Swiss Post reveals plans to achieve net zero carbon target by 2040

Swiss Post reveals plans to achieve net zero carbon target by 2040

Swiss Post has announced that, in order meet its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2040, it will look to actively extract carbon from the atmosphere through forest management.

The company said that plans to reduce its carbon emissions by around 90% by 2040 – and the remaining 10% of carbon emissions that cannot be prevented via technological means by that date will be extracted from the atmosphere and stored in the long term.

In a statement issued today (24 July), Swiss Post said that it is focusing on various ‘natural methods’ to achieve this. One of these is forest management, because a sustainably growing forest removes CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it in the wood. For this reason, Swiss Post is investing in forests and careful forest management. It has signed a first purchase contract for an area of forest in Thuringia in Germany.

In terms of reducing its own carbon emissions, Swiss Post said that ‘the biggest leverage it has is electrifying its vehicle fleet’ – and it has already made progress on this as today around 50% of all Swiss Post vehicles on the road are now emission-free. As a second priority, Swiss Post is investing heavily in renewable energies and replacing fossil fuels. To this end, it is operating more and more solar systems on the rooftops of its properties, such as letter and parcel centres.

These measures will enable Swiss Post to reduce its emissions by around 90% by 2040. Even so, there will still be around 10% of residual emissions after 2040.

Roberto Cirillo, CEO of Swiss Post, commented: “The CO2 that we cannot reduce ourselves must not remain in the atmosphere. We plan to actively extract it from the atmosphere through various measures and store it in the long term.”

Swiss Post is focusing on “natural” methods to extract CO2 from the atmosphere. One of these methods is sustainable forest management. When trees grow, they extract carbon from the atmosphere and store it in their wood. To ensure lasting carbon capture, the wood must be used in the long term – for example, as sustainable construction timber or for the production of vegetable carbon.

Swiss Post said that it is guided by clear criteria when considering possible investments

“For us,” explained Cirillo, “the focus is on the carbon storage potential of forest growth and sustainable use of wood.”

To implement this kind of long-term commitment, sufficiently large forest or land space must be available in Switzerland or European countries with a comparable level of political and legal stability. For this reason, Swiss Post said that it has signed a purchase agreement with the owner of a forest in Germany in June 2023. The area in question is approximately 2,400 hectares of forest and is located in the German state of Thuringia. The actual acquisition of the forest is planned for autumn 2023.

Swiss Post added that another natural way to actively extract CO2 from the atmosphere is to store it in soils using specially produced vegetable carbon. To further this approach, Swiss Post has signed an agreement with First Climate (Switzerland) AG to support a project. The company Inkoh AG produces vegetable carbon in Maienfeld in the Canton of Graubünden, and this vegetable carbon can be used in agriculture or to capture CO2 in durable construction materials such as concrete or asphalt.

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