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Environmental impacts of logistics The Poste Italiane Group, recognises its responsibility to play a distinctive role in creating sustainable value for the communities in which it operates, where the environmental dimension is of primary importance.

Poste Italiane, with its widespread presence throughout Italy, is aware of the distinctive role it plays in creating value within the country and the potential impact it can have in reducing environmental impacts. For these reasons, the company makes the commitment to environmental protection and the reduction of the impact of logistics one of its key points. 

The Group’s objectives in relation to reducing the environmental impact on logistics in 2020 focused on reducing CO2 emissions by switching to more sustainable means of transport. The Group has demonstrated its commitment to achieving this objective through the implementation of a series of activities that have led to the saving of over 12,680 tonnes of CO2, confirming the positive trend in the reduction of polluting emissions related to home-work journeys and generating savings of approximately €9.8 million in terms of avoided external costs. The initiatives undertaken in support of sustainable mobility also contribute to raising awareness and spreading among Group employees of a new lifestyle aimed at reducing environmental impact.
In the light of technological developments, increasing innovation and constant regulatory changes in the postal sector, Poste Italiane intends to increasingly focus on continually renewing its fleet with more environmentally friendly vehicles, rationalising distances travelled, proper waste management, developing infrastructure for recharging customers’ vehicles, and to demand that external transport providers meet minimum environmental requirements. In line with the Company’s approach to give priority to the efficient use of renewables and the rationalisation of energy consumption from fossil fuels, starting from 2018 the two main corporate strategies that brought benefits in terms of environmental sustainability were the new “Joint Delivery” model and the plan relating to the green development of the corporate fleet.
  • Join delivery: Poste Italiane has decided to radically overhaul its delivery network and operating model through implementation of the new delivery model, which provides for a transition from a single network (operating only in the morning from Monday to Friday) to a structure with two networks that differ in terms of delivery methods and type of product;
  • Green fleet: the Group’s strong commitment to improving its environmental performance may be traced back to the introduction in the 2000s of 4-wheel vehicles powered by natural gas, which affected 15% of the fleet, followed by the introduction of the “Free Duck” (electric quadricycles) and the full rent supply of 4-wheel vehicles powered by alternative fuels (cars and vans powered by natural gas, LPG/hybrid cars and electric vans).
With regard to the plan to make the company fleet increasingly “green”, Poste Italiane has purchased 663 electric tricycles and installed the relevant recharging points. In addition, Poste Italiane was awarded the procurement contract for the purchase of 5,000 Euro 5 thermal tricycles, which will be introduced in 2021. The green fleet thus reaches 14.2% of the total fleet of Poste Italiane: there are about 2,800 bifuel non-electric cars and vans and about 2,000 low-emission motorcycles. The interventions are in line with the goal of reaching 27,800 by 2022 to reduce fleet emissions by 40%.

The joint venture established in 2020 between Poste Italiane and sennder, European leader in the digitisation of freight transport, has as its primary objective the efficiency of transport and the reduction of the environmental impact of logistics. Thanks to the use of 10% LNG (liquefied natural gas) vehicles, it has been possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 7,300 tonnes. 
During 2020, a year marked by a global pandemic and lockdowns with physical store closures, online sales and delivery proved to be the best allies. In fact, even in the reality of Poste Italiane, e-commerce and the consequent delivery of parcels have seen a significant increase compared to previous years. 

Aware of the “ecological footprint” generated by a delivery service that covers the entire national territory in a widespread manner, in 2019, the Group wanted to take a significant step forward, committing to implementing a Renewal Plan that provides for the replacement, by 2022, of the entire vehicle fleet with new generation models with electric, hybrid and endothermic propulsion with low emissions. 

In order to measure the value generated by the introduction of the new fleet vehicles, Poste Italiane has adopted a method of assessing investments that combines the traditional financial perspective with a sustainability perspective, with a view to integrated strategic planning that enables the creation of shared value between the Company and the local area. 

The following figure represents the results of the analysis in the form of the “True Value bridge”, i.e. the graphical representation of the net impacts of the Green fleet compared to a traditional fleet. The positive values represent avoided costs, while the negative values represent additional costs generated by the green fleet compared to the fleet as-is.

According to the calculated model, the new green fleet will generate value for the community (True Value) equal to +€25 million compared to the traditional fleet, during its total period of operation. In particular, 80% is represented by damages avoided thanks to the lower environmental impacts of the green fleet compared to the as-is fleet resulting from the 40% reduction in CO2 emissions, equivalent to 2,500 fewer cars in circulation. The remaining 20% is the sum of costs avoided due to the reduced road congestion and increased safety provided by the new vehicles.