EU taxonomy on sustainable activities

The European Commission has established an action plan to redirect capital flows towards a more sustainable economy. The implementation of the Taxonomy Regulation is an important step towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The Taxonomy is a classification system for environmentally sustainable economic activities, which prescribes quantitative and qualitative reporting on pre-defined key performance indicators (KPIs) as of reporting year 2021. In this section we present the share of PostNL's consolidated total operating revenue, capital expenditure (Capex) and operating expenses (Opex) for the reporting period 2021, which are associated with Taxonomy-eligible economic activities related to the first two environmental objectives (climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation) in accordance with the Regulation (EU) 2020/852 as supplemented with Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2139 and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2178 (EU Taxonomy).

Basis of preparation

The alignment with relevant financial statements line items is the starting point of our Taxonomy allocation methodology. The reported figures have been determined based on the allocation of activities to the Taxonomy, derived bottom-up for all reporting units of PostNL.

For all three KPIs, the figures are based on the actual amounts represented in the general ledger accounts as included in the PostNL's consolidated financial statements. In addition, the split between transport by road and air in our international business, is based on expected transport modes between countries for our trade lanes.

To avoid double-counting, we eliminated inter-company transactions, which are separately specified in our general ledger accounts and consolidated financial statements. We did not identify any other risk of overlapping activities that could lead to double-counting for our 2021 reporting.

PostNL has implemented the Taxonomy related requirements to the best of its abilities based on the detailed regulatory documents, frequently asked questions (FAQ's) from the European Commission, discussions with peers through the PostEurope network, and where needed our own interpretation of the criteria.

EU Taxonomy KPIs

For the year 2021 PostNL reported on the KPIs total operating revenue (turnover), capital expenditures and operational expenditures. In the following tabel the amounts which are in scope and the percentage of eligibility are presented for these KPIs.

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PostNL EU Taxonomy KPIs in million / percentage

At 31 December

As reported


In scope

of which eligible

Total operating revenue





Capital expenditures


3.2 - 3.4



Operational expenditures2





  • 1 Reference to the notes in the Consolidated financial statements.
  • 2 Total operating expenses as reported in the Consolidated income statement.

Accounting policies


This KPI covers the external revenue recognised in line with IAS 1 par. 82(a) and therefore reconciles to the 'Total operating revenue' as included in the consolidated income statement. To determine which part of the net turnover was earned by Taxonomy-eligible activities per revenue-generating activity, we assessed to which extent this activity is included in the EU Taxonomy. The turnover that is considered to be eligible under the EU Taxonomy includes the majority of our revenue streams which are primarily related to collecting, sorting and delivering mail and parcel items. The non-eligible revenue under EU Taxonomy consist of revenue related to the transportation of mail and parcels by air, service provider activities, and the organisation of logistic activities.

Capital expenditures

This KPI covers the additions to Property, plant and equipment under IAS 16, Intangible assets under IAS 38, as well as additions (including reassessments) to Right-of-use assets under IFRS 16. From the total capital expenditures, it is assessed which portion is Taxonomy-eligible by assessing per asset-category to which economic activity this asset-category relates and to what extent this activity is included in the EU Taxonomy. The capital expenditures that are considered to be eligible under the EU Taxonomy include buildings and facilities, infrastructure for transshipments and low-carbon transport, and our fleet. The non-eligible capex under EU Taxonomy mainly relate to software and other equipment.

Operational expenditures

The denominator of this KPI consists of costs related to short-term lease, maintenance and repair, any other direct expenditures relating to the day-to-day servicing of assets, eligible for the capital expenditures KPI. Due to the nature of our business, our largest cost categories, such as labour, work contracted out, IT and depreciation, are out of scope for the denominator of this KPI. The in scope operational expenditures that are considered to be eligible under the EU Taxonomy include the relevant cost items which are related to considered capital expenditures described in the paragraph above.

Taxonomy-eligible activities

In the table below, we align the PostNL specific description of eligible activities with the descriptions of the economic activities in the Taxonomy.

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PostNL activity

EU Taxonomy activity

Transport by bicycles

6.4 Operation of personal mobility devices, cycle logistics

Transport by light motorised vehicles and smaller vans

6.5 Transport by motorbikes, passenger cars and light commercial vehicles

Transport by trucks and larger vans

6.6 Freight transport services by road

Sorting activities

6.15 Infrastructure enabling low-carbon road transport and public transport

Charging infrastructure for electric vehicles

7.4 Installation, maintenance and repair of charging stations for electric vehicles in buildings (and parking spaces attached to buildings)

Solar panels

7.6 Installation, maintenance and repair of renewable energy technologies


7.7 Acquisition and ownership of buildings