Glossary and definitions

Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets.
The absenteeism percentage follows the definition of the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) in the Netherlands. It is calculated through the weighted days of absence divided by the total contractual working days. In this definition we correct for part-time employees.
Attract and retain people
Being an attractive employer for both new hires and existing employees enables us to develop our workforce in line with the development of our businesses. A smooth recruitment and application process is key to attract new colleagues in our operations. Specific competence focus for office functions helps us finding the right people in the labour market. Retention of employees helps creating stability and perspective of development.
A chartered accountant (register accountant) or other auditor referred to in section 393 of book 2 of the Dutch Civil Code or an organisation in which such auditors work together.
Bio-LNG is broadly defined as gas consisting of or derived from biomass. Biogas consists of CO2 that has recently been extracted from the atmosphere as a result of growing plants and trees, and therefore does not influence the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere over a longer period of time. This is in contrast to fossil fuels, such as natural gas or crude oil, which are stored over millions of years so that their combustion and subsequent emissions do influence CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
Black Friday to New Year period
This period occurs between week 47 and week 1 and is usually peak season in terms of parcels, letterpackages and mail delivered, because this period includes Black Friday, Sinterklaas, Christmas and New Year.
Black Friday
Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, and which is now recognised across other parts of the world. It traditionally marks the start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. Many stores offer highly promoted sales at discounted prices.
Business customer
SME or large business who acquire, consume or use our goods and services
Business ethics
Moral principles serving as guidelines for business conduct of PostNL and the stakeholders we do business with. This includes aspects such as reliability, fair trade, respect and diversity, customer focus, neutrality and social responsibility.
Business travel
Business travel refers to all business-related travel for work, other than employee commuting, including travel by air.
The Carbon Disclosure Project is a not-for-profit charity that offers a global disclosure platform for investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to disclose their environmental impact.
CO2 efficiency
The CO2 efficiency is the term used to express the relative impact of CO2. In relation to the key performance indicators, this means the total direct and indirect (scope 1 and scope 2) CO2 emissions from our operations divided by the total number of kilometres transported from our own operations. The efficiency number is the grammes of CO2 per kilometre transported.
2017 Enterprise Risk Management – Integrated Framework of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.
The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is a directive stating that an increasing number of companies will be required to report on their impact on people and the climate starting from 2024. The directive aims to ensure greater transparency and better quality of sustainability information.
Circular economy
Economic system based on closed loops, aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Closed loops relate to reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, re-manufacturing and recycling. Consequently, the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions will be minimised.
Company cars
Company-owned or leased vehicles at the disposal of an employee for commuting and business travel.
Individual who acquire, consume or use goods and services for personal use, either for themselves or for others, and not for resale, commercial or trade, business, craft or profession purposes.
Control effort
The additional effort required to achieve further risk mitigation.
Corporate governance
The OECD (see reference in this glossary) defines corporate governance as the system by which corporations are directed and controlled. The corporate governance structure specifies the distribution of rights and responsibilities among different participants, such as the board, managers, shareholders and other stakeholders, and defines the rules and procedures for making decisions. In doing so, it also provides the structure by which company objectives are set and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance.
Corporate responsibility (CR)
Corporate responsibility is the umbrella term for the obligation a company has to consider the social (corporate social responsibility) and environmental (sustainability) impact of its activities and to go beyond this obligation in the treatment of economic, environmental and social activities to sustain its operations, financial performance and ultimately its reputation.
Individual who acquire, consume or use goods and services for resale, commercial or trade, business, craft or profession purposes
Cyber and physical security
Application of technologies, processes and controls to protect our systems, networks, processes, data as well as assets and people from unauthorised cyber and/or other attacks aimed for exploitation.
Data protection and privacy
The process of protecting PostNL's data and that of its stakeholders against inappropriate use. As data is becoming increasingly important in doing business, data protection and privacy involves striking the right balance between individual privacy rights and allowing data to be used for business purposes.
Delivery quality Mail in the Netherlands
Delivery of a consignment within the time frame set for the service in question. An independent research firm tests our delivery process, by sending traceable letters through our network. These letters are scanned along the entire sorting process, enabling us to identify any delays.
Delivery quality Parcels in the Netherlands
Delivery of a consignment within the time frame set for the service in question. The performance is measured from the first sorting scan in sorting centres until the day of the first delivery attempt. Collection and cross-docking (including temporary storage) is excluded. The scoping in relation to delivery days excludes pre-defined peak moments. The consignments in scope include those to be delivered by our parcel delivery services and at first attempt in the Netherlands. Therefore, the scope excludes returns (freepost), international parcels and letterbox packages.
Digital Next
Using a Digital Next perspective helps support the initiatives that enhance customer experience and accelerates our digital transformation.
