum resource efficiency and a positive eco-audit.

The project is being conducted in cooperation with various partners and is supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.

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...for Postbuses

PostBus replaces 150 to 200 outdated buses with new ones every year. The decommissioned vehicles are not sent to the scrapheap, but are mostly sold to distributors, foreign transport companies or development aid organizations. They can be seen in African states, and also frequently in south-eastern Europe, where there is a strong likelihood of coming across an old Postbus from Switzerland. To ensure that Postbuses can be reused abroad, their appearance is changed radically: the new owner must remove both the logo with the post horn and the red stripes on the sides. The Swiss Post yellow is allowed to stay. Furthermore, the Postbuses may only be used abroad because they would otherwise compete with the domestic vehicle fleet and cause confusion. Anyone wanting to buy a Postbus can do so via an auction in Berne, where second-hand buses are sold to the highest bidder by brand, type, age, size and mileage.

More information is available in our staff newspaper.

A discarded PostBus in West Africa photographed by Lukas Biry during his bicycle trip.

written by

Janina Gassner

Digital Content Specialist