After reducing, play climatic solidarity!

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La Poste Group has committed in France to achieving a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions before 2015 compared with 2008. For that purpose La Poste has implemented a large range of initiatives to manage reduction. For example it has trained 60,000 drivers in eco-driving (cutting emissions by five or 10 percent) and renewed the vehicle fleet to benefit from the latest fuel-saving technologies.

As a result of its first experiments in 2006, La Poste has been asked by the government to lead a national order for electric vehicles. For its own fleet it has ordered 10,000 electric four-wheel vehicles to be delivered before 2015. La Poste has in parallel reviewed its delivery methods and has enlarged the range of electric vehicles with 3,000 electric quadricycles and 8,000 electric bicycles.

La Poste has also worked closely with manufacturers to integrate double-decker trucks, which can carry twice as much mail. It has also replaced parcel-container loading with an automatic bulk method and has thereby tripled transported volumes. To reinforce its CO2 reduction and involve customers in its approach, La Poste has also launched an eco-design programme for its services. An example is the recent Green Letter, which emits until 30 percent less CO2 than a priority letter.

La Poste Group has decided to go beyond these important action plans for CO2 reduction. It has announced in February 2012 its carbon neutrality carbon for its Mail, Parcel and Express thanks to the offsetting of its residual CO2 that can not be reduced. All services are covered by this involvement: paper, hybrid and digital mail, as well as the parcel and express. La Poste integrates all the sources of CO2 emissions for its activities, including those due to subcontracted work. The offsetting will benefit customers without any additional cost to them.

Offsetting began on 1 March 2012 for mail and will be available on 1 July for Express for Chronopost, Exapaq, DPD Germany/Benelux and DPD UK Interlink Express. Offsetting projects chosen are labelled by the most demanding standards of the market (Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard). La Poste’s offsetting strategy relies on climatic solidarity and will finance projects in France and developing countries.

La Poste’s employees have voted in order to select projects for mail offsetting from among five projects of climatic solidarity. After 13 000 votes, 62 percent chose a project in favour of the access of Kenyan people to clean drinking water. The project will allow families to filter water.

At the same time, the UPU’s Sustainable Development working group has studied if a postal offsetting system would be feasible and relevant. A dedicated subgroup has led various studies (stakeholders session, business plan, carbon manager consultation) to see how to implement this kind of system.

Based on positive conclusions, France will propose to the UP Congress in September 2012 a proposition to encourage and promote the creation of a postal offsetting system that would contribute to climatic solidarity and help posts in developing countries integrate a low-carbon strategy.

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