Rico GroupCarbon reduction programme - Rico Group

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Carbon reduction programme

We are building upon our existing actions and ISO 14001 accreditation with new measures to reduce the carbon footprint from our business activities.

A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an individual, event, organisation, service, place or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent. Greenhouse gases, including the carbon-containing gases carbon dioxide and methane, can be emitted through the burning of fossil fuels, land clearance and the production and consumption of food, manufactured goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, transportation and other services.

As part of our overall approach, we are committed to continuous improvement in the management and reduction of energy consumption and waste to reduce carbon emissions.

We plan to provide an option for our customers to offset the carbon generated by movement of the consignments we move on their behalf, through our logistics services, by investing in certified carbon offset schemes.

Basic principles of our carbon-reduction program

Our carbon-reduction program is based on two primary principles:

  • Reduce the amount of carbon generated as far as practicably possible, across numerous business activities
  • Invest in certified carbon offset schemes on behalf of our customers, to offset the carbon footprint generated when moving their consignments

Our carbon reduction program uses a number of initiatives across various business activities designed to reduce impact on the environment and reduce our carbon footprint.

Integrated management policy

During 2019 we updated our integrated management policy to meet the requirements of ISO9001:2015 and ISO14001:2015 and evaluated the environmental impact and risks arising out of our operations in order to protect the environment.

A management improvement plan was developed to ensure continual improvement of the management system and the company’s performance by:

  • Reducing waste within the business
  • Conserving energy
  • Reducing CO2 emissions

The updated policy committed the business to consider planned and new developments in our processes, products and services that may affect the environment or risks levels and to meet all compliance obligations.

Waste policy

We updated our waste policy to reinforce the company’s principles, ambitions and objectives in reducing waste, extending to all departments, employees and contractors who use/access Rico facilities.

A ‘less paper’ office

We have implemented programs to reduce use of paper in the office:

  • Providing electronic invoicing to customers
  • Electronically signed contracts and agreements
  • Documents stored digitally to reduce paper files
  • Document scanning instead of photo copying
  • Adopted cloud storage solutions for document sharing
  • Adopted electronic marketing solutions
  • Reduced use of business cards
  • Automated workflows

Remote working

Although the pandemic of 2020/21 resulted in large numbers of people working from home, many Rico employees were based at home prior to the pandemic and this will continue after the pandemic for a number of our team.

  • Greater use of video conferencing to reduce business mileages
  • Reducing travel to work mileage
  • Reduced need for office space


Rico were an early adopter of technology and digitisation to reduce the carbon footprint from our warehousing activities:

  • TRACE system with integrated scanning for inventory control
  • Use of mobile apps to remove paper delivery dockets
  • Trunk vehicles transferring stock all meet Euro 6 standards to reduce emissions
  • Use of sensor lighting to reduce energy consumption
  • We have now installed low carbon lighting in three of our UK locations, with a plan to roll out globally during the next 24 months

FSL and PUDO network

We have an extensive network of Forward Stock Locations (FSLs), intelligent box and PUDO locations, placed strategically in main town and city locations, allowing end users to access their goods without the need to travel extensively, reducing mileage emissions in the process.

Same-day courier movements

Carbon emissions are an inevitable by product of moving customer consignments for a delivery same day. We already take steps to reduce courier delivery emissions, however we are planning additional actions to reduce emissions further from same day delivery movements.

Once we have implemented the additional actions to reduce emissions to a lower level, we will provide an option for our customers to participate in a gold standard carbon offset scheme, to offset the carbon emissions that are left after the reductions achieved by the Rico carbon reduction actions. This will provide an option for our customers to achieve their own carbon reduction goals.

Current carbon reduction measures

We already operate a number of carbon reduction measures when making same day deliveries on behalf of our customers:

  • We estimate that 30% of the courier fleet have Euro 6d engines, with lower emissions
  • We provide P2 service options to allow multi job consolidation, meaning fewer vehicle journeys
  • We seek to utilise out of area vehicles for return loads where possible, reducing empty vehicle miles driven
  • Use of technology to remove use of paper delivery dockets
  • Optimising multi drop routes for lower mileages
  • Couriers provided with eco-friendly driving technique guides
  • Right-sizing of vehicles to load
  • Vehicle age limits to encourage fuel efficiency
  • More use of push bikes and motorcycles in London – phased introduction of electric vans in London from Q3 2021
  • Extensive PUDO and box network, moving parts closer to end users to reduce miles driven

UK clean air zones

A number of UK local authorities have already introduced clean air zones or are planning to implement them during 2021/22.

We will support clean air zones by adding a clean air charge to customer jobs going into designated zones, which we will use to incentivise our couriers to invest in lower emission vehicles.

