IPC is working to systematically address the impacts of global climate change and collaborating to reduce carbon emissions across the sector through the IPC EMMS programme. We believe that through the knowledge sharing and positive action, the entire postal industry will be able to lower its environmental impacts, thereby addressing stakeholder concerns about its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

The current EMMS programme

IPC’s Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS) programme is a sector-wide initiative acting to mitigate the postal industry’s contribution to global warming. It takes a collaborative approach to reducing carbon emissions and improving carbon management. The EMMS programme was developed in 2008 in response to stakeholder and CEO requests for the postal sector to minimise its carbon footprint. This was a result of concerns regarding the contribution of the sector to greenhouse gas emissions. The EMMS programme is a global initiative, consisting of 19 participants from four regions – Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. The 2019 IPC Postal Sector Sustainability Report analyses data for the 2018 calendar year.

The original EMMS targets were set in 2009 following a pilot in 2008. The original 20 participants of the programme collectively set ambitious targets to be achieved by 2020, compared to the 2008 baseline: 

  • To reduce combined carbon emissions from own operations by 20% – achieved in 2014.
  • To achieve a score of at least 90% in carbon management proficiency – achieved in 2018.

Both targets were met before the 2020 target year. In 2014, the group achieved its carbon emissions target, six years ahead of schedule. As of 2018, the group has reduced annual Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 27% compared with 2008. We will continue to monitor and report on carbon emissions reductions beyond the 2020 target year. The group achieved its second original EMMS target in 2018 – by surpassing the 90% Carbon Management Proficiency (CMP) target. 
A new target was introduced in 2014 following the attainment of the absolute emissions reduction target. Participants collectively agreed on a delivery efficiency target, measuring the carbon emissions associated with each delivery, and also expanding the scope to include outsourced transport:

  • To achieve a 20% reduction in Scope 1, 2 and 3 (from own operations and outsourced transport) carbon emissions per letter mail and per parcel by 2025, from a 2013 baseline year.

This target was approved by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTI), indicating that the level of decarbonisation required to achieve it is in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. IPC was one of the first 12 organisations to set an SBTI-approved target. Through setting this additional goal, the group demonstrated its ambition to drive continuous improvement and desire to exert positive influence over the supply chain. Details of the group’s achievements are further discussed in the Results Summary section of this report.

(4) Non-rounded figure 76.8% of volumes from most recent year for 154 countries. Sources: operator annual reports, IPC member questionnaires and UPU postal statistics.