Reducing environmental impacts
Posti’s environmental management is based on environmental management standards, particularly ISO 14001, as well as legal and official requirements, and the UN Global Compact principles. Our quality and environmental policy covers all of our countries of operation.
The targets for our environmental work are determined by our corporate responsibility steering group. Our business groups determine more detailed operating programs as part of their management model. Environmental issues are discussed by our Management Board and the Audit Committee at least once a year as part of more extensive corporate responsibility reporting.
Our environmental program aims to reduce our carbon-dioxide emissions by 30% by 2020, in relation to net sales (compared to 2007). In addition, we are party to a freight traffic energy efficiency agreement in Finland and have made a commitment to improve our energy efficiency in our transport by 20% by 2016 (compared to 2008).
Transport and emissions from vehicles represent approximately 85% of our carbon-dioxide emissions in Finland. As the largest transport and delivery company in the country, we play an important role in the development of environmentally friendly and energy-efficient transport operations. We improve the environmental efficiency of transport operations primarily by planning routes efficiently, ensuring a high utilization rate, combining deliveries, and driving in an environmentally responsible manner.
As part of our ISO 14001 management system, we increase our employees’ environmental awareness through training and employee orientation. Environmental issues are also regularly discussed in our internal communication channels. At the end of 2015, our certified environmental management systems covered 88% (2014: 88%) of the Group’s employees. We have an ISO 14001 compliant environmental management system also in our warehouses in Russia.
Continuous improvement in energy efficiency
Between 2007 and 2015, Posti’s carbon dioxide emissions relative to net sales have decreased by 16%. Absolute carbon dioxide emissions decreased by over 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or by 20%, during the period. In 2007, the International Post Corporation (IPC) set a common goal for its members to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of the postal industry by 20% by 2020. In 2015, IPC members achieved their collective 20% emission reduction target six years ahead of schedule.
In addition to vehicles, Posti has also focused on buildings in its systematic efforts to improve energy efficiency. In Finland, electricity consumption fell by 3% and heating by 17%. Temperature-adjusted heat consumption decreased by 9%. Posti’s Finnish properties use electricity generated 100% by renewable hydroelectric power.
During the year, Posti conducted an energy audit at its properties pursuant to the requirements of the Finnish Energy Efficiency Act. An energy audit involves assessing the energy consumption profile of all the operating locations of a company or Group and identifying opportunities for energy savings.
We have centralized our waste management services to a single operator in Finland, which helps us ensure energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The aim of waste management is to minimize landfill waste and increase recoverable waste. With our waste management partner, we have set a target of improving our recovery rate by 1% per year. In 2015, our recovery rate was 98% (2014: 95%) and recycling rate 67%. Each of our ISO 14001 certified operating locations has a documented waste management plan that includes a list of what waste fractions the property collects, related operating models, as well as illustrations of the placement of waste containers at the property.
With regard to the continuous improvement of energy efficiency and environmental efficiency, Posti is committed to:
- complying with all applicable environmental laws and standards, including ISO 14001
- reducing the fuel consumption of our vehicles
- reducing the energy consumption of our facilities
- improving recycling and reducing landfill waste
- considering environmental aspects in sourcing, subcontracting, and investment decisions
- engaging in open discussion with our stakeholders in order to minimize our environmental impact
- ensuring sufficient resources for maintaining and continually improving our environmental operations
- reporting our environmental impact annually and providing our employees with information and opportunities in order to operate in an environmentally efficient manner.
Convenient repairs and recycling for pallets
In order to increase our recycling rate and reduce waste volume, we collect surplus and decommissioned pallets at our warehouses, postal centers, and terminals. The pallets are handed over to Lassila & Tikanoja, where they are sorted. Mendable pallets are repaired and delivered for further reuse for customers. Pallets that are beyond repair are chipped and recycled as fuel for energy production.
Posti receives compensation for the pallets, and at the same time, the amount of wood waste is reduced. The properties gain a cost benefit through lower property maintenance costs charged by Posti Kiinteistöt. The service is part of Posti’s waste reporting system. By monitoring the reports, we can verify the savings we have achieved.