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Post Office contributes towards climate change mitigation efforts

Despite delivering above 300 million items during the 2021/22 financial year, the South African Post Office (Sapo) has managed to reduce energy and water consumption costs as well as emissions as part of its climate change mitigation efforts.

At the end of the financial year, overall total indirect emissions were reduced by 7% due to the reduction in the use of electricity.

“In a country where electricity is generated mainly by coal-fired power stations, reducing power consumption greatly reduces air pollution.

“The reduction in power consumption was achieved by using power-saving devices such as light emitting diode (LED) light bulbs wherever possible. Reducing energy and water consumption reduces costs as well as emissions,” Sapo said in a statement on Wednesday.

As of April 2022, the Post Office has collaborated with other state-owned entities for the transport of mail items between major centres.

This will eliminate the duplication of routes and will substantially reduce carbon emissions. It will greatly improve delivery times.

The entity noted these efforts ahead of International Earth Day, which is celebrated annually on 22 April. The day, announced by the United Nations, to emphasise the importance of reducing greenhouse gases.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that is a major contributor to climate change due to its increased warming of the globe. At the end of the financial year, the total direct emissions were 6,236 tons of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e) below a threshold of 7,836 tons of CO2e, which is a 20% achievement in the reduction of carbon emissions.

“The one area where the Post Office failed to reach its target was paper consumption. The entity used 218 tons of paper during the year, failing to achieve its target of fewer than 116 tons.

“This is despite the improvement of online meetings, which has greatly reduced the reliance on paper usage in presentations and for signatures. On the other hand, recycling waste paper recycling was achieved by 1% above a target of 120 tons,” Sapo said.

The Post Office embarked on a project to plant 5 000 spekboom trees across the regions to offset the carbon emissions emitted in the past year.

Employees of the Post office joined hands with their local schools to plant the indigenous trees and help clean the polluted air.