Swiss Post is turning its domestic letter services “carbon neutral” from 1st April, suggesting that the move effectively counters the argument that electronic communications are better for the environment.
Switzerland’s national postal operator said today that it plans to offset all carbon dioxide emissions associated with the transportation of all addressed domestic letters.
Swiss Post said it would offset the emissions by funding environmental projects in Switzerland as well as “high grade” international climate protection projects.
It is expecting to offset around 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
The company said that while the physical letter was already a “convincing alternative” to electronic media in the communications market, adding climate protection measures would “reinforce” the letter’s position as a communications channel.
It said of the move: “Swiss Post is adding concrete environmental protection to the advantages of the physical letter, and, additionally, strengthening the position of the letter in the communications market.”
Like many postal operators around the world, Swiss Post has already been taking steps to reduce its environmental impact, with its “Pro-clima” programme seeking to cut carbon emissions by 15,000 tons a year by 2013.
The company has been deploying alternative forms of transport, including electric scooters and biomethane-powered trucks, training its drivers to drive in the most efficient manner. Plans are to switch all scooters to electric power by 2016.
Swiss Post has also been using renewable hydropower and wind energy sources to cut the impacts of its power consumption, and last year pledged to invest CHF 39m in its own solar power facilities.
For the past two years, Swiss Post customers have been able to pay a premium “Pro clima” surcharge to have the climate change impact of their letters, parcels of shipments offset.
From April, Swiss Post will take over the payment of the surcharges for domestic letters. Its customers will continue to be offered the chance to pay for offsets to cover their packages and international mail, the company said.
“Thanks to this investment, Swiss Post’s handling of all addressed domestic letters will be climate neutral,” the company declared.
Swiss Post’s move to offset its domestic letters comes just a week after its new international mail partner, France’s La Poste, declared that its entire group operations, including parcel services, will turn carbon neutral later this year.
Source: PostParcel/Swiss Post