Impact on Sustainable Development Goals

Our strategy is focused on creating both short- and long-term value for our stakeholders through our key material topics. The short-term value we create is expressed in the outcome indicators. We have directly linked our long-term impact, as shown in the a Value creation model, to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations.

Until recently we focused our long-term impact on SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and SDG 13 (Climate action), and concentrated on making progress in these areas across the company.

In 2019 we carried out an SDG impact analysis, and evaluated our impact by mapping the relevant topics for PostNL (as shown in the Materiality matrix) and the SDG sub-targets. We then validated the results during the stakeholder dialogue event, and compared the results with SDG trends in our sector.

We learned from this that stakeholders want us to collaborate on our SDGs right along the value chain, which led us to add two SDGs to our long-term priorities: SDG 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure) and SDG 12 (Responsible production and consumption).


For each target we evaluated whether our impact is related to "doing good" or "avoiding harm". The section below outlines the challenges of each SDG and our approach. A more detailed overview of our SDG connections can be found in the paragraph Reporting principles in the chapter 'Non-financial statements'.

SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth

This is the most relevant SDG for PostNL. We are a people company and service provider in both declining and growing markets.

Decent work

Goal: Provide decent work conditions for our people. This is related to favourable working conditions, and providing full and productive employment.

Our approach: We provide sustainable employability for many and are committed to protecting human rights. We actively promote diversity and inclusion within our company. We offer our people favourable working conditions by providing the right tools, creating a safe workplace, caring for people's health and ensuring fair compensation.

Economic growth

Goal: Contribute to e-commerce growth, grow profitably, and maintain an accessible, reliable and affordable mail network.

Our approach: We use digitalisation, and product and process innovation, to realise higher levels of economic productivity. We maintain contact with stakeholders to balance these innovations with their interests and concerns, helping us to keep mail relevant, grow our e-commerce business and minimise the impact of digitalisation on our employees.

SDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Goal: Provide accessible and reliable postal services, a resilient postal infrastructure across the Netherlands, while ensuring our Parcels and Mail in the Netherlands businesses are set up to realise sustainable innovation.

Our approach: Innovation and development within our logistic networks will enable us to manage both future volume growth in the e-commerce sector and the need for value-added features for customers. At the same time, we develop new business models such as city logistics to foster innovation and support clean and environmentally sound processes and technologies. We adapt and enhance our nationwide postal infrastructure to the declining mail volumes.

SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production

Goal: Reduce our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources in collaboration with others in our value chain.

Our approach: We take a pro-active approach by engaging with partners in our value chain to promote more sustainable alternatives, such as sustainable packaging. This includes making more sustainable and efficient use of natural resources, and minimising waste to air, soil and water. On the other hand, we increase transparency in our direct and indirect environmental impact, and take actions to make our procurement practices compliant with legal requirements and our own policy.

SDG 13 Climate action

Goal: Reduce our impact on climate change by implementing measures to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across all of our operations.

Our approach: We designed our emission reduction targets to contribute to limiting global warming in line with the Paris agreements on climate change. These targets, which have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), include our goal to deliver all mail and parcels in the last-mile emission-free by 2030. This also involves reducing indirect GHG emissions from our delivery partners by raising awareness and promoting active engagement.