Royal Mail






Royal Mail Group 

100 Victoria Embankment 





  • FTSE4Good 
  • CDP
  • Dow Jones Sustainability Indices 




Lily Heinemann


  •  ‘Mental Health Initiative of the Year’ award at the Workplace Savings and Benefits Awards.
  • edie’s Carbon Management Award



Royal Mail

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity


Royal Mail is transforming from a UK-focused letters business that delivers parcels, to a parcels-led, international business that delivers letters in the UK.

As stated, their ambition is to “build a parcels-led, more balanced, and more diversified, international business” with a purpose to ”connect customers, companies and countries.” Royal Mail’s access to a global network of postal partners provides a postal option for all their customers. By combining the expertise of GLS and Royal Mail, and through partnerships with postal operators and national posts, they want to offer postal solutions to anywhere in the world, for any customer.

They are transforming to further leverage those strengths and become the pre-eminent delivery company in their key markets.


GLS employs 19,000 people worldwide. They are proud to provide secure, fairly-paid employment in tight labour markets.


GLS offers increasing product and geographical diversification. In Europe, it is one of the largest ground-based deferred parcel networks. Outside of Europe, GLS operates in North America, in eight states in the Western US and Canada. This year, GLS delivered 634 million parcels for its c.300,000 clients.


As the UK’s sole designated Universal Service Provider, Royal Mail delivers a ‘one-price-goes-anywhere’ service on a range of letters and parcels to over 30 million addresses across the country, six-days-a-week. They also provide a range of commercial services to consumers, sole-traders, SMEs, large businesses and retailers, and other postal operators who use their downstream network.

Company Sustainable Activity


This year, Royal Mail’s total UK carbon footprint decreased by 1 per cent compared with the previous year. It was 29 per cent lower than the 2004–05 baseline. On a normalised basis, emissions decreased by 2.9 per cent per £1 million of revenue last year, compared with the previous year. They are pursuing energy-saving opportunities across the fleet and property portfolio to maintain their performance and continue to meet their target. These include exploring more efficient ways of balancing the air, rail and road transport that they use to deliver mail items and training their employees in more energy-efficient behaviours. They are currently in the process of reviewing and updating their targets, whilst ensuring that they: 

→ support the international commitments set out within the Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2015 and, 

→ consider assessments and recommendations set out within The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports

2019 TARGETS :

  • 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020-21 compared to 2004 baseline

→ Performance 2017-18 =  629.9 

→ statut : 29% reduction to date 

  • 4% reduction in water consumption compared to prior year 

→ Performance 2017-18 =  1,576.9 

→ statut : Target not met 

  • Divert 95% of waste from landfill 

→ Performance 2017-18 =  99% 

→ statut : Achieving target 


They have a target to reduce their absolute carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020–21, against their 2004–05 baseline. they are proud to have met this target, with a current reduction of 29 per cent against the 2004–05 baseline. As such they are currently reviewing and updating their emissions target. Over two-thirds of their carbon emissions are derived from their vehicles and transport. Therefore, a vital part of maintaining their performance against their carbon emissions reduction target is improving their fleet fuel efficiency.  By : 

Reducing the environmental impact of their fleet 

    • Changing driving styles 

Use an innovative telemetry 3 system to track their vehicles, collect performance data and make informed decisions that improve their fleet resource efficiency. They use telemetry data in their training to change driver behaviour, and encourage safer and more fuel-efficient driving styles. 

    • Investing in new vehicles and technologies

Used 100 fully electric Peugeot Partner L2 vans for deliveries and collections from 17 Delivery Offices across the UK. The vehicles are charged using charging posts installed at Royal Mail sites. they monitor charging, telemetry and maintenance data through a web-based platform, to help us improve their performance. Utilising these electric vans has saved a total of 54 tonnes of CO2 compared to the diesel vans they replaced. 

    • Making their transport network more efficient 

Use cutting-edge routing technology to improve efficiency for their transport networks. 

Use a mix of road, rail and air to deliver letters and parcels across the UK. they maximise their capacity by loading mail items onto aircraft and vehicles as efficiently as possible

    • Business travel 

Business travel accounts for around 2 percent of their total CO2e emissions. 

Encourage employees to use telephone, web and video conferences as an alternative to travelling. This led to a 13 per cent reduction in emissions associated with business travel during the year.

Building emissions 

    • Take a data-driven approach to reducing their emissions. During the year, they launched a new Energy Bureau to monitor energy use across their UK property estate and highlight sites which are the highest users, or appear to have anomalies in their patterns of consumption. This enables us to understand their energy usage and target both energy and cost savings. For example, they have installed two air source heat pumps in Edinburgh and are monitoring improvements in electricity consumption. In three of their properties, they are trialling a platform that uses self-powered, wireless sensors to transmit data from their energy-using equipment and devices in real-time to a cloud-based analytics platform. 
    • Sourcing low-carbon energy for their building estate also helps us to reduce their overall carbon footprint. The electricity they buy in the UK is 100 per cent backed by low-carbon generation. This includes nuclear generation, which is considered a low-carbon source of energy compared with fossil fuel equivalents. They are reviewing the potential for a greater use of renewables in their energy mix. In 2018–19, solar panels at their Chelmsford Mail Centre generated 82,101 kWh in 2018–19, saving approximately 23t CO2 e. They are working with third parties to assess the potential for installation of solar panels on further four of their buildings.  

