Sustainable buildings and facilities

We currently run five mail sorting centres, one international sorting centre and 25 parcel sorting centres, and aim to increase the number of parcel sorting centres to deal with the expected growth in parcel volumes. To reduce our environmental impact, since 2011 we have focused on developing energy-efficient new buildings. In 2020, this involved continuing to invest in installing on-site renewable energy, such as rooftop solar panels, where technically and economically feasible. We also continued to make energy efficiency improvements, such as switching to LED lighting in existing buildings.

Obtaining sustainable building certifications for new sorting centres

In 2020, seven of our parcel sorting and distribution centres were awarded BREEAM-NL certificates, with one achieving 'Excellent' and six 'Outstanding'. A BREEAM-NL excellent building is at least 60% more energy efficient than the minimum required level of the applicable building code, while Outstanding means at least 80% better efficiency per m2. We achieved this by investing in the most sustainable building materials available, installing waste heat recovery systems, and placing solar panels on the roof of each sorting centre.

BREEAM certification of existing centres

During the year we continued to assess and upgrade the sustainability levels of 17 existing sorting centres in order to obtain BREEAM NL In-Use Very Good certification, with the first building to be certified in the beginning of 2021. We aim to finalise the certification for all 17 buildings before the end of 2021.

Switch to LED lighting

On average, LED lighting cuts energy consumption by 50% compared to halogen lights. During the year we continued to switch to LED lighting across our operations. Currently, 24 of our parcel sorting centres have LED lighting in the hall, while the 7 newest centres have LED lighting installed throughout. At the IMEC and our 5 other mail sorting centres we have installed LED lighting across most of the industrial halls, and this will be completed in 2021. We aim to introduce LED lighting across all other areas of our sorting centres in the coming years.

Solar panels

By year-end, we had 25,208 solar panels on the 24 parcel sorting centres we own, which created more than 7.1 million kWh of electricity. This equated to around 49% of the centres' total annual energy consumption, a 10% rise on 2019. We also aim to install our first solar panels at Mail in the Netherlands' sorting centres in 2021, and have opened talks with the landlords of large industrial locations we rent about placing solar panels.

Charging infrastructure for e-vehicles

Moving towards emission-free deliveries involves more than just introducing electric vehicles. We also need to update and adapt our infrastructure. At our parcel sorting centre in Amersfoort, 10 charging points went live during the course of 2020. We also introduced new charging stations at the parcel sorting centres of Amsterdam Zuid Oost and Almere. Going forward, we will continue to work on bringing additional docks live.