Clean air

We recognise the impact that poor air quality can have in the communities in which we operate. Investing in electric and alternative fuel vehicles plays a vital role in achieving our environmental ambitions and having a greater impact on improving air quality in the communities in which we operate.

Our ambition

100% of our fleet will be powered by alternative fuel by 2050.

 

Our commitments

We will:

  • Improve the emissions associated with our operations, while continuing to provide the Universal Service and meet our contractual obligations.
  • Meet the targets set out to reduce air emissions across the UK.
  • Work with Government, vehicle manufacturers and infrastructure companies to accelerate the adoption at scale of zero tailpipe emission vehicles.

Over the next five years, we will continue to trial and deploy new approaches to reduce the environmental impact of our fleet.

Spotlight: All electric in Bristol

In May 2021, Royal Mail opened its first delivery office with an all-electric fleet. The site in Bristol has been installed with six double electric charging posts which will charge the 23 delivery and collection vans from the site. Bristol was selected as the first delivery office due to the city’s plans for a Clean Air Zone. We will be considering other delivery offices across the UK in the coming months.

Royal Mail electric vans parked in a row

Our progress

As the Universal Service Provider in the UK, Royal Mail maintains a large fleet of 50,845 vehicles to ensure that we are able to reach every community across the country. Our final mile delivery network is unique in that 63% is delivered either purely by foot, or through a park and loop method which is also largely foot based. This keeps our overall emissions and contribution to urban congestion lower than other delivery companies.

In GLS, the transport of parcels is the core process of our business. Around 22,200 delivery vehicles and 3,300 line-haul vehicles are used for this every day. We are constantly reducing the resulting emissions by modernising the fleet in cooperation with our transport partners.

Royal Mail continues to operate and invest in the electrification of its delivery and collection fleet, with an additional 121 vehicles currently on order. During the year, we joined the steering committee of the UK Electric Fleet Coalition, working with other UK fleet operators to support the acceleration to electric vehicles. In addition, we have joined the Electric Vehicle (EV) Fleets Accelerator group, whose goal is to use electric fleets as a catalyst to accelerate the conversion to EV’s so helping Electrify the UK. We will continue to roll out more electric vehicles within our fleet over the coming years.

Shown to reduce CO₂e by around 85% in comparison to average diesel emissions, Bio-CNG fuel can significantly lower the emissions associated with our larger HGV fleet. In the UK this year we invested £2.8 million to introduce 29 additional HGVs fueled by Bio-CNG into our fleet. To date, the use of our existing Bio-CNG vehicles has saved 50,869 litres of diesel.

We plan to continue increasing the number of Bio-CNG HGVs in our fleet as we replace older diesel equivalents.

GLS continues to make progress on electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and city logistics concepts, including inner‑city carbon-free delivery. Today, GLS already serve more than 60 inner cities with carbon-free delivery methods, including eBikes, eVans and eScooters.

GLS is engaged with a cross-company operation, Mikrodepot am Ostwall, for the climate-friendly delivery of courier, express and parcel services in the city of Dortmund. Alongside UPS, DPD and Amazon, the joint and thus space-saving operation of a microdepot is an example of cooperative emission-free delivery traffic in other municipalities as well.

In total, Royal Mail Group owns/operates 1,137 alternative fuel vehicles – outlined below.

We continue to invest and roll out alternative fuel vehicles across our fleet.

505

Electric

149

Cargo bike/trike

258

CNG

96

LPG

38

Hybrid

91

LNG