An Post – First in Ireland to trial HVO for use in fleet fuel

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First postal service in world to attain zero emissions across six major cities
On track to achieve 50% carbon emissions reduction by 2025 and net zero carbon by 2030

An Post has launched its third Sustainability Report.  Themed “Making sustainable living commonplace” the report describes how An Post is contributing towards more sustainable living in Ireland by offering decent work, progressing towards a carbon free environment, developing a more comprehensive biodiversity strategy, innovating for the common good, and improving financial inclusion in the community, to leave a mark that An Post can be proud of.

The report was launched ahead of World Earth Day (22nd April) at An Post’s Galway Mails and Parcels Delivery Unit where Ireland’s first trial of HVO (Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil) for use in fleet fuel was launched in 2021 as a fuel for An Post HGVs.  HVO is a renewable diesel fuel made from certified waste oils and fats. Since September 2021, An Post trucks have travelled over 119,000km on HVO fuel, resulting in a 91.8% reduction in carbon emissions when compared to diesel fuel, with no performance difficulties.  An Post plans to expand this scheme to Waterford and Cork in 2022, retrofitting tank and diesel pumps as part of the An Post circular economy commitment.

The report notes An Post’s ongoing commitment to five UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while understanding the interconnectivity of all 17 SDGs and demonstrates An Post’s leadership role in Ireland’s transition towards a low carbon society.

Carbon emissions have been reduced by 26% since 2009 with An Post on track for a 50% reduction by 2025, and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.   An Post has retained its commitment to communities with 95% of the population in rural areas living within 15km of at least one post office, 95% of the population in urban areas living within 3km of at least one post office, all eight offshore island post offices maintained and a post office in every community of over 500 people.  An Post is also filling an important social role for the community through important agency banking partnerships providing AIB, Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland customers with access to cash and counter services at 920 post offices, as pillar banks continued to close their doors and services in many locations across the country in 2021.

Commenting on the report David McRedmond, CEO, An Post said, “Every day in An Post I can feel the instinctive commitment of my colleagues to do the right thing and to act for the common good. As one of the most widely distributed workforces in the State, the people of An Post can make a real difference.  That is why our sustainability strategy begins with Decent Work, our commitment to providing good employment.  An Post is against the excesses of the gig economy and committed to providing all our employees with fulfilling, secure careers and opportunities for professional development. In 2021 we launched The Green Institute, An Post’s training and development programme to develop skills and talents for the long-term.  We also became the first major company or institution in the State to eliminate the Gender Pay Gap. We are public in our commitment to equal rights for LGBTQ staff, and we do not see disability as a barrier with 4.4% of An Post staff declaring disability.

“Financial inclusion and fairness coming out of the Pandemic is a cornerstone for our Post Office network. An Post Money is a suite of financial services that apply the best inclusivity features, with the An Post Green Hub being the most direct way to help our customers lead sustainable living.  Supporting SMEs with special discounts during Covid was an example of how An Post can support a sustainable economy.  As more refugees come to Ireland, providing them with free bank accounts and a secure personal address through Address Point, accelerates inclusion.
“Many other initiatives such as protecting biodiversity, reducing packaging, and sourcing responsibly add to our holistic approach to sustainability.”

Speaking at the launch of the report in Galway, Nicola Woods, Chief Transformation Officer, An Post said, “We’re one of the largest employers in Ireland, with one of the largest fleets, and operating the largest retail network in the country. Having such deep roots in Irish life and a presence in every Irish community, our sustainability strategy is about so much more than ‘being green’.  We don’t calculate our success in just euros and cents; what also matters for us is planning for the future to ensure we leave a positive mark on communities and society.

“To achieve this, sustainability must inform every aspect of our business, and this means thinking beyond our immediate commercial considerations, balancing these with the development of our long-term strategy and delivering on our Purpose to act for the common good, so that sustainability is at the heart of everything that we do.

“As the sustainability reporting landscape continues to mature, our reporting is also developing to meet new requirements.  In our Sustainability Report this year we have incorporated two new reporting frameworks, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).  These frameworks not only enable us to be more transparent and authentic in providing sustainability information to our stakeholders but also help us meet the requirements of the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive for reporting on sustainability performance from 2025.”