Sustainable logistics

We deliver special moments in ways that are as sustainable, clean and environmentally friendly as possible. That’s why we continue to invest in sustainable operations – we believe sustainability is our licence to operate.

News roundup

Sustainable city logistics

How PostNL reduces the pressure on city centres

Filling up on frying fat?

By getting its vehicles to run on renewable fuels, PostNL is making great strides towards driving a sustainable future.

Sustainability on track: what we’ve achieved to date

We’ve set ourselves the ambitious goal of delivering all letters and parcels emission-free in the last mile in the Benelux countries by 2030 at the very latest. An interim goal is to deliver emission-free in 25 Dutch city centres by 2025. So how will we achieve this?

Sustainable products and services

We also assist our customers with our own products and services, helping to make the dispatch and delivery chain as sustainable as we possibly can. A case in point is our “fashion pack”, the smart parcel that can always be delivered whether consumers are home or not. And if the item isn’t what they’re looking for, they can simply use the same packaging to return it. We also collect small e-waste for web stores that sell electronics. Simply return your old device via PostNL and we recycle it or re-process it in a sustainable way.

Our climate goals

We are aware of our environmental impact and have worked to reduce it in recent years by integrating environmental goals into our overall strategy. We have concrete ambitions and KPIs to reduce our impact on the environment and climate. By 2030, PostNL wants to reduce its own CO2 emissions (scope 1 and 2) by 90% and scope 1, 2 and 3 CO2 emissions by 45%. For the remaining emissions, mainly in scope 3, we anticipate needing another 10 years. That means we will reach net zero by 2040 according to SBTi standards and with a maximum of 10% of CO2 emissions left over.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is an organisation that drives climate action by enabling companies across the world to do their bit in combatting the climate crisis. The SBTi is an initiative of the CDP, The United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). They validate a company’s CO2 reduction targets to ensure they meet the SBTi criteria and are in line with climate science. PostNL has had approved science-based targets since 2019. It revised the targets in 2023 based on the updated SBTi guidelines. We are awaiting our assessment results and expect an agreement on our proposal in May.

Network efficiency

As a logistics company in our value chain, we’re looking to operate efficiently and not clock up any unnecessary kilometres. We achieve this by collaborating more closely in the chain, by bundling deliveries that allow our postmen and women to fetch and deliver everything on their routes, and by promoting solutions such as less air in packaging and delivery at PostNL points. Fewer kilometres also mean lower costs and emissions – and we’re helping to make cities easier to get around at the same time.

Clean kilometres

Our aim is to make every single one of our kilometres as economical and sustainable as we can. Our postmen and women have been doing their jobs on foot or by bike – or e-bike nowadays – for as long as we remember. We drive fuel-efficient cars for the other kilometres, ask our drivers to drive with consideration for the environment and use green gas and electric vehicles. We make large-scale use of biogas in our smaller trucks and vans, while we’re also trialling HVO100, a fossil-free diesel fuel emitting 90% less carbon. Our plan is to sizeably upscale use of this environmentally friendly diesel in the years ahead. We’re really proud to be one of the first companies in the Netherlands fuelling our fleet this way!

PostNL is investing in alternative vehicles and fuels to reduce CO2 emissions and aligned with our science based target.

Offsetting remaining carbon emissions

Sustainable products and services, an efficient network, clean kilometres, and sustainable buildings and facilities: our focus is very much on reducing our carbon emissions, something we can really only achieve together with our customers and delivery partners. All of this requires fundamental changes – changes that we’re investing in heavily. That said, we can’t solve every issue overnight, however much we’d like to. And so we offset any emissions we cannot yet reduce by investing in Gold Standard Climate+ projects. Pursuing our objectives and sustainability plans means that we’ll have to do less and less offsetting over time.

Making buildings and facilities more sustainable

Our new parcel sorting centres are among the Netherlands’ most sustainable commercial buildings, and we’re looking to make all our future buildings and depots carbon-neutral or even carbon-positive. We work as sustainably and efficiently as possible at all our various locations, putting in place LED lighting and reducing our energy consumption. On average, we generate 43% of our parcel sorting centres’ power from solar panel installations. Meanwhile, over one-quarter of our parcel sorting centres have been awarded the BREEAM sustainability certificate for sustainable buildings with a minimum environmental impact. Our aim is to have all our sorting centres BREEAM-certified soon.

Green Bond Report

2020 saw the release of our first Green Bond Report, providing investors and other interested parties with details on how the proceeds of our green bond are used, and the related environmental impact. We’re using the green bond proceeds to finance new and existing green projects, making a meaningful contribution to two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: “Decent work and economic growth” and “Climate action”.

Lastly, everything we do, we do together – with our people, customers, partners and suppliers. We believe in making our whole value chain sustainable – good for us, good for them and good for environment and climate.

Biodiversity and sustainable forestry management

We aim to prevent or minimise negative environmental effects as much as possible. And so we help to protect nature and commit to promoting biodiversity and sustainable forestry. One way in which we do this is by factoring in biodiversity aspects in our location planning and the development of our buildings. We have improved biodiversity around our buildings by making wildlife provisions. Meanwhile, all our sorting centres meet the BREAAM sustainability requirements and our focus on reducing carbon, NOx and particulate matter also helps to reduce the negative impact on biodiversity. And we only use FSC-certified products to help call a halt to deforestation.


PostNL wants to contribute to the transition to a circular economy. We are increasing the reuse and recycling of materials in our operations and are working with our partners to develop circular business models. This will enable us to further reduce our ecological footprint.

At our international sorting centre in The Hague, for example, we use reusable roll container bags. This saves us 12 kilometres of sealing film per day. Other measures include collecting textiles and electronic waste for our customers for recycling and repair.

In’s sustainability programme, PostNL - in collaboration with 20 e-commerce companies - has developed a ‘flywheel’, which has now been made available to other stakeholders. PostNL will also remain actively involved in the programme in 2024, with a focus on preparing the e-commerce sector for future legislation regarding the ‘Right to Repair’.

Reduces waste
We aim to achieve full reuse of raw materials (‘cradle to cradle’), although certain waste streams unfortunately remain unavoidable for now. The largest waste stream, paper and cardboard, is already fully recycled. In addition, 1,725 tonnes of material are processed for energy recovery. A small residual category of waste (460 tonnes) consists of construction, demolition and residual waste. It is not known how this is processed by the waste processor.

External recognition

Accountability about our performance is very important to us, and we actively seek certification on the basis of stringent ISO quality and environmental standards. Every year, we also report on our sustainability progress in our annual report.

Driving a sustainable future

  • Sustainable logistics
  • Network efficiency
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Sustainable buildings
  • Sustainable fuels