Solution Spotlight: Go Green with OSCAR

22.11.2018 - In 2012, member countries tasked the UPU with providing an online tool for postal operators to measure their greenhouse gas emissions. The result is OSCAR – the Online Solution for Carbon Analysis and Reporting – available free of charge to designated operators of UPU member countries. OSCAR’s second annual campaign saw an impressive increase in participation from around the globe.

OSCAR builds on the work carried out by the UPU since 2008 to perform an annual inventory of greenhouse gas emissions from its designated operators worldwide. With the launch of the online platform, designated operators have access to a user-driven, interactive tool that is tailor-made for the postal sector and allows them to analyze the climate impact of their operations.

The second OSCAR campaign was finalized at the end of 2017 based on greenhouse gas emissions data gathered in 2016. The results show an increasing interest in sustainability and carbon accounting among UPU designated operators. Eighty-three countries connected to the platform in 2017 compared with 58 the year before, representing a 43 percent increase.

OSCAR is used by Posts around the globe. The latest campaign saw a particular increase in users from Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, but the geographical distribution has stayed even during the two years the solution has been in use.

Emissions

In total, OSCAR users reported 44 million tonnes of CO2e for 2016.

CO2e, or "carbon dioxide equivalent", is used to describe the impact of different greenhouse gases in a common unit. For any quantity and type of greenhouse gas, CO2e signifies the amount of CO2 that would have the equivalent global warming impact.

This figure is expected to increase as OSCAR users continue to refine their carbon reporting and include additional emission sources in their analysis.

The data indicates that, on average, a designated operator is responsible for 0.1 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions originating from industrial activity in its country.

Sustainability in operations

OSCAR also gives users a chance to share information on their ongoing sustainability efforts. This qualitative section of the tool was completed by some 80 percent of active users during the last campaign, providing useful indicators about postal operators’ environmental priorities and strategies.

Around half of the respondents report having environmental strategies in place that include an environmental management system, annual sustainability reporting, and targets for emission reduction. Slightly fewer have signed the UN Global Compact.

When it comes to environmental activities, the most popular ones as reported by OSCAR users are:

  • Engagement with suppliers and/or green procurement
  • Waste management and recycling
  • Eco-driving
  • Alternative vehicles
  • Water management and water-saving measures
  • Saving schemes for electricity and heating
  • Producing renewable energy (with solar power being the most popular choice)

Others are exploring new, innovative packaging solutions, and some are already offering climate-neutral delivery options.

This year’s OSCAR campaign

The 2017 OSCAR campaign wrapped up on 1 November.

Several new features were added this year: updated guidance materials and resources in all six OSCAR languages to assist with data reporting and results interpretation, along with a more transparent display of the methodology behind OSCAR, as well as the possibility to export graphs as image files for use in reports and presentations.

For more information, visit: oscar.post or e-mail oscar[at]upu.int.

This article first appeared in the August 2018 issue of UPU’s Union Postale magazine. Subscribe now to be the first to receive content like this.

Sustainable development
 

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  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
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