Going 100% renewable brings a "competitive advantage” says La Poste

5 January 2016

Christine Bargain, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, La Poste Group

LONDON: “Responding to the challenges of tomorrow means thinking and acting differently today,” said Christine Bargain, Director of Corporate Social Responsbility, La Poste Group, speaking exclusively to Climate TV about the French postal service’s rapidly expanding renewable energy use.

La Poste was the first French company to join RE100 – the global campaign led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP which urges companies to commit to 100% renewable electricity – in October last year, setting a target to power all of its operations with renewable electricity by 2020.

“We want to be in advance of the market,” explains Christine Bargain in The Climate Group's video interview, while discussing why the company joined the renewable energy campaign. “RE100 is a good initiative for companies – we are proud to be the first French group to join.”

La Poste is already well on the way to achieving its RE100 target. The postal group purchases 100% renewable electricity to power 1,300 major sites, accounting for two-thirds of its power consumption.

The business is also switching to a green electricity tariff so that all of its operations can eventually be powered by renewables, with plans to also explore options for on-site generation.

Olivier Dressayre, Deputy Director Group Strategy, La Poste said: “We are a big player in real estate in France with more than 7 million square meters of buildings. This is very important to give market signals that we want to switch to green and clean energy.”

La Poste recognizes the role that business can play in setting an example as well as increasing the demand for renewables in France, a country that is currently dominated by nuclear power generation.

Olivier Dressayre, Director of Strategy, Sustainable Development and Energy, La Poste

The French postal service has one of the largest fleets of electrical vehicles in the world, which it endeavors to power with renewable electricity in order to expand its distribution area while reducing carbon emissions.

As well as the environmental benefits of undergoing a low carbon energy transition, corporates are increasingly seeing the strong business case for switching to renewables too, such as cost savings, energy security and brand reputational benefits – and La Poste is no different.

“We strongly believe that going to green value will be a competitive advantage; not only for postal operations and green delivery, but also in the real estate market as a subsidiary of La Poste,” said Olivier Dressayre, speaking to Climate TV about the expected benefits of increasing renewables.

La Poste is working toward 100% renewables by 2020 as part of its overall target to reduce carbon emissions by 15% by 2020, compared to a 2013 baseline. The company has already achieved carbon neutrality in all operations due to offsetting projects, including investment in renewable projects in India.

When the postal service joined the RE100 campaign last year, Philippe Wahl, Chairman and CEO of Le Groupe La Poste said: “Corporate responsibility underpins all action at Le Groupe La Poste. Our strategic plan ‘La Poste 2020: conquering the future’ cements this commitment, which was made 30 years ago now, and tailors it to meet new societal issues, specifically for climate changes issues.”

53 companies have now joined RE100: Adobe, Alstria, Autodesk, Aviva, Biogen, BMW Group, BROAD Group, BT Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Commerzbank, DSM, Elion Resources Group, Elopak, Formula E, Givaudan, Goldman Sachs, Google, H&M, IKEA Group, Infosys, ING, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.(IFF), J. Safra Sarasin, Johnson & Johnson, Kingspan, KPN, La Poste, Land Securities, Marks & Spencer, Mars Incorporated, Microsoft, Nestlé, Nike, Inc., Nordea Bank AB, Novo Nordisk, Pearson PLC, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Proximus, RELX Group, Salesforce, SAP, SGS, Starbucks, Steelcase, Swiss Post, Swiss Re, UBS, Unilever, Vaisala, Voya Financial, Walmart and YOOX Group.

Text by Jessy Field, video by Ilario D'Amato

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