Swiss Post aims to be carbon neutral in its in-house operations from 2030 and to achieve net zero throughout its entire value chain from 2040. Its priority is to rapidly reduce its own carbon emissions, largely through electrifying its vehicle fleet. Around 50% of all Swiss Post vehicles are already emission-free.
Second, 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 centers. These measures will enable Swiss Post to reduce its emissions by around 90% by 2040.
“The CO2 that we cannot reduce ourselves must not remain in the atmosphere. We plan to actively extract it through various measures and store it in the long term,” said Roberto Cirillo, CEO of Swiss Post. High-quality and effective technical carbon neutralization services hardly exist at present, so Swiss Post is taking action itself, 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.
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 signed a purchase agreement with the owner of a forest in Germany in June 2023. The area in question is approximately 2,400ha in the German state of Thuringia.
Swiss Post’s climate target is in line with the highest ambition set out by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). “If we are serious about meeting our SBTi-based targets, we must actively extract CO2 from the atmosphere. That’s our long-term strategy,” explained Cirillo.
Forest management is currently the most effective method of doing so, but Swiss Post constantly analyzes other methods. In doing so, it carefully examines each investment, while taking account of economic aspects. As there are still many developments to be expected in the field of carbon capture and long-term storage, Swiss Post has set up an advisory board comprising experts on sustainability, climate and energy.