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 delivery vehicles will be zero emission by 2035 and 100% of our company cars will be zero emissions by 2030. This will help us to achieve our Net Zero by 2040 ambition.

 

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.
  • Deploy electric delivery vans at pace to enhance and support our ‘on-foot’ delivery model
  • Maximise our use of rail to reduce domestic flights and road freight

Electric van deployment

The move to electric vans across our delivery fleet helps us to reduce the emissions of our final-mile deliveries even further. We have continued to add more electric vans to our fleet, and expect to have around 5,500 in operation by spring 2023, compared to around 1,600 in operation at year end FY2021-22.

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 42,500 delivery vehicles to ensure that we are able to reach every community across the country. For Royal Mail, approximately two thirds of our deliveries are made purely by foot or through a ‘park and loop’ method which is largely on foot. Part of our zero-emission delivery plan looks at how we can enhance and build on our on-foot delivery model.

We aim to reduce the emissions from deliveries on our journey to net zero by:

  • Electrifying our delivery fleet
  • Optimising our use of on-foot deliveries
  • Using innovation to assess and implement new delivery models
  • Increasing the efficiency of our deliveries and the fuel used

Royal Mail continues to operate and invest in the electrification of its delivery and collection fleet, with around 1,600 electric vans in operation at the end of FY2021-22 and an expectation to have around 5,500 in operation by spring 2023.

This rapid rollout has made Royal Mail the UK’s parcel operator with the most electric delivery vehicles. We also continue to review the technology and suitability of larger electric panel vans for our Parcelforce business.

We will continue to roll out more electric vehicles within our fleet over the coming years.

Our short-term focus for HGVs is low-carbon alternative fuels, which help reduce our fleet emissions until zero-emission vehicles are deployable at scale. This year Royal Mail operated 31 bio-compressed natural gas (bio-CNG) HGVs which has helped reduce diesel consumption by approximately 690,000 litres, and direct emissions by around 85%, compared with their diesel equivalent. A further 49 bio-CNG vehicles are on order for delivery in FY2022-23.

Download the PDF of Royal Mail's 2021-22 ESG Report.