Biogas helps cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%

  • Biogas is renewable energy produced from feedstocks including household biowaste, retail outlets’ food waste, municipal wastewater sludge and agricultural side streams.

  • The transport use of biogas helps cut up to 90% of the greenhouse gas emissions over the fuel life cycle and generates hardly any local emissions.

Gas vehicles provide PostNord with competitive advantage in Finland

PostNord uses biogas vehicles for temperature-controlled transports in Finland. The company has set ambitious environmental targets, with gas playing a significant role in achieving them. Sustainability is also a competitive factor for the company.

PostNord has run demanding special health care transports on biogas in Finland since 2019. These important and sensitive deliveries are taken reliably to their destinations in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area by gas-fueled vehicles. The modern temperature control technology of the vehicles maintains a constant temperature whatever the weather from heatwaves to subzero conditions. PostNord introduced biogas-fueled vehicles to its fleet primarily for environmental and sustainability reasons.

“Environmental issues are coming up increasingly often in negotiations with customers, and these considerations obviously need to be on everyone’s agenda. Climate change is a real and serious concern. We want to do our part to make sure we won’t cause any unnecessary burden on the environment,” says PostNord CEO Johanna Starck, commenting on the company’s choice of biogas.

PostNord’s customers and employees are interested in sustainability: the climate impacts of logistics and transports have become a regular topic around negotiating tables over a short period of time.

Cutting total emissions by 40%

PostNord already has long history of ambitious climate targets. “We want to be a forerunner in sustainable development in the Nordic countries. It was already in 2009 that we set the target of cutting our total transport emissions by 40% by 2020,” says Starck.

Plenty of concrete measures have already been taken. PostNord’s emissions per parcel are now only half of those generated ten years ago, but the number of parcels delivered is growing. That is why further good practices are needed for targets to be reached.

Biogas ranked number one in assessments

PostNord’s strict targets mean that the company takes environmental considerations into account at every stage. Details from fuels to terminal lighting have been assessed. Impacts of measures are reported and monitored to the level required by the ISO 14001 environmental management certification awarded to PostNord.

It was therefore logical that the environmental impacts of the options available were assessed carefully when the company decided to acquire vehicles suitable for special health care transports. “Biogas turned out to be the most environmentally friendly fuel for this type of deliveries,” says Johanna Starck.

Sustainability important to customers too

The biogas vehicles are used to transport products for the health and wellbeing company Oriola. Oriola has also noticed that customers are taking an interest in how ecological transports are. “Our goal is to decrease transport emissions. The importance of this to our pharmaceutical company customers is also clear on the basis of our sustainability stakeholder analysis conducted last year,” says Katja Tolkki, Head of Sustainability at Oriola.

Drivers happy with gas vehicles

Each of the biogas vehicles clocks up 150–200 km per day. The new power source does not have much of an impact on drivers’ work, however. “Our drivers have been very happy with the gas-fueled vehicles. You only notice a difference from other vehicles when filling up,” says Johanna Starck.

Starck is also happy with the gas filling station network in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. It has grown rapidly and there are stations in every direction, so gas vehicles do not need to make many detours for fill-ups.

More gas vehicles to be introduced

The Nordics are in many ways leading the way ahead of the rest of the world in environmental issues, and PostNord is determined to maintain this lean-forward role. In Sweden, the company uses lots of light, ecological solutions from electric cars to city bikes. In Finland, gas vehicles are an important contribution towards environmental targets. PostNord is also prepared to increase the number of gas-powered vehicles. Once the current environmental targets are reached, it will be time to set eyes on the future and determine the next steps.

“The role of environmental issues is growing all the time, and we’ve taken up the challenge. Going forward, we’ll be focusing increasingly on more environmentally friendly vehicles and fuels,” Starck sums up.

11.5.2020

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