Sustainable logistics and delivery
A Swiss Post contribution to achieving the climate goals

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As the largest logistics provider in Switzerland, with a universal service obligation, and as a transport-intensive company with extensive infrastructure, Swiss Post’s largest sources of CO2 consumption are its vehicles and buildings. Swiss Post therefore considers it important to press ahead with its efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, particularly in the areas of logistics and delivery. Here we highlight a number of specific examples of how it achieves this.

Transport by rail where possible

Wherever possible, Swiss Post uses rail transport for letters and parcels. For example, Swiss Post has been transporting some of its consignments by rail for 175 years. Today, Swiss Post operates more than 10 logistics locations with rail connections and 60 train services per day with a volume of around 470 rail wagons. Every day, our partner SBB Cargo operates 45 parcel trains and 15 letter trains across Switzerland for Swiss Post − with a total of around 470 wagons. Given the environmental benefits of rail transport, Swiss Post wants to significantly expand the volumes transported by rail in the future. Swiss Post plans to double the share of parcels transported by rail. Achieving this will require better routes and new approaches to transport in particular. These are among the reasons why Swiss Post has extended its strategic partnership with SBB Cargo until 2026, and in September 2022 tested a push-pull train that eliminates the need for time-consuming shunting. The results are currently being evaluated.

Sustainable mobility in towns and cities

Parcel numbers have been growing for years. Despite a small decline in parcel volumes last year, the level of growth compared to the period before the pandemic is clear, most notably as a result of the boom in online retail. These enormous parcel volumes then have to be distributed to a great many households.

In urban areas in particular, this poses challenges for delivery services. To keep emissions and side effects for both residents and the environment as low as possible, around 6,000 three-wheeled delivery scooters are fully electric. In cities where the delivery points are not centrally located, deliveries are increasingly being made from so-called city logistics hubs. Consignments are transported by truck outside peak hours to a central hub, where they are stored and then distributed to the delivery staff in an optimal way. The delivery vans for the parcel centers are also increasingly electric. However, Swiss Post is also struggling with delivery bottlenecks for electric vehicles. These adjustments in delivery are among the factors that allow Swiss Post to make a contribution to achieving the climate goals, while at the same time continuing to meet the legal requirements for home delivery under the universal service.

Carbon offsetting of unavoidable CO2

Since 2021, all Swiss Post mail items have been marked with the “pro clima” shipment label. This means that all unavoidable CO2 emissions caused by shipping are offset, from handover to Swiss Post to delivery in Switzerland and abroad. To offset CO2 emissions, Swiss Post invests in climate protection projects. The additional costs incurred for offsetting are fully covered by Swiss Post – there are no additional shipping costs for customers. This form of offsetting has been in place for domestic letter mail since 2012 and for promotional mailing since 2017.

Swiss Post’s position

  • Swiss Post has decided to become carbon neutral and reach net zero – from 2030 in its in-house operations and from 2040 throughout the entire value chain, i.e. in all of its activities in upstream and downstream processes, for example with suppliers and subcontractors.
  • Swiss Post takes its responsibility seriously by keeping its own carbon footprint as low as possible. We are reducing our CO2 emissions, avoiding emissions wherever possible and replacing energy from fossil fuels with renewable energy. The specific focus of our measures is on the electrification of vehicles, optimization of buildings and use of electricity that comes from 100% renewable energy sources in Switzerland.
  • About 50 percent of all letters and parcels are transported at least in part by rail today. Swiss Post wants to increase this share significantly. That is because rail transport is an important factor in reducing CO2.
  • Today (as at January 2023), there are already 624 electric delivery vans on the road in addition to some 6,069 electric scooters used for deliveries. More vehicles will follow to ensure that all Swiss Post letter and parcel deliveries are carbon neutral from 2030. Swiss Post plans to increasingly electrify the vehicles in its fleet or equip them with other alternative drive systems, in both passenger transport (PostBus) and delivery.
  • Swiss Post uses 100% eco-electricity (“naturemade star” quality) from renewable sources in Switzerland for its electrically powered vehicles. Electric vehicles play a key role in ensuring sustainable, low-carbon mobility with lower levels of air pollutants and less noise.
  • As of 2023, Swiss Post has delivered 41 million carbon neutral/CO2-free parcels – far more than any other parcel service provider in Switzerland. From 2030, Swiss Post will no longer operate any vehicles running on fossil fuels. In the four cities of Zurich, Bern, Basel and Geneva, this will happen as early as 2025.

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