Water use 

    • Have partnered with a new third-party contractor to cover all water purchases in England and Scotland. The partnership will enable a greater understanding of their water usage. It will assist us in identifying issues and developing remedial actions to address them. By switching to a single supplier, they have greater visibility and improved data to better monitor their water use. they calculate average daily water usage for each type of Royal Mail site. This enables us to pinpoint the locations where water consumption is higher than average for the site type, investigate the reasons and take appropriate action.
  • Their engineers and cleaning staff to be vigilant for signs of water loss and water damage. They also include a number of environmental elements in their unit managers’ monthly site inspection checklists, including inspecting water-using equipment for faults. With improvements in data availability and changes to a single water supplier, they shall be concentrating on demonstrable savings in water use in the coming year.


    • Are committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill by Royal Mail. In 2018–19, their target was to divert 95 per cent of their waste from landfill. In total, they diverted 99 per cent of waste, achieving their target for the year
    • Chemical free cleaning 
    • Reducing paper 
    • Cardboard is a major waste stream within the business. They have invested in 3 ‘super balers’ to help increase the amount of cardboard that they recycle, and collect and bale cardboard at a number of hub sites. They also invest in training and communication, to increase their people’s focus on cardboard recycling. This has led to 70 per cent of their cardboard waste now being baled, compared to 53 per cent in 2017–18. their total waste recycled has improved from 64 per cent in 2017–18 to 66 per cent in 2018–19.
    • Minimising plastic  band waste 
      • Remove plastic water cups from their sites, encouraging their people to use their own refillable vessels and providing paper cones where required.
      • Reduce the use of traditional mail bag ties. Over the last 12 months, they have reduced the quantity of ties that they use by 30 per cent through a range of initiatives. They are also trialling the use of reusable mail bag ties. 
      • Move from 10 litre packs of Adblue (used to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen from their vehicles diesel engines), to reusable Intermediate Bulk Containers, or integrally bunded bulk tanks. To date, they have ceased the purchase of smaller containers at three sites. they continue to review the usage of Adblue across their estate and will where possible remove or minimise the usage of plastic packs.
    • Minimising elastic band waste 
      • use elastic bands to keep bundles of mail together. This year, they used around 306 tonnes of elastic bands, 7.1 per cent less than in 2017–18.  

Customers and suppliers 

    • Set strict environmental and social standards for their suppliers. 
    • Help their customers to minimise their own impacts through the sustainability of the products and services that they provide. They offer their marketing mail customers environmentally focused direct mail and door-drop services. Their Sustainable Advertising Mail product enables customers to send marketing mail at a lower cost than standard advertising or business mail, if the items they post meet their sustainability requirements


    • Encourage their sites to be mindful of their impact on local flora and fauna.
    • Combating the illegal trade in wildlife 
      • Royal Mail is proud to be a member of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, which consists of leaders from the global transportation industry. The taskforce identifies opportunities to break the illegal wildlife trade chain between suppliers and consumers



  • Business standards 
    • Engaging their employees around their Business Standards helps us to develop and maintain a safe, ethical and fair workplace
  • Anti-bribery and corruption 
  • Data protection and privacy 
  • Human rights 
    • they are committed to helping to prevent any incidence of modern slavery throughout their operations 
  • Identifying and mitigating risk 
  • Contract and temporary workers 
  • Supply chain controls 
  • Raising concerns 
    • Royal Mail’s whistleblowing hotline, ‘Speak Up’ allows all of their people, including contractors, temporary workers, suppliers, business partners and their employees, to raise concerns about serious wrongdoing anonymously. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 


  • position 
  • customer strategy 
  • Being easy to do business with 
  • Expanding and automating their network 
  • Fixing problems 
  • Maintaining a high quality service 
  • Dealing fairly and openly 
  • Providing value for money 


