11 Dec 19

Royal Mail transforms its environmental reporting with Greenstone

Royal-Mail-Electric-Cars-sRoyal Mail is using Greenstone's sustainability reporting software to calculate, manage and report its environmental data across 1600 sites with accuracy and confidence. Find out how in this case study.

About Royal Mail

Royal Mail is the UK’s pre-eminent delivery company. As the UK’s sole designated Universal Service Provider, it delivers a 'one-price-goes anywhere' service on a range of letters and parcels to over 30 million addresses across the country, six days a week. Royal Mail also provides a range of commercial services to consumers, sole traders, SMEs, large businesses and retailers, and other postal operators who use their downstream network. Royal Mail operates across 44 countries and nation-states worldwide, primarily through GLS, its international ground-based parcel delivery network.

The challenge

With ambitious carbon reduction targets, the collection, coverage and accuracy of its environmental data were three key challenges that Royal Mail was seeking to address when investigating appropriate software. It needed a robust software platform that alleviated the risk and resource associated with existing manual spreadsheet processes, for collecting, managing and reporting its environmental data.

The majority of Royal Mail’s emissions result from its vehicles and transport, and therefore calculating and reporting accurate fleet-related emissions was crucial for Royal Mail to be able to measure its performance against the ambitious targets set out in its environmental strategy.

Another challenge for the business was managing different roles in the data collection, approval and reporting process. The solution needed to be flexible enough to manage the complexity of Royal Mail’s data collection across the majority of its subsidiaries.

The solution

Greenstone worked with Royal Mail to migrate all of its historic environmental data into the Environment module, part of Greenstone's sustainability reporting software and to fully implement the module across the organisation. Royal Mail now uses Greenstone's sustainability reporting software solution to collect, calculate, analyse and report on all consumption and emissions data associated with over 1600 sites across the UK and its international arm; GLS.

Where data was missing, the sustainability reporting software modelling function enabled Royal Mail to report more complete carbon, waste and water data. This function works by taking averages, plugging gaps with previous years’ data or using a normalised intensity factor, which is then replaced when actual data is added. This enabled Royal Mail to report electricity and water data using a robust methodology, improve data coverage and improve the accuracy of its emissions total.

Royal Mail’s requirement for managing user permissions was met through the setup of the different user access, structures and data transfer methods. These user permissions are currently being rolled out and will allow managers to have restricted, simple views of the data that is meaningful to them; or user group permissions that allow them to see multiple sites and data sources.

“At Royal Mail, our impact on the environment and society is very important to us. Our partnership with Greenstone has enabled us to improve data accuracy and has increased confidence in our reporting to help us accurately report our achievement against our targets, both now and in the future.”  

David Waterston, Carbon & Environment Programmes Manager, Royal Mail

The results

Greenstone’s sustainability reporting software is enabling Royal Mail to calculate and report its environmental data with accuracy and confidence. This has enabled the environment team to move away from data collection to in-depth reporting and analysis and real decision-making.

The data captured from the c.1600 sites is used to report carbon emissions, waste produced and water consumption in Royal Mail’s annual Corporate Responsibility report.

In this report, some notable achievements include:

  • Achieving its 2020-21 target to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 20 per cent (2004-5 baseline) four years ahead of schedule.
  • It also beat its target to divert 95 per cent of waste from landfill, by diverting 99 per cent.
  • Royal Mail was awarded a CDP score of A- in 2018 (an improvement on the B score in 2017) exceeding the sector average of B-.


Discover Greenstone’s sustainability reporting software used in this case study.

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