175 years in the service of our environment

  • 2030 / 2040

    Ambitious goals

    We are committed to a sustainable future and have set ourselves an ambitious climate and energy target. From 2030, we will make our in-house operations completely carbon neutral. To do so, we are converting our vehicles to alternative drive systems, heating 80 percent of buildings without fossil-fuel heating systems and sourcing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy sources in Switzerland. From 2040 onwards, the entire value chain will also be carbon neutral, which will make our company as a whole net zero. This target is line with the specifications of the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) and will help to limit global warming to 1.5 °C.

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  • From 2030

    Carbon-free delivery throughout Switzerland

    From 2030, all Swiss Post letter and parcel deliveries throughout Switzerland will be carbon free using electric vehicles. All delivery locations will be upgraded with electric charging stations and around 4,000 new electric vehicles.

    Electric delivery vehicle
  • From 2023

    Carbon-free delivery in Switzerland’s largest cities

    Since 2023, customers in Bern and Zurich have been receiving their letters and parcels with carbon-free electric vehicles. From 2025, delivery will also be carbon-free in the other major Swiss cities of Basel and Geneva.

    Electric delivery vehicle in Zurich
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  • Since 2017

    Clean delivery vehicles

    From the beginning of 2017, all of the approximately 6,000 three-wheeled delivery vehicles are battery-powered. The first efforts to reduce environmental pollution, particularly in the mobility sector, date back to the 1990s.

    Electric tricycle during delivery
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  • 2016

    First battery-powered Postbus in service

    PostBus puts a vehicle powered exclusively by a battery into service for the first time in Saas-Fee. The vehicle is used as a sports bus. PostBus plans to convert its entire fleet to alternative drive systems by 2040 at the latest.

    Electric Postbus
  • 2012

    Pro clima

    From 2012, Swiss Post offsets carbon emissions from domestic letter mail, with promotional mailings added to the programme in 2017. From 1 January 2021, all Swiss Post consignments are sent with the “pro clima” label, meaning that their carbon emissions have been offset. “All consignments” means everything from letters, parcels and small consignments right through to press products – both in Switzerland and abroad.

    The “pro clima” shipment logo
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  • 2012

    Renewable energies

    In 2012, a photovoltaic system is built on the roof of the Zurich-Mülligen letter center. Further systems on Swiss Post buildings are added in the years that follow. Swiss Post currently operates 31 photovoltaic systems on the roofs of its major locations and regional parcel centers. From 2008, Swiss Post obtains its electricity from 100 percent renewable energy sources from Switzerland.

    Solar cells on the roof of a sorting center
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  • 2010

    The first hybrid Postbus

    Switzerland’s first hybrid Postbus comes into service, operating in the Bern area. In 2011, as part of a five-year project, PostBus brings five fuel cell buses into service in Brugg, the first Swiss public transport company to do so.

    Hybrid Postbus on a country road
  • 1986

    PostBus: the environmentally friendly alternative?

    The Postbus is positioned as an environmentally friendly alternative to motorized private transport.

    Postbuses in the winter of 1988.
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  • 1980s

    Awareness of Earth’s delicate ecosystem grows

    At the PTT, terms such as “ecology” or “environmental protection” appear in publications for the first time. A training course for civil servants held in 1984 is entitled: “PTT marketing and the environment”. The memo of proceedings raises the question of the extent to which PTT’s marketing should take social, societal and environmental aspects into account.

    Humorous drawing from the brochure “Alternative energy training course for civil servants”. Biogas is fed from cows directly into a vehicle.
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  • 1980s

    Heating energy

    The PTT carries out an expensive upgrade of numerous buildings from heating oil to heat pumps or even solar panels. This is done primarily to cultivate its image or in response to political pressure.

    Statistics on PTT energy consumption 1974-1980. Decline from 1978/79.
  • 1979

    “Thermometer” campaign

    The commission procures around 10,000 measuring devices to monitor room temperature in offices.

    Extract from instructions on ordering thermometers
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  • Late 1970s

    Paper recycling

    The PTT starts to recycle paper, for example to produce new PTT forms from around 3,000 tonnes of old telephone books every year. This is done primarily to save costs, as environmentally sound paper is cheaper.

    An employee recycles telephone directories
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  • 1973-1978

    Oil price shock and establishment of an energy commission

    The Arab oil-producing states cut back on their production, triggering the first oil price shock in 1973. At the PTT, there is a huge rise in costs. In 1978, it sets up an energy commission, which looks mainly at the issues of how to save energy and which alternative energy sources could potentially be used. There is a campaign with the slogan “Think for yourself – save for yourself!”

    Think for yourself – save for yourself! slogan
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  • 1939-1945

    Wood carburettors

    During the Second World War, the motorized PTT is hit by fuel shortages. To keep its Postbuses running, it starts to fit them with wood carburettors, which means that in effect, the PTT is operating its vehicles with a renewable biofuel.

    Postbus with wood carburettor on a mountain road
  • 1913

    First electric vehicles

    Starting in 1913, Swiss Post introduces electric vehicles manufactured by the company Tribelhorn: a four-wheeled delivery van for parcel deliveries is followed a little later by an electric three-wheeler for express deliveries. From the 1920s onwards, these vehicles are forced to gradually give way to vehicles with more efficient petrol engines.

    First Swiss Post electric vehicle in 1913
  • 1880-1918

    A time for thrift

    To save costs, civil servants are encouraged to use resources sparingly. In 1909, instructions are even issued on the use of twine, with officials asked to tie “correspondences” into bundles with a bow rather than a knot. Instead of having to cut the twine, it can then be used again.

    Extract from the 1918 instructions on economical use of twine
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  • From 1849

    Regulations on the handling of living things

    Early regulations in place on the handling of living things for delivery of plants and animals.

    Extract from the 1907 regulations on the handling of living things

More journeys back in time

Rich Content Section

Image sources:

1986: A Postbus in 1988, ETH Library Zurich, image archive.

1980s: Awareness of Earth’s delicate ecosystem grows: brochure for alternative energy training course for civil servants, PTT Archive, Köniz.

1980s: Heating energy: statistics on energy consumption 1974-1980, PTT Archive, Köniz.

1979: Instructions on ordering thermometers, PTT Archive, Köniz.

Late 1970s: Recycling of telephone directories, 1975, ETH Library Zurich, image archive.

1973-1978: Think for yourself slogan, 1978, PTT Archive, Köniz.

1939-1945, Postbus with wood carburettor, Museum of Communication, Bern.

1913: First electric vehicle, 1913, PTT Archive, Köniz.

1880-1918: Instructions on economical use of twine, 1918, PTT Archive, Köniz.

From 1849: Regulations on the handling of living things, 1907, PTT Archive, Köniz.