  • Engaging their workforce 
  • Creating  a value based culture 
  • Investing in people 
    • Rewarding people fairly 
    • Investing in their future 
      • Around 87 percent of their people are Royal Mail shareholders. Since privatisation, 12 percent of the Company has been awarded to Royal Mail employees through the Royal Mail Share Incentive Plan. All Their eligible full-time employees received a maximum of 913 free shares, regardless of their role in their organisation.
    • Investing in their people learning and development 
      • During 2018–19 they invested nearly £6.9 million in training, delivering the equivalent of around 17,000 training days. they rolled out a wide range of learning and development programmes covering technical health and safety, compliance and job-specific training. Their online learning and development tool, Success Factors, offers colleagues a wide variety of cheeses. This enables them to take control of their learning journeys and pursue their career interests through training. In partnership with Warwick university, they launched a Master’s degree apprenticeship for Aspiring Senior Leaders. Designed to enable managers to make a smooth transition from middle to senior roles, it enables them to tailor their Master’s degree to their own career path using the extensive range of education provided across Warwick University. 
    • Managing performance and identifying development opportunities 
  • Working collaboratively with their unions 
  • Health and safety 
    • Performance 
    • Improving health and wellbeing of their people 
    • Preventing and tackling musculoskeletal injuries 
    • Addressing mental health 
    • Ageing workforce 
      • The UK workforce is ageing. The Royal Mail workforce reflects this trend with 47 percent of their people being over the age of 50. Their Health and wellbeing team led a working group drawn from Human Resources, Operational Design, Operations, Safety, Health and Environment, and union representatives, to gain an understanding of the issues, and how to effectively support their colleagues. The working group has made a number of recommendations, and will work with relevant stakeholders to implement these changes
  • A diverse and inclusive workforce 
    • Inclusive recruitment 
    • Gender diversity 
    • Ethnic diversity 
    • Supporting their LGBT+ colleagues 
    • Supporting their disabled colleagues 
    • Supporting their colleague with child care and caring responsibilities 
    • Supporting their youngest colleagues 
    • Ensuring dignity and respect in the workplace 


  • Their economic and commercial contribution 
    • they commissioned the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) to carry out regular impact assessments of their UK business, UKPIL, to quantify their contribution to the UK economy. Cebr found that Royal Mail added £10.3 billion to the UK economy in 2018–19, through direct and indirect contributions. This includes their contribution through the employment they provide, the suppliers they work with and the taxes they pay
  • Leveraging their national scale 
  • Use their local presence 
    • Their partnership with Missing People uses their presence in local communities to support the search for vulnerable, high-risk missing people by sending location-specific alerts through their network of handheld PDAs. To date they have issued over 200 alerts to their people
    • Empowering their people to support community causes 
    • National Impact through payroll giving 
    • Helping their people in time of need 
  • Unlocking potential through education 


  • Their approach to responsible procurement 
  • Codes and standards 
  • Their supplier categories 
  • Implementing responsible procurement 
  • Identifying and assessing risk in Their UK supply chain 
  • Human rights and modern slavery “


  • ISO 14001 for all europe sites 
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)  
  • Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
  • Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)  
  • Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)  
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
  • Platinum Payroll Giving Quality Mark
  • Carbon Trust Standard

Sustainable Development Goals

How company covers SDGs



According to the company


    •  Ensure that managers are appropriately trained on anti-bribery and corruption risks. Status: Achieved


  • Mean business customer satisfaction (score). Aim: 78. Status: Achieved
  • Composite premium parcel performance (%). Aim: 97%. Status: Achieved
  • Retail First Class Quality of Service (%). Aim: 93%. Status: Target not met


  • Employee engagement (score). Aim: 59. Status: Achieved
  • Lost Time Accident Frequency Rate (per 100,000 hours worked). Aim: Reduce amount of time lost to accidents. Status: Achieved
  • Reduction in road traffic collisions (%). Aim: Reduce rate of vehicle collisions by 7% compared to prior year. Status: Target not met
  • Sick absence (%). Aim: Reduce the sickness absence among our workforce. Status: Target not met
  • Gender split (female/male) (%). Aim: Improve gender balance across the business. Status: Achieved


  • Charity partnership fundraising (£). Aim: Raise £2 million, including matched giving, for Action for Children over the three-year partnership. Status: On track
  • Colleague community engagement (donations from employees) (£). Aim: Increase employee giving to charities from previous year. Status: Achieved
  • Managers trained on mental health (number). Aim: Provide mental health training to 10,000 managers. Status: Target not met


  • New UK suppliers bound by the Responsible Procurement Code (%). Aim: 100%. Status: Achieved
  • Regular monitoring of all UK suppliers against UK Treasury sanctions list (%). Aim: 100%. Status: Achieved
  • New UK Procurement employees undertaking CR induction training (%). Aim: 100%. Status: Achieved


  • UKPIL total carbon emissions (KT CO2 e). Aim: 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020–21 compared to 2004–05 baseline. Status: Achieved (29% reduction to date)
  • Water consumption (‘000 m3 ). Aim: 4% reduction in water consumption compared to prior year. Status: Target not met
  • Waste diverted from landfill (%). Aim: Divert 95% of waste from landfill. Status: Achieved”

Royal Mail keeps improving their approach to measuring, managing and reducing their environmental impact, as they got international certifications (iso 14001) for some part of their activities and recognitions (Dow Jones sustainability indices, Carbon trust standards,…). They appear to be pioneers in the delivery business, and lead by example towards a greener future. They provide clear information about the SDGs targeted, and the progress towards those with specific numbers. Royal Mail has signed a deal with EDF to deliver Electric Vehicle infrastructure, which highlights their commitment to sustainability once again. Because of their efforts and their ownership of a primary certificate, PEFC, Royal Mail gets the rating A.


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