New Zealand Post Group drives off with Sustainable 60 Award

2 December 2010

New Zealand Post Group’s achievement in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions of its large vehicle fleet has seen it carry off two big awards at the Sustainable 60 Awards presented in Auckland last night.

New Zealand Post Group has won the Environment Award and also carried off the Best Public Sector Award against stiff competition. The company was also a finalist in the Community category for the Duffy Books in Homes partnership.

The Sustainable 60 Awards, developed by the Fairfax Media Business Group and PricewaterhouseCooper, share and reward excellence in sustainable business practice in New Zealand.

The top Environment Award was recognition of New Zealand Post Group’s achievement in reducing greenhouse gasses by nearly 9 percent over the last two years. That’s well on the way to meeting the Group target of 12 percent reductions

Corporate Sustainability Advisor Rachel Depree says that is a strong result given the complex and varied makeup of the New Zealand Post Group vehicle fleet which accounts for 85 percent of the company’s emissions.

“We have a network of over 1600 vehicles which transport and deliver more than a billion mail and courier items a year. We operate a fleet of seven aircraft, over 120 trucks, 102 vans, 172 motorcycles and 112 forklifts, and then there are the owner-driver courier vehicles.

“To add to the challenge, the vehicle fleet is spread over various business units including couriers, postal and logistics. The key to pulling this all together was coordination. It was vital we took a ‘whole of fleet approach’ working across the business, addressing all vehicle types and using a range of tools.

“Fundamental to all sustainability work at New Zealand Post is that everything we do in this area is focussed on adding value to the business, having clear targets and rapidly assessing and analysing the benefits,” Depree said.

So how is New Zealand Post Group pulling it off? Apart from the planning, coordination and Group-wide commitment and understanding that sustainability is good business, there have been a range of actions including;

  • Express Couriers had the first vehicles in New Zealand with Selective Catalytic Reduction technology resulting in significant reductions in tail pipe emissions
  • A progressive upgrade to Euro 4 and 5 standard vehicles in the heavy commercial fleet with a target to have all vehicles at Euro 5 by 2015
  • Pilots are incentivised to share in savings in fuel use
  • Fleet optimisation resulting in fewer vehicles achieving the same amount of work.

New Zealand Post Group is not resting on its laurels – the drive for improved sustainability is never-ending. The organisation always has an eye to the future, taking the opportunity to trial emerging technologies.

Newly available bio-fuels and special aerofoils are being tested on courier vehicles while there is ongoing assessment of hybrid and electric vehicles. Pace Couriers has been trialling an electric Mitsubishi vehicle since October as part of a partnership with Wellington City Council with very encouraging early results.

Rachel Depree says the award is gratifying, but just a start.

“It’s great the hard work across the Group has received this recognition. Our analysis shows that sustainability measures are good for the business and indeed, essential if we want to be viable as a company going into the future,” she said.