At PostNL, we are aware of the impact we have on the environment and have been taking action to reduce this by integrating environmental objectives into our overall strategy. In 2022 we continued to focus on combatting climate change by steering on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction initiatives, enabling us to further progress towards our long-term, science-based reduction targets. At the same time, through our Zero 2030 programme we continued to develop and implement initiatives that help us improve our broader environmental impact, while contributing to our reputation as a sustainable company.
We were again proud to be ranked as one of the most sustainable companies in the transport and logistics sector worldwide by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). This benchmark evaluates listed companies on economic, social and environmental transparency and performance. We also achieved an 'A' score in the CDP benchmark, a global environmental disclosure system, for the third year in a row. This is the best score a company can get, and highlights the continuing progress we are making in environmental management. We continue to be at the forefront of our sector in terms of our sustainability benchmarks, based on the strong ratings and scores we receive from independent analysts. And we published our third Green Bond Report in 2022, an overview of which can be found in the 'Capital markets' chapter.
We are strengthening our efforts to combat climate change in other areas. For example, in 2022 we began updating our science-based targets to align our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions with the 1.5oC approach of the Paris agreement. The update, which we aim to finalise in the first quarter of 2023, will include a significant step up in the reduction of absolute scope 3 emissions.
Alongside our material topic 'climate change', we also take a more holistic view on our environmental impact, in line with the broader societal discussion taking place on this topic. The interdependencies between climate change and biodiversity led us to analyse the impact our business activities have on biodiversity, and looked at mitigating actions that are already in place.
We have identified pollution and over exploitation as relevant biodiversity pressures related to our activities. To reinforce our drive for sustainable development, we have formulated a biodiversity ambition for the company, which is to operate in harmony with nature. This means that we commit to conserve, and where needed restore, biodiversity and ecosystems in relation to our own operations.
One example is the investments we are making in cleaner vehicles to reduce air pollution. Another is stimulating waste treatment through higher levels of reuse, repair, refurbish and remanufacture, in addition to recycling and the recovery of materials.
For our new buildings, we implement measures that contribute to biodiversity based on ecological impact assessments, such as providing for birds, insects and sustainable planting. We are also committed to zero net-deforestation through our own operations and to engaging with our supply chain to make similar commitments.
Year ended at 31 December
CO2 efficiency (g/km)
Our CO2 efficiency in grammes per kilometre improved by 25% compared to 2021 and was 18% ahead of our 2022 target. Our improved environmental performance was driven by a greater use of renewable fuels combined with fewer diesel kilometres driven. We have successfully implemented both renewable diesel (HVO100) and Bio-LNG for large trucks at scale, with these renewable fuels used in 54% of the kilometres we drove in 2022 (2021: 33%).
In line with our mid- to long-term strategic action plan, we continue to invest in decarbonising our operations and look for ways to accelerate this, not only to expand the initiatives we apply to our own fleet, but also through collaboration with our logistics partners on both electrification and renewable fuels. For example, to stimulate logistics partners to switch to electric vehicles we pay for the difference in leasing costs between diesel vehicles and e-vehicles. They are also able to make use of charging infrastructure at parcel sorting centres (see story later in the chapter for more information). This is an important step on our journey to delivering emission-free in the last mile across the Benelux by 2030.Download spreadsheet
Year ended at 31 December
Emission-free delivery by PostNL and delivery partners
We continued the transition to an electric fleet, which helped contribute to the share of emission-free last-mile kilometres increasing to 22% in 2022 (2021: 20%). Across Mail in the Netherlands, last-mile delivery is carried out in almost all cases by a combination of foot and bike, or by e-bike. This means that our mail deliverers make the largest contribution to our emission-free delivery, and in 2022 78% of deliveries carried out by Mail in the Netherlands were emission-free over the last mile.
Despite this progress, we continued to be impacted by delays in the automotive supply chain, with Mail in the Netherlands not receiving the number of electric vehicles they expected during the year, negatively impacting our percentage of emission-free last-mile delivery kilometres.Download spreadsheet
Year ended at 31 December
Scope 1 GHG emissions2
Scope 2 GHG emissions
Subtotal scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions
Scope 3 GHG emissions
Total GHG emissions
In line with our CO2 efficiency, we reduced absolute gross scope 1 carbon emissions by 25% compared to 2021. The performance was positively influenced by a number of factors, including delivery partners at Parcels driving fewer delivery kilometres because of lower than expected volumes, the significant increase in the use of renewable diesel and Bio-LNG, and the roll-out of additional e-vehicles.
The electricity we source is also sustainably generated, through solar and wind energy (including guarantees of origin), resulting in our scope 2 emissions being reported as zero.
For outsourced transport, our scope 3 emissions relate to networks within Parcels, Mail and CBS (international), as well as employee commuting, business travel and company cars for employees. In total, our scope 3 emissions decreased by 11% compared to 2021.
To achieve our objectives, we continue to use our four-pillar approach to make our operations more sustainable and engage with business partners to stimulate environmental progress in our value chain. Our focus areas are network efficiency, clean kilometres, sustainable buildings and facilities, and green products and services. While our primary focus has been on climate change, within the four focus areas we are also broadening our strategic attention to make progress on other environmental topics, such as pollution, circularity and biodiversity. Below, we outline how we are working with our employees, our customers, and our partners on these areas.