Is it only about Co2 in the last mile?

The whole industry is striving for more sustainable and smarter cities, sustainable production, clean energy and to make cleaner air for society and the planet. For the global community to achieve the UN’s sustainability goal number 9, industrialisation, improvements in infrastructure, and increasing investment in research and development are key factors. How can we fulfil our responsibility in the last-mile industry? Other than producing sustainable vehicles, what else can we do to save our planet?
UNs sustainable goals important in last mile
UNs sustainability goals

Is a clean and green last mile possible?

It is easy to think that online shopping has a lower carbon footprint than traditional in-store shopping, but this may not necessarily be the case. If you consider distance traveled, local transport, type of delivery vehicle, etc., it becomes a rather complex calculation. As an industry, it is important that we take responsibility, and we must work together with politicians and local authorities to make an impactful change.

We can think of last mile delivery as supporting an omnichannel marketplace with different vehicle needs for different tasks. It’s not necessarily about replacing an entire vehicle fleet with micro-vehicles, but in the ultimate fleet mix, there will still be room for both micro-vehicles, eBikes, and vans in the years to come.

To be able to reduce emissions, reduce the burden on cities, and at the same time satisfy consumer demand, we need even greater cooperation in the industry for long-term solutions within urban logistics. To come up with new sustainable solutions, that will require good planning, good infrastructure, and sustainable technology.

Postie from posten norge drives his paxster
Posten has succeeded in replacing several vehicles Photo: Bygdeposten

How did Posten Norge become leaders in sustainability in the post and parcel industry?

Posten Norge (Norway Post) is a great example of how to implement electric vehicles at scale, and by doing so, make the last mile cleaner and more effective. What they experienced was that there was no “one size fits all” option. Obviously, they couldn’t replace all their vehicles with micro-vehicles. In the city centers, they found that a mix of electric trollies, Paxsters, and eBikes was the perfect combination. But those vehicles fell short when they looked at suburban areas. This is where micro-vehicles came in and successfully complemented their fleet.

“Our EV policy has reduced annual CO2 emissions by 40% over the past few years. We have an ambition to increase the electric ratio even more, but with current battery technology we can’t cover all routes.”

Director of Operational Developmen at Posten Norge AS, Gunnar Inderberg
Gunnar Inderberg at Posten Norge AS

Is it all about the vehicle?

What else can the last-mile industry contribute to saving planet earth? Think about what your organization can do. Here are some ideas:

  • Use climate-neutral production equipment
  • Reduce fuel consumption by going green and optimise routes
  • Optimise working hours for drivers
  • Cut the amount of waste
  • Optimise energy efficiency
  • Recycle
  • Streamline old solutions and workflows
  • Donate and invest in green causes
  • Become environmentally certified (ISO 14001)
  • Set environmental requirements for your suppliers
  • Set up a climate account
  • Apply for financial support for energy and climate measures in your company
Recycling batteries at Paxster
Recycling batteries is one of the things we can do

Population growth in the cities – what will that mean? 

The population growth is largely in the cities and according to the UN, over 55% of the world’s population now live in cities, rising to 68% by 2055. In Europe, the figures show that 74.5% of the population lives in cities and surrounding areas.

With digitalization and increased e-commerce, the number of last mile deliveries that take place in cities is also increasing. The challenges these presents relate to cost, efficiency, and pollution. A report published on Sciencedirect shows that demand for last-mile delivery is expected to grow by 78% by 2030.


London sustainable future in last mile delivery

According to Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group, one thing is certain: only by joining forces – across countries and sectors – will we achieve truly sustainable progress in all areas.

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