Green delivery and why it really matters now

One of the great things about leading a brilliant company is everyone’s commitment to the constant pursuit of innovation. Particularly when it comes to innovations that help us to be more environmentally friendly, socially conscious and sustainable. And we’re really leading the way on all things ‘green’, including green delivery.

In 2020, DPD UK announced a bold ambition to become the greenest delivery company on this planet. And we launched a great new DPD Green website to share everything we’re doing in this area – and get people, schools and businesses involved too.

Of course, this was just before the whole world was hit with one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced – COVID-19. While we, and businesses around the world rise to this challenge, it’s still important for us to maintain momentum on green delivery. A side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting global lockdowns is that pollution and greenhouse gas emissions levels have dropped dramatically. It could lead to longer-lasting falls in emissions, but inevitably as we return to ‘normality’ and people start to move freely again, levels will start to rise.

Which is why the green agenda, and for our business, green delivery, will matter more than ever.

How DPD UK is leading the way on green delivery

While we all work hard to ensure we look after everyone at this unprecedented time, our company is also transforming every aspect of its operations.

This includes investing in electric vehicles (EVs), creating new urban delivery models through our city centre micro-depots, and investing in creative ways to improve our waste and energy management.

And the reason why I’m sharing this story in my blog, and am so passionate about it is because I believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to ‘think green’. We should all be contributing to green solutions, every business, corporate entity, person, politician and government.

One of the biggest challenges facing delivery companies is to reduce both traffic congestion and emissions, particularly in urban areas. And to balance it with the constantly growing demand from customers for online deliveries.

Here’s what we’re doing and the benefits.

  • Building the largest all-electric delivery fleet in the UK

In 2019, we added 139 electric vehicles (EVs) to our fleet. In January 2020, we ordered 300 new electric e-NV200 vans from Nissan, which will be running by May. In February 2020 we ordered 100 eTGE 3.5t right-hand drive EVs from MAN Truck & Bus UK, which will be on the road by June 2020. By the end of the year, at least 10% of our fleet will be clean, green and emission-free.

 

Electric vans - DPD UK

 

  • Creating electric micro-depots in cities across the country

We want to make emission-free deliveries in cities. By creating all-electric micro-depots close to our customers in urban areas, delivery is faster, quieter and more sustainable. The first all-electric micro-depot in the country was opened by DPD UK in Westminster in 2018 and the second in Shoreditch in 2019. We’re building on this with a network across central London.

 

 

  • Massively reducing plastic content in our packaging

All of our plastic packaging is now made from 80% reclaimed material and is 100% recyclable.

  • Raising cash for charities while recycling customers’ unwanted clothing

Along with our customer ASOS, we’re trialling a pioneering clothing recycling system. This was due to launch in April 2020 but will now launch once COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted… you can learn more on the DPD Green site.

  • Offering funding to schools, start-ups and educational establishments through the DPD Eco Fund

We raise cash via various company initiatives, and this goes into our Eco Fund to help schools, start-ups and more. Anyone can apply for funding, and we’re particularly interested in supporting schools, colleges and educational facilities across the country. This year, our Eco Fund has £140,000 to give to applicants. There is more information about it on the DPD Green site.

  • Avoiding landfill and reducing waste

All of our waste avoids landfill. That’s 100% of DPD UK waste being disposed of sustainably and responsibly.

  • Generating electricity through solar power

Energy management is key, and we only buy electricity from renewable sources. Two of our hubs run solely on solar power during the day. Our network now uses LED lighting, which has reduced our usage by 61%.

  • And… we’ve got inventive

We have joined forces with an Oxfordshire start-up to invent an emission-free city centre delivery vehicle, the EAV P1 cargo bike.

We know how important green issues are to our retail customers and our delivery customers. Our partner companies are just as invested in reducing emissions and their carbon footprint, and this teamwork leads to fascinating initiatives that are driving the right behaviours across the board.

We’re also asking people to share their green ideas with us so we can get even better. We’re going to be doing some amazing things over the next few years and our DPD Green site is the place where you will find them all. I hope you enjoy sharing our journey and find plenty of ‘green inspiration’ for your business, or home, too.