BACA vlog series | bpost
At times when the impact of climate change has never manifested itself more evidently and devastatingly, effective implementation of emission reduction measures deserves to be at the centre stage of the event. That is why in this vlog series, our vlogger Jaffar will share with you a grasp of inspiring ‘implementation stories’ from different BACA members.
Implementation is at the core of what we do with the Belgian Alliance for Climate Action. By setting science-based emission reduction targets (SBTs), the companies, NGO’s and academic institutions within our network make sure that the measures they implement now, make sense on the long term. And they have plenty to show for.
In this episode, Jaffar visits Chris Vansnick, Director of Sustainability at bpost.
Jaffar: How are you - as Director of Sustainability - involved with sustainability and climate, professionally and personally?
Chris: “With bpost, we are aiming to become a leading company in sustainability on both the environmental as well as the social front. For this, we have set very ambitious goals. On the environmental side, we want to become carbon neutral by 2040 and reduce our carbon emissions by 55% by 2030.
Personally, I try to contribute in small ways. I come by train and bike to work. I try to not indulge too much in consumerism, I try to minimize my energy use. What’s important for me is that we leave this planet tor our children in a state that's still a great place to live in. We all need to contribute.”
Jaffar: Can you tell us a little bit about the efforts you have taken towards decarbonization?
Chris: "Since 2017, bpost has been involved with BACA and with Science Based Targets. We recently updated our targets to a more ambitious level, on the 1.5°C path. In order to achieve this, what we focus mainly on the decarbonization of our last mile service. All our mailmen are on the streets with vans and motorbikes and we aim to electrify them 100% by 2030. We also focus on recycling and reusing packages. As an e-commerce logistics player, we transport several hundreds of thousands of packages every day. We need to make sure that these packages are, first of all, recyclable. We recently also got involved in projects on making reusable packages. So, consumers can return their used boxes. We are piloting this now with two of our clients; Schoenen Torfs and AS adventure.”
Jaffar: What kind of obstacles or challenges do you face during your decarbonization journey?
Chris: “For the last mile network, we have a solution and we are currently implementing it. But what we struggle with, are the first and middle miles. So, for the large, heavy trucks that drive between our sorting centres there currently is no viable low-carbon solution. We do have some pilot projects with battery powered trucks and hydrogen trucks. We are also looking towards bio-LNG trucks, etc. But in all honesty, these trucks are still very expensive. They're a multiple of the cost of regular diesel-powered trucks. Maybe the government can help us out, by making sure that we have a level playing field in terms of competition. Because investing in these types of trucks will inflate our costs. But if all our competitors also need to do it, that would level the playing field.”
Jaffar: Do you have a final 'call to action' for other companies that wish to follow your lead?
Chris: “We see now that the pressures (from climate change) are coming from everywhere. And so, the need for carbon neutrality will become a reality very soon. As bpost Group, we would like to stay in a leading position, and we would like to make our choices for ourselves before they become imposed on us. That is why we try to keep on playing a leading role and we hope many companies follow our lead there.”
Jaffar: Thank you, mr. Chris Vansnick!
About the vlogger
Jaffar Abbas is a master student of Sustainability, Society and the Environment (SSE), studying at the Christian-Albrechts-Universitat of Kiel, Germany. He's a Pakistani climate change activist, with a strong research interest in environmental communications. He hopes to do his part in improving the state of the world by working on climate justice.