Royal mail group (uk), UPS (us), and Deutsche Post (germany) top mail, freight, and shipping sector sustainability reporting

Source: Roberts Environmental Center, 7 May 2007

Of the 12 companies in the Fortune Global 500 mail, freight, and shipping sectors whose environmental and sustainability reporting was analyzed by the Roberts Environmental Center in 2006, Royal Mail Group (UK) was graded A+ and United Parcel Service (US) and Deutsche Post (Germany) both received grades of A. Almost half of the publicly traded firms on this list comprise the national postal services of major industrialized countries, including the United States Postal Service (with a grade of B-). Federal Express (US) which tends to cultivate a domestic image of efficiency and corporate excellence, particularly in social and environmental matters, does surprisingly poorly in our ranking with a score of C-! , outranked by all but Japan Post (Japan) and Post Italiane (Italy). In contrast to the top scorers, FedEx had (and continues to have) a minimal amount of quantitative environmental and social material on its web site.

Of the top scorers, Royal Mail Group and Deutsche Post (which owns DHL as well as operating the German postal service) have both complex hyperlinked environmental and social web pages and detailed formal reports. UPS confines its publications to hyperlinked web pages which tend to be less effective in our view, though they do not necessarily score lower.

These findings are based on the information available on the web sites of all of the companies in these sectors of the 2005 Fortune Global 500 list as of September, 2006. All firms were invited to review and comment on the analysis prior to publication, and three of them responded. Groupe La Poste (France) agreed to post their English language sustainability report to their web site which elevated them from dead last (owing to a lack of English language material on their web site) to a respectable grade of C. The US Postal Service expressed an interest in better reporting of information they have already collected and proposed meeting with us prior to our next round of analysis, and TNT (Netherlands), with a grade of B-, opined that their presence in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index put them "in front of" the sector irrespective of our analysis.