This refers to the digital transformation of society in which digital information and communication play an increasingly important role in all facets of life. This is different from digitisation, which refers to the transformation of analogue information into digital information. This process is necessary for the processing, modelling, and storage of data.
Disabled employees
Disabled employees are employees on the payroll whose medical condition has been recognised by the relevant authorities as a disability.
Diversity and inclusion
PostNL is a diverse organisation with employees from different backgrounds and a wide variety of nationalities. The diversity of our workforce reflects the diversity seen across society and our customer and consumer base. At the same time, our employees expect us to provide a work environment where everyone feels safe and inclusive.
Do No Significant Harm
The DNSH principle entails assessing whether an investment in an economic activity that contributes substantially to an environmental or social objective does not significantly harm any environmental or social objectives.
Do-it-yourself stores
Stores that sell products to decorate, build, or make repairs at home by oneself rather than employing a professional.
Dow Jones Sustainability Indices
Launched in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices are the first global indices to track the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. They provide asset managers and other stakeholders with reliable and objective benchmarks for managing sustainability portfolios.
The online selling of products and services by customers, and the online buying of products and services by consumers.
E-tailing is the sale of goods and services over the internet, which can include B2B or B2C sales.
EU Regulation on deforestation-free products
A regulation implemented by the EU to guarantee that the products EU citizens consume do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation worldwide.
EcoVadis is an international organisation that assesses companies on their sustainability performance and corporate social responsibility with a focus on sustainable procurement.
Emission-free delivery
Emission-free delivery means the delivery of goods without CO2 emissions. In relation to the key performance indicator, emission-free delivery means the delivery of letters and parcels, both by PostNL and by our delivery partners, from the last sorting activity before distribution to the final destination (last-mile) in the Benelux without CO2 emissions. This also includes the collection of mail and parcels, but excludes transport by large trucks.
Employee engagement
Employee engagement refers to the share of employees (employed by PostNL for three months or more) who, based on the responses in the employee engagement survey are classified as ‘engaged’, 'motivated' or ‘engaged and motivated’ in relation to their job at PostNL. An ‘engaged employee’ is one who feels connected to the company and is enthusiastic about their work. A 'motivated' employee additionally actively aims to improve the company and its reputation. The survey is executed twice a year.
End user
An end user refers to the consumer of a good or service.
Energy efficiency
The ratio of output of our operational and other processes, to the input of energy in our business. To become more energy efficient, our aim is to deliver the same output using less energy.
Environmental incident
An environmental incident is an incident that has led to the pollution of soil, water or air. This includes failures, breakdowns, floods, spillages, leaks and so forth. Environmental incidents are divided into on-site and off-site incidents. On-site incidents occur at sorting and delivery centres, hubs, offices and other locations owned, leased, rented or operated directly by PostNL. Off-site incidents occur away from sorting and delivery centres, hubs, offices and other locations owned, leased, rented or operated directly by PostNL.
European emission standards
Euro 4, Euro 5 and Euro 6 are mandatory European emission standards (EU directives) applicable to new road vehicles sold in the European Union. They define levels of vehicular emissions such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM10).
Fair taxation
PostNL views taxes as an important matter for PostNL and its stakeholders. As such, a coherent, responsible and compliant approach towards tax is considered an integral part of doing business.
Fatal accidents
The death of any person because of an occupational accident. An occupational accident is an unexpected and unplanned occurrence, including acts of violence, arising out of or in connection with work activities performed for PostNL. It doesn’t matter where the fatal accident has taken place or which person (employee or third party) is a casualty.
Full-time equivalents (FTEs)
FTEs refer to the total number of hours worked by the headcount divided by the local number of contract hours (e.g. 37 hours per week).
GHG emissions
The emissions of carbon dioxide can be calculated with help of the GHG protocol. In this terminology, scope 1 covers all the emission streams directly attributable to an organization's own activities. Scope 2 covers the indirect emissions related to energy consumption of a company. Scope 3 covers all the other remaining emissions streams, for example outsourced transport.
Gender Pay Gap
The unadjusted pay gap is the gross hourly wage of women divided by the gross hourly wage of men. The adjusted pay gap is the gross hourly wage of women divided by the gross hourly wage of men, in the same Collective Labour Agreement, salary scale and age-group. Each group is weighted by the total number of employees in each group.
General Meeting of Shareholders
The meeting of shareholders and other persons entitled to attend meetings.
General data protection regulation (GDPR)
The GDPR is an EU regulation (Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming - AGV in Dutch) aiming to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in today’s data-driven world. More can be found on
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
The GRI is a multi-stakeholder process and an independent institution whose mission is to develop and disseminate globally-applicable sustainability reporting guidelines for voluntary use by organisations that report on the economic, environmental and social dimensions of their business. The GRI incorporates participation of business, accountancy, investment, environmental, human rights and research and labour organisations from around the world. For more information, see
Greenhouse Gas Protocol
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) was established in 1998 to develop internationally-accepted accounting and reporting standards for greenhouse gas emissions of companies.
