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DPDgroup moves on net zero, lacks strategic integration

© Shutterstock / Bjoern WylezichDPDgroup van.

Responding to the rapid growth in ecommerce deliveries and growing pressure on corporate emissions, DPDgroup has announced its net zero plans. As yet however, its net zero plans are not included in the company’s development strategy.

DPDgroup has submitted its net zero plan for validation by SBTi.

The global delivery network is responding to the pressure for GHG data across the supply chain – also signalled by its deal with Yamoto.

Expect to see increasing expectations that net zero plans will be independently verified.

DPDgroup, the parcel delivery network of GeoPost, is moving forward with robust plans for managing its GHG emissions, submitting its action plan to the SBTi for third party verification and launching a partnership with Yamoto to measure emissions.

Submission of its plans to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) means they will be independently assessed and validated.

Its commitment includes a 43% cut in emissions; Scope 1, 2 and 3, by 2030 and 90% by 2040 with the remaining 10% to be offset through the voluntary carbon market credits. 10% is the maximum offset allowance under SBTi guidelines.

Measure to manage

There is a growing demand for monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions throughout the supply chain. One of the critical steps towards the reduction in emissions is to ensure that they are properly measured.

In Japan, for example, TSE prime companies are required to disclose not only Scopes 1 and 2 related to their own emissions but also Scope 3 including logistics. The challenge is that there is no universally agreed calculation standard for greenhouse gas emissions from transport companies.

That being the case, DPDgroup has announced a partnership with Japan’s Yamoto Group. The two companies will consider common standards for calculating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and share their know-how in the environmental field throughout the supply chain.

While a first in this field, Yamato and DPDgroup have been collaborating for years. A first transport agreement between Chronopost France and Yamato was signed in 2017 to enhance flows between France and Japan. In addition, Fresh Pass, a standard in safety for fresh delivery worldwide was implemented in 2021.

Today DPD keeps track of its emissions savings and posts ‘Live Green Statistics’ on its web page. Year to date (YTD) the company has delivered over 15 million parcels emission free, with 1.236 million delivered green in July. Although it is not yet clear exactly how those emissions are calculated – something that should improve with the Yamoto deal.

DPD to focus on EVs and renewable energy to cut footprint

Electric vehicles form the mainstay of its plans although it is also looking at biogas and biofuel and plans to make more use of rail networks.

An expansion of renewable energy installations is underway for its offices with a target of 70% of energy from renewable sources by 2030 (with a target of 100 by 2035).  It recently opened a second UK hub with the installation of a solar PV system comprising over 6000 panels. The company is also understood to be evaluating the expansion of solar PV to 22 other sites across its network.

It is aiming to create a cluster of all-electric micro-depots in cities to minimise travel but this is difficult due to the complexity of obtaining land and property in city centres. DPD has plans to deploy 15,000 low emissions delivery vehicles through 250 urban depots, all by 2025. In the UK its plan is for 3,000 electric vehicles on the road this year and 5,000 by the end of 2023.

Of the decarbonisation pathway submitted to the SBTi, Yves Delmas, chief executive officer of GeoPost/DPDgroup, said: “It is a huge step, but I am confident we can achieve it, as our teams are fully engaged to drive change and meet the highest challenge of our times.”

Unclear how net zero goals fit in strategic development plan

While the company has clearly outlined its plans, it is not yet clear the extent to which its net zero goals are embedded within its strategy. In 2021, GeoPost/DPDgroup launched its “Together & Beyond” strategic plan which involved the expansion of core activities, potentially increasing emissions as it set a target to double its revenues.

While the strategic plan also includes a goal to “accelerate initiatives and conquer new horizons”, it seems to focus more on building its mass market approach, looking at pickup networks and C2C. It’s also looking to build its international business, especially in emerging markets, and explore further opportunities in ecommerce.

So while there is clearly movement toward a sustainable future, it has not been integrated into the company’s overall strategic development plan.

GeoPost/DPDgroup announced record annual results for 2021, with a 14.8% increase in revenue, more than 2 billion parcels delivered worldwide and an operating profit above €1 billion for the first time in its history.

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