We continue to focus on making Sustainability a reality within our business strategy. We continue to manage this approach as one of a small number of strategic projects within the Company. Considerable resources were invested in the professional development of our management and staff. Our staff engagement programmes are now very well established and have contributed to performance improvement.
During 2011 we worked with the International Post Corporation (IPC) to benchmark An Post’s operations with other postal services across the world. This process has guided the improvements we have made in our approach to sustainability.
The Company provides a well developed and integrated approach to working conditions for our staff of over 10,000 Full Time Equivalent employees (FTE’s).
We have well established policies, practices and procedures in the areas of occupational health and safety, staff well-being as well as training and development including:
• A documented and communicated Safety Statement
• The OHSAS 18001/2007 management system standard
• A training policy entitled “Building Organisational Capability”
• A Staff Education and Support Scheme
• Best-in-class policy and practice in relation to Diversity and Equality including co-operative working with the Disability Authority.
The Central Partnership Forum provides a regular opportunity to meet with staff representatives and to communicate with staff regardless of their role or location.
Your Voice Matters
An Employee Survey was conducted to gain an understanding of the current experience of staff at An Post as well as their awareness of the Company’s strategic direction. Towers Watson was engaged by An Post to conduct this project and to analyse and report on the results. The results have been communicated widely and a set of follow up actions agreed with specific projects led by members of the Executive.
Living the Values
Living the Values was a company-wide programme of staff workshops to ensure that staff at all levels are aware of and understand the Company’s Mission, Vision and Values. This programme also provided an opportunity to discuss our values and take action to ensure we behave in accordance with them, as they apply in the workplace.
The programme ran from summer 2009 – autumn 2011 to promote comprehensive discussion, encouraging staff to understand fully the importance of providing ongoing service excellence to our customers.
An Post is operating to a very high standard in relation to mails collection and delivery. This reflects the Company’s focus on quality of service, with policies and procedures in place, including the ISO9001 Quality Management System which is managed by our Quality Team.
Our Quality Management System includes:
• Targets in place for continuous improvement
• An ‘end-to-end’ view of the customer experience enshrined in our Customer Charter
• A defined complaints procedure
• Continuous monitoring of service performance and customer queuing time through Mystery Shopping surveys
• Customer supports such as provision for hard-of-hearing customers.
In 2011 An Post made significant progress in the areas of Energy, Transport and Waste Management.
Environmental data is collected, collated and managed centrally in respect of the Company’s carbon performance. This data is also inputted to the IPC Environmental Management and Monitoring System (EMMS).
Since 2008 the Company has assessed the carbon impact of its operations on an annual basis. We benchmark our performance each year with IPC and implement an annual action plan for continuous improvement. During 2011 our public building stock over 1,000 square meters was audited, enabling us to exhibit a Display Energy Certificate (DEC). The DEC provides the Company with an accurate account of our energy consumption and maintenance and management practices. We also implemented a Waste Management System which prioritises waste avoidance, reduction, re-use and recycling. We also work with our supplier transport companies to promote environmentally friendly practices such as training staff in eco-driving to reduce fuel consumption as well as route optimisation.
Overview of Energy Usage in 2011
The main use of Energy in An Post is for the heating and lighting of our offices and the fuel for the transport fleet. In 2011, An Post consumed 134.55GWh of energy, consisting of:
• 18.8GWh of electricity
• 35.8GWh of fossil fuels for heat and light
• 79.95GWh of fossil fuels for transport
There has been a substantial reduction of 5.5GWh in An Post’s Energy usage in the last year. We estimate that 3GWh of this reduction can be attributed to the mild winter in comparison to 2010.
Actions Undertaken in 2011
During 2011 An Post undertook a range of initiatives to improve our energy performance, including:
• Continued investment in improved lighting controls in a number of key offices, which resulted in 800MWh of annual savings
• The Building Management System (BMS) in the Cork and Athlone Mails Centres was upgraded in order to improve control of our energy consumption and this resulted in 124MWh of annual savings
• The BMS in the GPO was upgraded to include additional temperature sensors and a new control panel which resulted in 51MWh annual savings
• Improved staff communication and awareness resulted in savings of 1,525MWh annually
• Fuel consumption testing was completed for the HGV Fleet
• 1,000 drivers completed an Assessment & Training course.
Actions Planned for 2012
In 2012 the Company will further improve its energy performance by undertaking the following initiatives:
• Achieving certification to the ISO 50001 standard which will save 1,750MWh annually
• Investing in a lighting upgrade at a further nine offices which will save 500MWh annually
• Reviewing the energy usage in our retail offices and developing an energy improvement programme for 2012/13 which will save 50MWh annually.
We will continue to develop energy efficiency initiatives where building works are taking place including rainwater harvesting, solar energy, a motion and available light detection lighting system and monitoring of improvement control strategies for heating. We have commenced a structured trial of electric vehicles in Dublin, Cork and Galway and we will present a further 1,000 drivers for Assessment Training.
An Post has a strong track record of community engagement through our Mails and Retail staff interaction with customers. This has a significant positive impact on our Brand and the perception of our role in Irish society among both our customers and employees. Our community programme includes:
• An association with the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) and our facilitation of the Log On, Learn initiative. The impact of this activity has been measured each year since 2008 with over 13,500 people benefiting from our Literacy awareness campaign and over 30,000 older people and students participating in Log On, Learn.
• Support for Irish Cycling at every level from elite athletes to grass-roots, mass participation events. An Post is the leading sponsor of Irish cycling including young Irish riders racing internationally with the An Post Sean Kelly Team, the An Post Rás, Ireland’s premiere UCI cycle race and the An Post Cycle Series, with over 13,500 leisure cyclists participating in 2011. We also support the Irish Paracycling Team in their preparation for the 2012 London Games and An Post Rás na mBan, Ireland’s premiere women’s stage cycling race.
An Post continues to make significant progress in operating as a responsible business in a challenging environment. We have policies in place across the majority of sustainability measures, all of which influence practice within the Company.
The Disability Act, 2005 places a duty on public organisations to ensure that their public buildings and services are, as far as is practicable, accessible to people with disabilities. In particular, those areas of buildings to which the public has access are to be made accessible not later than 2015. Overall, An Post is on target to meet its commitments with regard to access under the Act. The majority of post offices are, however, operated on a contract basis by postmasters and postmistresses appointed by An Post and the Company is not in a position to oblige them to alter their premises. The Company has contacted them; informed them of the requirements of the Disability Act and encouraged them to address any access issues that may exist on their premises. All new contracts require the postmaster or postmistress contractor to provide accessible premises.