Greenwashing is a form of advertising or marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organisation's products, aims, and policies are environmentally friendly.
Group company
A group company as defined in article 2:24b of the Dutch Civil Code.
Headcount is the number of employees on the payroll in active duty working for fully consolidated companies.
Health and safety
To promote and maintain the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of our people. This means creating a working environment that protects the health and safety of the people that work with and for PostNL aimed at preventing injuries and illness caused at work.
Human Rights
Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.
IFRS, as endorsed by the European Union.
International Financial Reporting Standards.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
The ISO is a network of national standards institutes from 146 countries working in partnership with international organisations, governments, industry, business and consumer representatives. The ISO is the source of ISO 9000 standards for quality management, ISO 14000 standards for environmental management and other international standards for business, government and society. For further information, see
ISO 14001 (environmental management)
The ISO 14001 standards are international standards for controlling environmental aspects and improving environmental performance, minimising harmful effects on the environment and achieving continual improvements in environmental performance.
ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety management)
ISO 45001 is a standard for occupational health and safety management systems. It is intended to help organisations control occupational health and safety risks and was developed in response to widespread demand for a recognised standard for certification and assessment. ISO 45001 was created through the collaboration of several of the world’s leading national standards bodies, certification organisations and consultancies.
ISO 9001 (quality management)
The ISO 9000 standards cover an organisation’s practices in fulfilling customers’ quality requirements and applicable regulatory requirements while aiming to enhance customer satisfaction and achieve continual improvement of its performance in pursuit of these objectives.
Information and transparency
Inform stakeholders about our policies, business operations and activities, events and achievements with appropriate frequency and interact, both physically and digitally, with stakeholders based on their needs and PostNL's policies.
Key performance indicators (KPIs)
KPIs are measurements that focus on achieving outcomes critical to the current and future success of an organisation. These indicators should deal with matters that are linked to the organisation’s mission and vision, and are quantified and influenced where possible.
Labour practices
Favourable work and labour conditions includes sound collective labour agreements, fair compensation, equal pay, facilitating personal development, stimulating collaboration and make improvements based on feedback.
The last part of the journey of a consignment to the receiving customer. This starts from the last distribution sorting moment and ends at the final destination. This may include transshipments to a depot as an intermediate step before final delivery.
Management positions
Management positions refer to people who hold a leadership position, of which we identify three types: Operational, middle and senior management. Operational management is defined as employees with leadership functions in junior positions. Senior management refers to employees with leadership functions in senior positions. Middle management refers to positions between operational and senior management.
Information is material if errors, omissions or incorrect presentation can influence the evaluation or decisions of users of the information.
Minimum Safeguards
These safeguards require compliance with minimum human and labour rights standards, preventing activities that breach key social principles.
NOx (NO and NO2) refers to nitrogen oxides. Nitrogen oxides are produced during combustion, especially at high temperatures.
Net promoter score (NPS)
NPS is a customer loyalty metric that measures the likelihood of customers recommending a company, product, or service to others by asking them to rate, on a scale of 0 to 10, how likely they are to recommend the business.
Non-financial information
All information other than financial information is non-financial information. This includes, but is broader than terms PostNL used before, such as Corporate Responsibility (CR) Information.
Number of supervisory positions
According to Dutch law, the number of supervisory positions that managing and Supervisory Board members may hold in certain companies is limited (article 2:132a of the Dutch Civil Code for managing board members and article 2:142a of the Dutch Civil Code for Supervisory Board members). Since 1 January 2013 a person is prohibited from being appointed member of the Supervisory Board of more than five so-called large entities (including PostNL), whereby a chair position counts twice. Existing positions are exempt, but if they exceed five, they must be reconsidered at the moment of (re)appointment. Board members holding more than the maximum number of positions on 1 January 2013 are not obliged to resign from these positions, but positions must be reconsidered at the time of reappointment.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
An omnichannel organisation is one that focuses on the customer, without being dependent on time, place and channel. Customers experience a consistent experience across all channels because the organisation provides relevant and immediately available information and content.
Out-of-home network
Our out-of-home network includes parcel lockers and retail locations where consumers can drop off/pick up parcels. We are growing the number of these locations as we give consumers greater choice over where and when they can collect their parcel.
Particulates, alternatively referred to as particulate matter (PM), such as fine particles and soot, are tiny subdivisions of solid matter suspended in a gas or liquid. The notation PM10 is used to describe particles of 10 micrometres or less.
Goods to be transported by a distribution company, weighing up to approximately 30 kg.
Pollution to air, land and water
Air pollution: The presence of chemical substances in the atmosphere at levels which are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings, or cause damage to the climate or to materials. The activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal.
