Corporations with a *drive* to lower their emissions

By September 27, 2018Social Investment
Companies with a drive to lower their emissions

Corporate responsibility has become less of a ‘nice to have’ part of a company and more of a necessity. Especially when it comes to the environment. Global warming is no longer a distant threat – something that we should be worried about happening in years to come – it is happening right now!

Car emissions are one of the highest factors to air quality, producing one-third of air pollution in the US alone. Luckily there are lots of large organisations who are doing their part to lower their carbon footprint and to help global warming. Take a look at some of the biggest courier companies and car-based business ventures into a greener world…

Royal Mail

Royal Mail new electric vans

You may have already seen the Pixar style vans that UPS released in May earlier this year, but did you know that Royal Mail actually did it first? Not that it matters who was first, as we’d like to see EVERY courier using these adorable vans!

Royal Mail released the rollout of these fully electric trucks in August 2017 to be used in London and South East England. They had purchased 9 vehicles in three different sizes; 3.5-tonne, six-tonne, and 7.5-tonne. These vans, designed by English based company Arrival, are only being used to deliver to and from the distribution centre with a range of 160 km.

Along with this project, Royal Mail has invested in zero emission vans from Peugeot. Purchasing 100 of their Partner L2 Electric vans to be used on the daily delivery routes of post men and women.

This was Peugeot first fleet order for the vans and have gone into service for Royal Mail at the beginning of this year and the feedback from the drivers of the product has been great!


UPS new electric vans

It’s the cute van again! There is something about these vans that just put a smile on our face, whether it be the design or the fact they give off ZERO tailpipe emissions and on one charge have a range of 250 km.

UPS have been investing in lower emissions since 2009, having spent $750 million since then on research and new vehicles. This includes buying 125 of Tesla’s semi-trucks, which should be built and ready next year.

They have already added 50 fully electric trucks to their fleet in the US back in February this year, designed by Workhorse Group Inc. These 50 vans were said to cost the same amount to run as the fuel vans. However, these were not quite as advanced as the ones mentioned earlier, designed by Arrival, with a range of 160 km.

"With our scale and real-world duty cycles, these new electric trucks will be a quantum leap forward for the purpose-built UPS delivery fleet. The all-electric trucks will deliver by day and recharge overnight." - Carlton Rose, UPS' president of global fleet maintenance and engineering.

Don’t let these extremely cartoonish looking vans fool you. The technology involved is extremely high tech. With additional safety features and what was described as “highly advanced vehicle display”. Such as the wrap-around windshield to give the drives a wider field of view and ‘Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, which aim to help with driver fatigue.

They have created 35 of these new vans to be tested in Paris and London this year before spreading the initiative worldwide.

TNT Express

TNT has taken a different approach to their CSR on global warming. Instead of using electric vehicles to lower their emissions, their aim is to become carbon neutral.

Carbon neutral means to balance out their bad, with good. They are keeping all of their normal fuel vans and trucks and instead are investing in renewable energy projects to offset their carbon footprint.

This project started in 2007 when they announced they were installing a system to “measure, report and manage its CO2 emissions”. They then offered for clients to actively view their own emissions when using their services and could pay for the carbon neutral service themselves to add to their own companies CSR.

In 2015 they offered their business customers a CO2 neutral shipping option for their mail and parcels within the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, at no additional charge. TNT even offer an annual certificate to show the amount of CO2 emissions their shipments have created and to show how TNT has neutralised it.


Royal Mail and Peugeot aren’t the only partnership. Hermes has signed a deal with Mercedes to purchase a staggering 1,500 electric vans.

Their plan started early this year, with the goal of deploying the entire fleet of battery running vans in the urban areas of Germany by the end of 2020. This includes the promise of using electricity from 100% regenerative energy sources to charge the vehicles. As this is the first year that these vans, eVito and Sprinter, have been implemented, they are still on trial in Stuttgart and Hamburg.

Along with this project, Hermes were testing a Danish made vehicle in Göttingen, called the TRIPL. These, let’s be honest, hilarious looking three-wheelers were trialed from May to August 2017.

Hermes_TRIPL_electric trike

“We are using the TRIPL to deliver small parcels and tote bags to homes in the inner city area of Göttingen. The vehicle is highly interesting for us not only because it is so easy to park, but it is also extremely maneuverable and has a relatively good range. On top of this, we can use the TRIPL for roads and paths that are inaccessible for conventional means of transport. This not only speeds up but also simplifies home deliveries – especially in the old part of town,” says Dennis Isern, last mile manager at Hermes Germany.

The mini truck has a capacity of 750 liters, which roughly translates to 60 parcels. On one charge the TRIPL can travel 140 km and in a city such as Göttingen, it can last for two days on its delivery route. We really hope they bring these fun devices to cities all over the world, for the reasons of making the world greener and because they look like fun!



Unlike the other courier companies, the German branch of DHL got bored of waiting for car companies to partner with them for their zero-emission fleet. Therefore instead, they purchased their own start-up company, StreetScooter, in 2014. Within 18 months it had created an electric powered car ready for Deutsche Post DHL’s ‘last mile’ delivery service in big cities.

Today, StreetScooter makes a range of fully electric vehicles, such as vans, bikes, pickups and even trikes! Which they now sell to third parties, this includes U.K. home delivery business Milk & More.

StreetScooter says that over 5,000 of their e-vehicles are on the roads, having saved more than 16,000 tons of CO2 emissions. With such great statistics, it’s no wonder that Ford wants to take a piece of the pie, winning a contract to build 2,500 bigger versions of the StreetScooter electric vans for them.

There is many more, such as DPDs partnership with VW, FedEx and Tesla, and Parcel Force with Mercedes-Benz. It’s great to see all these high CO2 emitting couriers making a change. And it’s not just courier companies doing their part to lower emissions, organisations such as IKEA and Lyft are creating a green initiative. IKEA is promoting people to come to their stores by public transport/walking to then get one of the electric delivery for their purchases. And Lyft has plans to become completely carbon neutral! It’s amazing what all these companies are doing, and every day a new organisations is added to the list of do-gooders. If you know of any companies doing their part and want to share it with us, we’d love to hear from you! Send us a Tweet @Optimy to tell us about your companies green plan.

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