Royal Mail plc is a publicly listed company headquartered in the United Kingdom (UK). In October 2022 the company changed its name to International Distribution Services plc. In 2021, its revenue was USD 16.3 billion. The company is a multinational postal service and courier company. It was established in 1516 and was state-owned until its privatisation in 2013.
The company has a comprehensive low-carbon transition plan informed by climate scenario analysis. The scenario analysis included the entire business and considered the implications of four warming scenarios including a 1.5°C scenario. The company has implemented board-level oversight of climate change, and 7.5% of the chief executive officer’s short-term incentive plan is linked to environmental metrics. However, the company can improve further by ensuring that it appoints board members with significant climate expertise to oversee the company’s transition.
The company has set a net-zero target for 2045, which covers all operations and includes its scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. However, the company’s subsidiary GLS does not disclose scope 3 emissions data, which covers emissions from the company’s subcontracted activity. These emissions are expected to account for the majority of GLS’s emissions and a significant proportion of the group’s emissions. The target also includes the use of offsets, and it is unclear what percentage of the target will be achieved through these offsets. This lack of disclosure undermines the credibility of the company’s target.
The company has a Supplier Code of Conduct and chooses suppliers using its Responsible Procurement Code. It conducts audits of its subcontractors and collaborates with vehicle manufacturers on research and development. However, the company can improve by disclosing details of how it engages with suppliers to encourage them to reduce emissions.
No evidence was found that the company is a member of any trade associations that have climate-negative positions. However, the company does not disclose a process to monitor and review policy engagement by trade associations. The company can increase the credibility of its climate rhetoric by setting a clear position on climate policy and by implementing processes to withdraw from trade associations that oppose climate policies.
The company receives a trend score of =. If the company were reassessed in the near future, its score would likely remain the same. The company does not disclose sufficient data to measure its progress towards its goals. However, it has taken some necessary actions to transition to a low-carbon business, notably integrating a low-carbon transition into its management structure. The company continues to expand the number of zero-emission vehicles in its fleet and has set targets to operate zero-emission delivery fleets by 2035 for its UK operations.
The company has set a target to achieve net-zero emissions for its UK operations by 2040 and across the entire group by 2045. The UK company, Royal Mail, has set intermediate targets to achieve 100% zero-emission delivery vehicles by 2035 and to use 100% renewable electricity by 2022.
The company plans to significantly increase the proportion of electric vans in its fleet while also exploring the use of alternative fuels for its fleet of heavy goods vehicles. The company is planning to expand its use of rail freight and decrease its use of air freight.
The company plans to expand its electric fleet from 1,600 vans currently to 5,500 by spring 2023. The company’s subsidiary GLS plans to increase the number of electric vehicles in its fleet and focus on using offsets to offer ‘carbon-neutral parcel delivery’.
The company decreased its total scope 1 emissions over the period 2015-2019 by 5%. However, its emissions significantly increased over 2020 and 2021 due to increased demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s current emissions intensity per package is almost half the UK average.
The company’s transition plan has been tested with scenario analysis and is consistent with its 1.5°C pathway. The company has taken the necessary first steps towards decarbonisation. It should increase the scope of its emissions reporting so that its transition can be properly scrutinised.
No evidence was found of the company’s commitment to social dialogue or of the categories of stakeholders the company engages with on a just transition. Furthermore, no evidence was found to demonstrate the company’s ongoing social dialogue and meaningful engagement with affected stakeholders.
No evidence was found of the company undertaking low-carbon transition planning to mitigate the social impacts of the transition on workers, affected stakeholders and its business relationships. Additionally, no evidence was found to demonstrate the company’s engagement in social dialogue or engagement with stakeholders in its just transition planning.
The company discloses the actions it takes to create jobs by permanently hiring seasonal and temporary employees. However, no public commitment by the company was found stating its intention to create and support access to green and decent jobs as part of the low-carbon transition. Moreover, no evidence was found of the company’s action to promote these jobs in a way that ensures gender balance and inclusion of vulnerable groups. Additionally, no relevant disclosure was found of the company’s assessment of employment dislocation risks.
The company discloses the actions it takes to provide training and educational opportunities for workers and affected stakeholders. For instance, it offers a combination of online courses through a platform and taught classes. However, no relevant disclosure was found of the company embedding equality of opportunity for women and vulnerable groups in these actions. Furthermore, no evidence was found of the company having a process for identifying skills gaps for workers and affected stakeholders or a public commitment to help workers displaced by the transition to reskill or upskill.
No relevant disclosure was found to show if the company identifies impacts of the low-carbon transition on social protection for workers and affected stakeholders, nor how it contributes to social protection. Additionally, no evidence was found that the company expects its business relationships to contribute to the social protection of their workers and affected stakeholders.
No relevant disclosure was found to show how the company identifies any misalignment of its lobbying activities with policies and regulations that support the just transition, nor of the measures it takes to address misalignment. Furthermore, no evidence was found that the company lobbies for policies and regulations for green and decent job creation; retention, education and reskilling; and social protection for workers.
The company commits to respecting human rights and the ILO fundamental rights at work, and it expects its business relationships to respect the ILO fundamental rights at work. However, no evidence was found of the company’s process to identify, assess and mitigate salient human rights risks in its own operations and supply chain. Moreover, no evidence was found of the company disclosing the stakeholders whose human rights have been affected by its activities. The company does, however, have a grievance mechanism available to workers and external stakeholders.
The company commits to respecting the health and safety of its workers and expects the same commitment of its business relationships. However, no evidence was found of a time-bound target for paying all workers a living wage. Nor does the company disclose the proportion of its direct workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements. No relevant disclosure was found of the company’s required working hours. The company discloses some indicators of workforce diversity, including the age and gender and other factors of its workforce by employee category.
The company commits to protecting personal data. However, no evidence was found of a privacy statement regarding the collection, sharing and access to personal data. While the company discloses its global tax strategy, no relevant disclosure was found of the corporate income tax paid for each relevant jurisdiction. The company does have a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption, and it includes corresponding clauses in its contracts with business relationships. However, the company does not have a lobbying and political engagement policy, and no relevant disclosure was found of the company’s expenditure on lobbying activities.