Hermes UK cuts its carbon emissions a further 6%

Parcel delivery company Hermes UK says it has made “considerable progress” cutting its climate change emissions over the past year, through fleet optimisation and energy reduction projects. The Leeds-based firm, owned by German mail order giants Otto Group, said it has seen its carbon dioxide emissions fall by 6% in the past 12 months.

Hermes UK has now reduced its emissions by 18.4% compared to its 2008 baseline, and said it was “well on the way” to meeting its 20% target as set for 2015.

Contributing to its parent group’s overall carbon dioxide strategy to cut its emissions in half by 2020, Hermes UK has been working to operate its vehicles in the most efficient manner, keeping mileage to a minimum.

It said it has been using proven technology and equipment that demonstrates a positive return in terms of cutting emissions and boosting efficiency.

This has included automated transmission systems in all its tractor units in the Hermes trunking network, which has improved fuel efficiency by 10%. The new gearbox is now being fitted to all new vans.

Hermes has also been trialling aerodynamics kits within its van fleet, which it said had achieved a 4% cut in fuel use so far.

A project using eight double-decker trailers from supplier DON-BUR, started last year, is now expected to cut the company’s overall carbon footprint by as much as 2%, and cut miles travelled by 684,000 during a year, saving 300,000 litres of fuel, equivalent to 800 tonnes of carbon dioxide.


Within the Hermes depot network, energy use is being curtailed through replacing traditional sodium lighting with more efficient LED systems at five sites so far, with four more sites making the switch in 2012. The lighting systems save more than 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide per site, improving the lighting efficiency by a third.

Hermes UK has also been purchasing electricity from renewable sources, which has resulted in savings of about 1,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, while recycling efforts have helped divert 187 tonnes of metal, cardboard and plastics from landfill.

Carole Woodhead, the Hermes UK chief executive, said her company was well ahead of schedule, but will “need to maintain our focus” to continue improvement.

“Climate protection is a fundamental responsibility for all businesses and individuals, so we are fully committed to the targets outlined by the Otto carbon dioxide strategy,” she said.

Hermes handles more than 115m collections and deliveries in the UK each year, operating through a network of more than 7,500 subcontracted couriers, offering next day, day-definite and standard 2-3 day delivery as well as returns services and cross-border delivery to Germany and Austria.

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