Sustainability at An Post

Delivering a sustainable future.


Short Term Objectives and Targets 2017 - 2020
Objective activities To substantially reduce CO2 emissions arising from business
Target 1. Reduce CO2 emissions generated by the use of gas oil by  further 8%
Target 2. Reduce CO2 emissions generated by the use of mains gas by a further 8%
Target 3. Maintain CO2 emissions from fleet at 2012 levels

An Post partnership with IPC in 2017

An Post is a member of the International Post Corporation (IPC). IPC is our postal sector representative body, through which we work with other posts globally to manage postal service operations, policy and strategy.

Through our partnership with IPC An Post has advanced our position in relation to carbon management with the following results for the Company:

  • An Post achieved a 2.4 percentage point increase in its Carbon Management Proficiency score this year, reaching a total of 86.6%
  • The Company is now only 3.4 percentage points away from the 90% target, which we are confident that An Post will achieve by the 2025 deadline.
  • An Post has increased its score by 51% since the start of the programme.
  • The Company has achieved a 32% decrease in Scope 1&2 emissions from our 2008 baseline.
  • We are pleased to report that An Post already sources 100% renewable electricity.

IPC EMMS Annual Report 2017

A major sustainability initiative within this group is the IPC Environmental Monitoring and Management System (EMMS). An Post began voluntary reporting of our carbon emissions through IPC EMMS in 2008. It is an important part of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting and has saved the global postal sector more than €884m. The IPC Postal Sector Sustainability Report can be viewed by following this link.

Carbon Management Proficiency

Following consistent annual improvements in the EMMS group's score since 2008, the group is on track to achieve the 90% Carbon Management Proficiency target before 2020. In 2016, EMMS participants achieved an average of 87% (2015: 85%).

Figure 1. Overall Group Carbon Management Proficiency Results 2008-2016

Carbon Use by An Post

An Post is now in the top ten ranking posts in the postal sector’s carbon reduction initiative. By switching to renewable electricity for our buildings, An Post has made significant progress in reducing our Scope 1 and 2 emissions.  We are one of four participating posts in IPC to have made this step and as a result we have now achieved a 51% reduction in carbon emissions from our 2008 baseline. Download An Post Carbon Policy

IPC Carbon Emissions

Following the group's success last year in reaching the 20% absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction target - six years ahead of schedule - participants have continued their efforts to improve their carbon management and drive further emissions reductions this year.

The group's emissions have decreased by 22.4% since the start of the programme, from 8,830,000 tonnes in 2008 to 6,852,000 tonnes in 2015 (see Figure 2). By aggregating savings since 2008, this equates to more than 10m tonnes of carbon emissions that have been avoided over the seven-year period.

Having reached the 20% absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction target in 2014 - six years ahead of schedule -

  • The group's emissions have decreased by an impressive 26.9% since the start of the programme, from 8,830,000 tonnes in 2008 to 6,458,000 tonnes in 2016 (see Figure 2).
  • This equates to aggregated savings of more than 12.7m tonnes of carbon emissions since 2008, equivalent to the CO2 emissions from over 1.3m US homes' energy use in 2015.

Figure 2: Carbon emissions saved and accumulated savings reported compared to the baseline

Group emissions decreased by over 3% (207,000 tonnes) between 2015 and 2016. This was primarily driven by a 7% decrease in Scope 2 electricity purchased (198,000 tonnes), which was achieved via participants' considerable efforts to enhance building energy efficiency and increase their use of renewable electricity.

Fuel consumption and electricity use are the most significant contributors to the group's carbon emissions, and reducing electricity use represents considerable financial gain. Over the eight years of the programme, the group has achieved an accumulated saving of 1.3m tonnes of carbon emissions from own transport. Using a conservative conversion factor for diesel, this equates to 460m litres of fuel saved, and represents a financial saving of €403m (US$446m).

Energy Use by An Post

The heating and lighting of facilities and the use of fuel within our transport fleet make up the bulk of the Company’s energy use. In 2017, An Post consumed a total of 115.83 GWh of energy throughout the Company, the breakdown of which is:

  • 17.93 GWh of electricity
  • 16.45 GWh of fossil fuels for heating
  • 81.45 GWh of fossil fuels for transport

Download An Post Energy Policy 

IPC Electricity Consumption

The group's electricity consumption has reduced by over a fifth since the start of the programme, decreasing from 9.95 TWh in 2008 to 7.77 TWh in 2016. This translates into an accumulated saving of 11.6 TWh over eight years. Using a conservative factor for the cost of electricity this corresponds to a saving of €1,081m (US$1,196m).

Figure 3: Electricity consumption and accumulated savings compared with the baseline

Advancing sustainability and driving positive change

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) make an explicit call for businesses to emerge as frontrunners in stepping up to the sustainability challenge. These were introduced by the United Nations in 2015 and provide a global agenda for sustainability action.

An Post recognises the need to work with other posts to build on the 17 SDGs. The goals encompass a wide spectrum of sustainability issues from eliminating poverty, to ensuring sustainable water use, to taking action to mitigate climate change and its impacts. Our businesses must show leadership in implementing these goals, ensuring their integration into An Post’s long term growth and strategy, in order to advance sustainable development.

Over the next year, through continued communication and engagement with our counterpart posts and IPC, we intend to take a collaborative approach to mapping the SDGs across the postal sector value chain. Following this, we will be in a position to target the issues on which An Post can influence the most positive change and begin to report on our progress and action in these areas.

An Post will work with IPC towards integrating the SDGs into to the postal sector value chain, enabling priority areas for sustainability actions to be identified. In doing so, postal companies can understand how our core activities impact different SDGs, and by specifically focussing on issues which are most material to the postal sector, we can influence the most positive change.

Figure 4: IPC: Mapping Sustainable Development Goals


Our sustainability vision

‘Sustainability is a central element of our business success; delivering high quality and affordable services, and respecting the communities and the environment in which we operate.

This principle, which is one of our core values, guides our on-going relationships with our customers, employees and suppliers and reflects our commitment in this regard.’

In our day to day business, Sustainability at An Post is about actions which:

  • Benefit staff and customers
  • Make financial sense to the company
  • Protect the environment

An Post is working toward managing Sustainability as part of the day to day business of the Company.
Since 2007 our focus has been to make Sustainability a working component of our business approach. We managed this task through the Company’s change management or Transformation Programme.

Our current approach to Sustainability is to identify and progress work in areas where An Post can act responsibly within the business. At this time we have a particular focus on energy use within An Post.
Our energy management strategy has objectives which include cutting costs and decreasing our energy emissions throughout the Company. These actions also help An Post to achieve our goal of becoming a Respected Corporate Citizen and have a positive effect on our reputation and brand. What makes these outcomes sustainable, however, is that they protect the environment, develop staff and serve customers better.
A major step for the company in the past three years is earning and retaining ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). This accreditation is awarded on Company's energy management practise across our extensive buildings portfolio.  An Post is among the first postal operators to achieve this global energy management standard.  Retaining the ISO standard will enable An Post to maintain above average ranking in IPC EMMS.

We work with our sector body, the International Post Corporation (IPC) to benchmark the Company’s performance in relation to carbon and energy use. We have been participating in the IPC’s Environmental Management and Monitoring System (EMMS) since 2008. In this time we have improved our rating within the sector by focusing on improvements across the business, but particularly in relation to the amount of energy consumed and carbon created by our buildings and fleet.

Waste Management

We continue to achieve extremely high levels of recycling rates, of over 90% since implementing a waste management system across the Company in 2010 which requires us all to segregate and stream our waste. 


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