Waste pollution: Waste management forms part of our certified environmental management system and is bound to (local) regulations. We do not only focus on our own waste, we also engage with suppliers and customers about the topic, for example in relation to sustainable packaging.
Water pollution: The consumption and (quality of) discharges of water can influence ecosystems. Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all is one of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Therefore, pollution is a topic of discussion with specific stakeholders.
PostNL (Group)
PostNL N.V. and its Group companies.
PostNL N.V.
A public limited liability company incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands, listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, with its statutory seat in The Hague, the Netherlands, and its registered office at Waldorpstraat 3, 2521 CA The Hague, the Netherlands, until 31 May 2011 named TNT N.V.
Quality of services
Performance of our core and supporting processes measured against quantitative and qualitative expectations of customers.
Recordable accident
Recordable work-related accident resulting in (immediate) minor or severe injury or illness of a PostNL-employee.
Reputation score
Reputation is a perception about the degree of admiration, positive feelings, esteem and trust an individual has for an organisation. Reputation is rooted in an assessment of the performance of an organisation over time, including in the past and with expectations about the future. Our reputation score is measured quarterly by the Reputation Institute, which measures reputation across stakeholders, countries and industries. It tracks 23 key performance indicators grouped around seven core dimensions.
Responsible supply chain
Cooperation with suppliers on sustainable development about economic, social and environmental matters, both from a risk and opportunity perspective.
Retail location
A retail location is a location where goods or services are sold directly to consumers. In the context of PostNL for the Annual Report, this includes retail shops, business points, parcel points and post offices. A PostNL location in a retail shops is also referred to as retail point.
Return on invested capital
We use capital investments to develop our business, such as new sorting centres or IT systems. These investments are aimed at generating value for PostNL and our stakeholders. We monitor the return on invested capital to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of our capital allocation to value generating investments.
Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) defines and promotes best practice in emissions reductions and net-zero targets in line with climate science.
Significant reportable instance of non-compliance
For the purpose of the Annual Report in relation to applicable GRI references, a significant instance of non-compliance is defined as an instance where PostNL is formally sanctioned of (alleged) non-compliance by a competent authority in the form of fines or non-monetary sanctions which result in financial or business impact at a level above the internally applied thresholds for internal reporting of such cases to top management.
Small and medium-sized enterprises
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are businesses whose personnel and revenue numbers fall below certain limits.
Sustainable city logistics
Realising sustainable future growth in collection and delivery in cities requires changes to current business models. We work together with a range of partners to reduce logistic movements by consolidating shipments to enable efficient last-mile delivery. We are also working to electrify last-mile transport, such as using light electric freight vehicles (LEFV) to minimise nuisance, reduce carbon emissions, and improve air quality in urban areas.
Sustainable electricity
Sustainable is electricity from ‘green’ or ‘renewable’ sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric and ocean energy, purchased during the reporting period for power and lighting of all company locations (where this can be established from utility suppliers’ invoices or other means). It does not include nuclear electricity.
TNT Express
The former public limited liability company which was demerged from TNT N.V. on 31 May 2011 and until 25 May 2016 the ultimate parent company of the former express activities of TNT N.V. On 25 May 2016 it was acquired by FedEx, and subsequently delisted from the Amsterdam Stock Exchange on 4 July 2016.
Total shareholder return
The profit or loss from net share price change plus any dividends received over a given period.
Turnover rate
Turnover rate is everyone who left the company during a particular year, and includes those who retired, were dismissed, or left voluntarily.
The Universal Postal Union is a specialised agency of the UN and is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players worldwide.
The Dutch Postal Act 2009 requires PostNL as the universal service obligation (USO) provider to provide nationwide services and to perform a daily delivery round from Tuesday till Saturday, except on public holidays. There is also a requirement to deliver urgent medical items and funeral notifications on Mondays. At least 95 percent of all standard single rated domestic letters under the USO posted the day before must be delivered in 24 hours. Furthermore, PostNL is required to maintain a network of letterboxes and post offices for access by the general public. The Postal Regulation 2009 covers detailed tariff regulation, cost and revenue accounting, financial administration and reporting.
The designation as universal service provider obliges PostNL to collect and deliver domestic mail and parcels five days a week (mourning cards and medical post six days a week), and to provide for cross-border mail and parcels according to the Universal Postal Union (UPU) rules.
Volume development Parcels
Relative volume growth compared to the previous year
Voluntary turnover rate
Voluntary turnover rate is only those who left voluntarily.
'Well-to-wheel' is a method to evaluate efficiency and emissions of an energy source by considering its entire life cycle.
Working days
The total number of individually-calculated working days adjusted for overtime, leave or similar deviations.
Working hours
The total number of individually-calculated working hours adjusted for overtime, leave or similar deviations.
The competitive NPS is based on asessments of an independent research company that measures the extent to which customers and consumers recommend PostNL compared to our competitors.