UK Mail & the environment
We consider caring for the environment and wider communities to be two of the single most important challenges confronting companies today.
The welfare of the planet is as important to our business as it no doubt is to yours.
It’s something we take very seriously and we consider the environmental impact of every part of our business from the vehicles we drive to the waste we dispose of.
Here are just a few examples of how UK Mail, as a company, is striving to become more environmentally friendly:
Fuel efficiency & carbon management:
UK Mail is committed to reducing the distance travelled by our fleet, trialling new technologies to reduce our vehicles’ fuel consumption and investigating the most efficient fuel options.
To this end we have the following initiatives in place:
- We use route software to significantly reduce fuel usage by optimising journey distances
- We have partially automated our sortation methods at our Birmingham hub with the installation of a £1.5m conveyor and belt system
- We have introduced new vehicle loading techniques which reduce the number of vehicle routes
- Our staff have a personal objective of reducing business mileage by 5% - retail fuel cards have been removed and teleconferencing is actively encouraged
- All our double decker trailers have sloping fronts which dramatically decreases fuel consumption – effectively driving down CO2 emissions by up to 25 tonnes per vehicle per year
- We are also trialling a new aerodynamic, teardrop trailer design which has, so far, improved our emissions levels by 8.5%
- All our vehicles have bespoke aerodynamic kits which have improved the miles per gallon achieved by between 5-10%
- Vehicles and trailers are specified to run on road-friendly air suspension reducing wear of components, damage to the road network and noise pollution
- We have trialled ‘energy’ tyres which provide approximately 6% less rolling resistance and reduce fuel consumption
- We encourage use of our ground-breaking, hybrid desktop to doormat mail solution, imail, which by combining the ease of electronic communication with the impact of physical mail drives down carbon emissions.
The results speak for themselves...
All our vehicles have bespoke aerodynamic kits that reduce fuel consumption by 5-10%.
- Mileage has been cut by one million kilometres in the years 2009/2010 and a further 750,000km in 2010/11 - saving 235 tonnes of CO2 emissions collectively
- A further 13 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been reduced by increasing vehicle inspection frequencies
- Carbon emissions have been slashed by a further 700 tonnes per annum now that more than half of our forklift trucks are electric (as opposed to diesel-run)
- imail cuts the carbon footprint of producing and delivering physical mail by more than 80% - every time it is used by a customer
As a result of implementing the above initiatives we were able to achieve our target of cutting carbon emissions from our vehicles by 10% in 2009/10.
UK Mail is committed to significantly driving down energy consumption across the business with a view to reducing electricity usage by 5% in 2011/12. A number of energy reduction initiatives were implemented in 2010/11 to help pave the way for this; with the focus on minimising consumption gaining momentum this current year.
Some of the initiatives include:
- Installing motion sensors to control lighting
- Installing simple time controls on the office equipment
- Replacing wasteful traditional lighting with LED and other low energy alternatives.
- Installing ‘smart energy meters’ at 34 of our sites.
- Creating an expert team of in-house Fuel and Energy Managers who undertake regular audits across all our sites
- Enlisting the support of a specialist energy management company to optimise usage
- Running an internal campaign to raise employees’ awareness of the environmental implications of their actions.
As a result, we are well on our way to achieving our target and will continue to work beyond this.
We aim to recycle 90% of our waste by the end of 2013.
Reducing waste is key issue for UK Mail and we remain firmly committed to reducing the environmental impact of the waste we produce.
To this end, we are aiming to be able to recycle 90% of our waste by the end of 2013 and have already achieved ISO 14001 accreditation at our three largest sites. We are now working hard to attain full ISO 14001 compliance across our network.
To help achieve these goals, we:
- Appointed a ‘waste management’ company, whose specialist focus is the recycling of waste.
- We are now recycling pallets, cardboard, aluminium cans, vending cups, confidential waste, paper and electrical goods
- We now operate the regional bailing of waste at certain key sites and will be rolling this out business-wide
- Installation of new fleet of printers /copiers reducing overall printer numbers from 400 to 140
- Redesigned our bagit product to use 10% less polymer during manufacturing
- Currently trialling pre-stretched Shrink Wrap which will reduce usage by 50%
- Launched number of ISO 14001 initiatives which reduced water consumption in the last year by 3 million litres
- We also issue a recycling league table to all sites to ignite some internal competition and maintain momentum throughout the year.
This increased focus on waste management has boosted our recycling levels to 86% in April 2011 (compared with 5% in December 2008) and makes our target of 90% by 2013 seem positively achievable.