The next stage: additional carbon-reduction plans

We are introducing electric cargo bikes into our London centres, planned for Q3 2021. (E-)cargo bikes are also efficient. They can take shorter, faster routes (using cycle and bus lanes, or being wheeled through pedestrianised areas); they are easier to park and so deliveries can be made more quickly and with zero emissions

Expanded intelligent box network

Rico are expanding their network of intelligent boxes during the next three years, creating additional boxes into more town and city centre locations, moving goods closer to users to reduce miles driven to collect parcels.

An intelligent box is the unattended, safe, intelligent, connected parcel delivery box and it has the proven ability to dramatically reduce failed deliveries. Fewer failed deliveries means fewer vehicle miles chasing parcels, less wear on tyres, a reduction in overall traffic volumes and many other tangible and intangible benefits. 

Transition to electric vehicles

During 2020, the UK government adopted a two step approach to the transition to electric vehicles:

Step 1 will see the phase-out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans brought forward to 2030
Step 2 will see all new cars and vans be fully zero-emission at the tailpipe from 2035.

Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they have the capability to drive a significant distance with zero emissions (for example, plug-in hybrids or full hybrids), and this will be defined through consultation.

The government will invest £1.3 billion to accelerate the roll out of electric chargepoints across the UK road network to assist the transition to net zero emissions.

The government has also pledged grants and additional funding to assist UK business and households to transition to electric vehicles with further incentives expected to be announced.

Whilst the current offering of electric vans is suitable for relatively local urban deliveries, the mileage range coupled with an insufficient number of chargepoints provide challenges in a same-day delivery environment where every minute counts.

The Rico courier national fleet is provided by a network of self-employed owner drivers, providing access to a low cost courier model for our customers. We will continue to evaluate electric van options and research government incentives as they become available and will actively encourage our fleet of couriers to transition to electric as more viable options become available. We will provide more detailed information about our electric transition plans in due course.

Carbon offsetting

Once we have launched the Courier Alliance platform, we will have driven a significant reduction in the carbon footprint generated from same-day delivery movements; however, same-day movements completed on behalf of our customers will still generate emissions and we recognise that our customers will want the option to offset those emissions to align with their own carbon reduction goals.

Therefore we plan to launch a carbon offset scheme in which customers will have the option to invest, to offset emissions generated on those same-day courier movements which we complete on their behalf.

  • Verified gold standard schemes
  • Quarterly emissions report
  • Quarterly invoice of offset costs
  • Annual report and certificate confirming offset
  • Launching Q1 2022

Carbon Neutral Plan

We are committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2040 reducing our emissions to 14,765 by 2026, a reduction of 15%

Baseline Emmisions Reporting 2020

Emissions Total (tC02e)
Scope 1
Scope 2
Scope 3
15,940 (of which)
Upstream transportation and distribution 13,868
Waste generated in operations 478
Business travel 797
Employee commuting 638
Downstream transportation and distribution 159

Total Emissions


Current Emissions Reporting 2021

EmissionsTotal (tC02e)

Scope 1


Scope 2


Scope 3

16,980 (of which)
Upstream transport distribution 14,773
Waste generated in operations 509
Business travel 849
Employee commuting 679
Downstream transportation and distribution 170

Total Emissions


Carbon offset – next steps

We will publish further details about our carbon offset scheme in Q4 2021. We will contact our customers to provide further detail about how the scheme will work, the costs associated with it and a summary of their individual carbon footprint based upon the same day jobs we have completed on their behalf during Q3.

Committed to carbon reduction – providing an environmentally-friendly logistics service

We are fully committed to the environment and are continuously working to reduce our carbon footprint.

We recognise that it is important to protect the environment in both the UK and worldwide and have a number of key policies which we follow to ensure our impact on the environment is minimal:

  • Full compliance with all legal and statutory requirements relating to environmental aspect
  • We take full control of any waste created, to prevent pollution and avoid damage to the environment
  • All Rico Logistics employees are trained, so that they are fully aware of the implications their roles have on the environment and are motivated to have full consideration of the environment in the work place and beyond
  • Our environmental targets and objectives are frequently reviewed to prevent and minimise our negative environmental impacts
  • We continually strive to improve our environmental performance, through the use of carbon-conscious technologies
  • Rico’s environmental policy is communicated to all employees, shareholders and stakeholders and forms an integral part of our everyday work ethics and values

We are registered as an Upper Tier Carrier Dealer under UK waste regulations. Certificate number CB/YN5815US.

We will publish further details about our carbon offset scheme in Q4 2021. We will contact our customers to provide further detail about how the scheme will work, the costs associated with it and a summary of their individual carbon footprint based upon the same day jobs Rico has completed on their behalf during Q3.

This will allow customers to decide whether they wish to participate in the carbon offset scheme for their own organisation, which could then commence in January 2022.