South Africa joins IPC green initiative
The International Post Corporation (IPC) has confirmed that South African Post Office (SAPO) will participate in its Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS). The agreement was signed by Kgabo Mokgohloa, head of environmental sustainability at SAPO, and Jane Dyer, director of markets and communications at IPC.
SAPO is the first postal operator outside IPC membership to join the IPC-run EMMS programme. As the first sector-wide carbon reduction initiative for a services industry, the objective of the EMMS programme has, since its inception, been to engage as many postal operators from around the world as possible. By joining the carbon reduction programme for postal operators worldwide, SAPO has signed up to contribute to the collective attainment of the 20-2020 carbon emissions reduction target.
SAPO has set a target to reduce 2008-9 baseline emissions by 2.5 percentage points year-on-year, the cumulative effect of which will contribute to attainment of the global postal industry target of a 20% emissions reduction by 2020. Over the past two financial years the SAPO reduced its baseline fleet emissions by 6.3% (2.9% for 2009-10 and 3.4% for 2010-11) and planted 1,964 trees (857 trees planted in 2009-10 and 1,107 in 2010-11) at schools to help offset its carbon footprint.
Herbert-Michael Zapf, IPC president and CEO, welcomed SAPO into EMMS, saying that its involvement marked “a milestone in the development of the postal industry’s collaborative approach to tackling its carbon footprint”.
“We know that we cannot achieve a truly global approach without the involvement of emerging economies. This is why it has been our objective to engage BRICS and other developing nations. SAPO has made great strides in its sustainability efforts, and its participation in this worldwide programme will only strengthen those efforts and is an example to postal operators in other developing nations,” he added.
SAPO is the country’s first state-owned enterprise to participate in an international cross-sectoral sustainability programme. Commenting on their joining the EMMS scheme, SAPO CEO Motshoanetsi Lefoka said: “We are hugely aware of the impact that business activities can have on the environment and have already been actively investing in technology and processes that limit our environmental impact: joining the EMMS programme allows us to both contribute to a global effort and share best practices with and learn from our peers around the world.”
SAPO is currently testing electric scooters for delivery, has replaced all incandescent lamps with power-saving lights and is optimising air conditioning systems in its plants.
South Africa is the first BRICS and African nation to join the full programme, strengthening EMMS’ footprint both among developing nations and in Africa. In 2010 Nigeria and Rwanda, along with Brazil, participated in the pilot EMMS programme, an introductory version of EMMS which allows those postal operators that are not ready to sign up to the common industry target to nonetheless contribute to emissions monitoring and reporting.
Launched as a pilot in 2008 with 16 posts, EMMS was expanded in 2009 to 20 posts reporting on carbon emissions, and to 22 in 2010 with the signing of Poste Italiane and Österreichische Post. SAPO’s engagement brings the total number of participating postal operators to 23, representing over 80% of global postal volumes. In the 2010 Postal Sector Sustainability Report, IPC announced that participating posts had collectively cut their carbon emissions by 597,000 tonnes, more than a third of the 20-2020 target.