Greener Deliveries – from Traidcraft and DPD


Here at Traidcraft, we are passionate about environmental justice, which is why we are always on the look out for ways in which we can reduce our carbon output as a company.

One significant step on our journey to becoming the ultimate eco-business is how we package your orders.
Over the next few weeks, we are pleased to announce that we are going to be making the switch to both paper tape and paper void fill when packaging your fair trade goods for dispatch.

This eco-switch means:
- Last year we used a total of 186 rolls of air film (which makes the recyclable air-filled pillows to protect your orders in transit). A switch to paper void fill will reduce our packaging plastic material by 1.488 tonnes and a CO2e output reduction of 0.18 tonnes.
- Last year we used 3,024 rolls of plastic tape to seal your orders. The switch to paper tape means that we will save 0.992 tonnes of plastic material reduction and a CO2e output reduction of 0.72 tonnes.


For any of your orders which exceed 2kg, DPD are our courier of choice. Apart from their flexible, user-friendly service for both shippers and shoppers, we choose to work with DPD as their green policies are very much aligned with our own.

If you’re interested to find out more about DPD’s journey, how they’re are looking after our planet and aim to be the UK’s leader in sustainable delivery, you’re in the right place. Here are just some of the ways that our favourite couriers are doing their bit for people and planet.


Infographic showing Traidcraft and DPD's green policies

DPD’s Green Policies

World Leaders in Voluntary Carbon Offset
With no extra cost to their customers, DPD have been offsetting their carbon footprint since 2012. They have committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to combat climate action. In the north of England, DPD have initiated an innovative project whereby they capture methane from a disused coalmine that is then used to generate electricity for 7,000 homes in the area. This project has saved 100,000 tonnes of CO2 being released into the environment, with an investment of £200,000 from DPD.


Electric Vehicles
DPD are in the process of building the largest all-electric fleet in the UK. Last year, they had a total of 139 electric vehicles on the road, which is rising to 600 by the end of this year. This means that 10% of their entire fleet are emission free.

DPD electric vehicle in front of the Gherkin in London and a quote about DPD's green deliveries

You may be thinking, ‘That’s great, but why can’t 100% of their fleet be electric, right now?’. Let us explain. DPD have ambitious plans to rapidly increase their electric vehicle fleet, but it can’t be done alone. They need manufacturers, the utilities industry and the Government (local and national) to work together to help fast-track the introduction of all-electric fleet vehicles and their charging points.

The 3.5 tonne electric vans DPD want to use are simply not available, which is why they’ve invested heavily in the smaller Nissan electric vans (capable of 46,800 deliveries per week) - but it’s not a long-term solution, as it’s fewer vehicles on the road they’re aiming for, not more!

DPD are also partnering with Rolec, looking into having affordable and user-friendly charging points installed at their drivers’ homes to ensure all drivers have access to an easy, fast and affordable solution for charging their vehicles. DPD are helping their drivers complete the Government paperwork to ensure that they receive a grant of £500, as well as contributing a further £250 towards the set-up of these ports at their homes.

Quote about DPD's green urban strategy

Smart Urban Delivery 
DPD aims to deliver customers’ parcels emission-free in cities, so are creating a network of all-electric micro-depots – meaning vehicles are located closer to customers, so less travel. DPD currently have three all-electric micro-depots and plan to open seven as soon as the sites become available. 95 tonnes of CO2 are saved per year with their micro-depot urban strategy.

DPD send a quarter of a billion ‘predict one hour’ delivery slots, so that customers know when to be in to receive their parcels – which has eliminated 4.5 million extra journeys, equating to 3.5 million fewer miles travelled and 1,255 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Drivers are given a handheld unit which guides them to every address using the shortest route possible. This technology is not cheap, but means that DPD drivers travel less (649,000 fewer miles were travelled in 2019 alone) and carbon output is reduced (in 2019 over 200 tonnes of CO2 emissions were saved, which is the equivalent of planting 800 trees!).


Did you know? Fact about where DPD's electric fleet deliver


Green Packaging 

Along with tackling the plastic crisis within their own packaging, DPD have given all 15,000 staff an everlasting metal water bottle and installed water stations at all sites, eliminating the need to buy bottled water. It is estimated (based on staff filling up twice a day, over five days) that this will save 3.75 million plastic bottles from being used. Within DPD hubs, there are vending machines with refreshments; where previously staff could buy bottled drinks, now only cans are available.

They also promote the use of the REFILL app, which shows where drivers can get a fresh drinking water refill whilst they are out and about on their deliveries (with 20,000+ refill stations nationwide). Sounds like a great idea to us!

REFILL app shows you where you can refill your water bottle on the go


Waste Management
100% of DPD’s waste avoids landfill. Their waste is separated by material type (by machine and hand) and all plastic is compacted and made into bale, ready to be shipped to the UK plastic manufacturers for recycling. Their used plastic is then made into things like T-shirts, jumpers, sleeping bags and carpets! In 2019 alone, over 300 tonnes of plastic was turned into raw materials.

Sustainable Power: Solar
DPD are doing their bit when it comes to renewable energy. In fact, their Oldbury and Hinckley hubs run exclusively on solar power during the day. In 2019, enough electricity was generated by one hub to power 336 houses for a year! LED lighting has been installed in all DPD networks and new-builds too, reducing electricity by 61%.

Aims for 2020 and beyond: DPD operate from 73 locations in the UK and four national hubs, which equals 3.8 million square feet of operational workspace, consuming 28 gigawatts of electricity annually. From October 2020, all DPD hubs will be powered by 100% renewable energy.



Published at: 01-05-2020
Tags: Packaging Update Eco-Packaging Sustainable Deliveries
2020 Traidcraft