Sustainable Delivery

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Sustainable delivery is becoming an increasingly popular topic; E-commerce has grown exponentially, and with it the courier industry. With more and more courier vehicles on the road adding to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, courier organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the need for change. This is led by a combination of growing environmental consciousness, corporate social responsibility and governmental legislation.


The evidence

Research by Shopify has revealed that consumers care more about sustainable ecommerce and delivery. Notably, 41.8% of consumers want brands to be more socially responsible and a combined 75% generally agreed that they would be willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products and services. As pressure to provide fast, low cost and sustainable delivery mounts, Shopify advise focusing on fulfilment. This means working closely with fulfilment centres and establishing a strategic network of courier vehicles to increase efficiency. Optimising your courier fleet could result in increased customer satisfaction and improved sustainability. ‘Streamlining returns’ is also an important aspect for consideration. A strategic network of drop off points will enable fast and efficient returns which will please customers and the organisations you deliver for. Additionally, making drop off points more easily accessible should reduce the number of pick-up journeys necessary, which in turn will reduce your environmental impact.

Many courier organisations are capitalising on this change in attitude by developing new green initiatives with the intention of appealing to this growing consumer demographic. Yodel’s research found that 53% of consumers aged 18-34 would be more likely to make a purchase if the courier is focused on the reduction of emissions. Perhaps yet more surprising is the 42% of online consumers who said that they would accept a longer delivery time if it meant a reduced carbon footprint. This emphasises the growing importance of sustainability for consumers.

Demonstrating decisive action over the past five years, Yodel have cut their emissions by 25% despite achieving record growth. This proves that it is more than possible to simultaneously grow your business and be more environmentally conscious. By investing substantially in technology and their fleet, Yodel are leading by example with their commitment to sustainable delivery. Although, their fleet vehicles are not all electric, their policy which requires vehicles to be three years or younger means all Yodel owned vehicles meet Clean Air Zone (CAZ) requirements.

Another courier organisation making big changes is DPD who are pioneering ‘clean, green delivery’ with a variety of initiatives such as the August 2020 launch of Project BREATHE, an air quality monitoring programme. They are also building the largest completely electric UK delivery fleet and already have over 700 electric fleet vehicles. Most of these vehicles are kept in electric micro-depots which enable them to be closer to customers resulting in faster, cleaner and quieter deliveries. Their quest to be the UK’s most sustainable delivery company is well under way and evidencing significant success.

If you’re looking for inspiration, click here to explore everything DPD are doing to become ‘the greenest delivery company on the planet’.


5 ways to be a more sustainable courier service

  1. Consider transitioning to an all-electric fleet
  2. Establish a strategic network of drop-off locations
  3. Consolidate deliveries
  4. Employ route planning for efficient journeys
  5. Utilise technology such as delivery management systems, GPS and route tracking – this massively improves communication and efficiency


It’s clear that both courier organisations and consumers alike are prioritising sustainability with increasing effect. Interestingly, most of the changes you can implement to become a more sustainable courier service, also increase your organisational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Therefore, making your courier organisation greener is a win-win situation for your business, your customers and the planet!

Are you thinking about making more sustainable changes to your courier organisation? Whether you’re on a greener road or still thinking about it, you need to be insured. Contact us on 0333 202 3172 to discuss your courier insurance today.

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