bpost to set up Ecozones in Belgian cities

After a pilot in Mechelen, bpost has announced it is to roll out zero emission delivery ‘Ecozones’ in several city centres across Belgium in 2021.

The first Ecozone was piloted in Mechelen in July 2020. All diesel vehicles were replaced with either electric cars or e-cargo-bikes and these were used to deliver parcels, newspapers and letters to homes, pick-up points and post offices. At the same time bpost invested heavily in its pick-up/drop-off point network, installing 49 parcel locker stations and seven post points and parcel points to encourage customers to collect their parcels rather than risk missed deliveries. At the same time a Microhub was set up where delivery staff loaded and unloaded their vehicles for multiple delivery runs daily.

In the pilot, the postal operator managed to do all of its operations in the 2800 postcode area emission free.

Dirk  Tirez,  interim Chief Executive Officer of bpost group:  “Sustainable enterprise and respect for our planet are at the heart of our strategy. bpost has worked to comply with the Paris climate agreements from the very beginning. That requires us to rethink and adapt how we work. We are now showing that change is possible and that it is backed by the municipal authorities and citizens. This first Ecozone proves that customer satisfaction, service and innovation can go hand in hand to achieve our shared ambitions in terms of sustainable development and set up an ecosystem of options for customers. This is good news with an eye to the future. Initiatives like Ecozone ensure bpost group is able to honour its commitments.”

“I am delighted that by launching this pilot project in Mechelen bpost is setting the tone with regard to further letter and parcel delivery methods that respect our environment and our planet,” says Minister de Sutter. “Everyone knows that the parcel sector has an impact on the climate and the environment. The way that bpost is conducting a sustainable test of each delivery step in Mechelen to reduce this impact is unique. The federal government and bpost are currently negotiating a new management contract and we will set some ambitious targets together within that framework. In addition to human contact, and service proximity and accessibility, we want bpost to play a trailblazing role, especially in terms of the environment. My ambition is to turn the public authorities and enterprises into innovation and ecology leaders. This project is today a full-fledged part of that and it will be swiftly rolled out to other Belgian cities. This is the path we want to take and I invite other companies to follow this example.”