Being Green a Priority for Canada Post
By Moya Greene
President and CEO, Canada Post
As Kermit the Frog, sang, ‘It’s Not That Easy Bein’ Green’.
As Canada Post knows, it’s also not cheap: Since 2002, it has invested more than $10 million in over 250 energy-reduction initiatives and has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its buildings and fleet by 3%. It projects a total GHG emission reduction of 14% by 2012.
But being green in a priority for Canada’s postal service, as seen in figures in its first annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report released in May, reflecting the corporation’s economic, social and environmental objectives, strategies, and performance.
“Our future success depends on our ability to operate in an environmentally and socially responsible manner,” said Moya Greene, Canada Post’s president and CEO, in launching the report. “This report and the action plans that drive it are an important step in inspiring confidence that Canada Post is working to create a sustainable future, not only for the corporation, but also for all Canadians.”
The postal service is conserving resources by implementing energy-conservation strategies and recycling programs, and by encouraging the purchase and use of supplies that are recycled, recyclable, reusable, renewable or otherwise environmentally sustainable.
In 2002, the Corporation set a target to reduce GHG emissions from its buildings and vehicles by 25%, from an initial baseline of 161 kilotonnes, over a 10-year period. In 2004, a collective agreement was negotiated with Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers, who subsequently became Canada Post employees. RSMCs use their own vehicles when delivering mail. Accordingly, Canada Post restated its GHG baseline at 206 kilotonnes to include emissions from the 6,562 cars and vans used by these new employees.
Canada Post is one of the largest users of transportation services in the country. Its fleet of more than 7,000 vehicles burns approximately 23 million litres of fuel every year at a cost of more than $20 million. Because of this, even the smallest changes to its practices can significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, so Canada Post is focusing on two key strategies to reduce fuel consumption and cut CO2 emissions. The first is to purchase vehicles suitable for its delivery operations that have smaller engines and are more fuel-efficient. These vehicles are scheduled to replace its larger, less efficient, step vans between 2010 and 2015. The second strategy is to work with manufacturers and after-market outfitters to find viable alternative vehicles, including hybrid vehicles, to meet its operational needs.
Canada Post is a member of the Canada Green Building Council. Reducing its CO2 emissions from its buildings will not only benefit the environment and help reduce overall energy costs, but will also create a healthier work environment for employees. Its integrated design process for a ‘green’, sustainable building will, from now on, use the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) framework of the Canada green-building rating system. It plans to follow LEED green building standards for all major new buildings and has targeted a 75% landfill waste diversion rate by December, 2008.
It’s not doing everything all on its own. The Canada Post Commuting Challenge encourages employees to find environmentally-friendly alternatives to driving to work. Since 1996, employees have travelled over 1.2 million pollution-free kilometres by walking, biking or roller-blading to work.
Canada Post has been sponsor for the past five years of the Canadian Environment Awards: A Celebration of Community Achievement, a national program that recognizes individuals and groups of Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to the protection, restoration and preservation of the Canadian environment.
And it has been encouraging Canadians to use epost, Canada Post’s free online mail-delivery service. With epost, consumers can opt to have their bills, statements, pay advices, notices and other important communications delivered electronically to a personal online mailbox, where they can view and manage their mail, and pay their bills, online.
Last year, it also introduced SmartFlow Document Management Services, a new suite of electronic services that provide end-to-end bill, invoice and statement solutions — electronically and physically. SmartFlow enables customers to reduce their operating costs and increase the effectiveness of their bills, invoices and statements.
To paraphrase Kermit, ‘Green is beautiful — and it’s where Canada Post wants to be.’