It’s late Autumn, but still warm in Rome, the air crisply clear. The sun is piercing through the clouds on the terracotta-coloured houses in a narrow street of the Bravetta residential district. A couple of electric tricycles, roughly the size of a golf buggy, are silently helping postal staff deliver letters and parcels on their rounds.
Hundreds of electric tricycles and vehicles will soon populate a dozen districts in Rome, of which 57 will be in the Maggiolino distribution centre, which serves the Nomentana where Anna Manghetti lives. “It’s really exciting to see these new tricycles making their way into our daily deliveries,” she says, “a good cause to work for.”
Manghetti is head of finance at Poste Italiane, the largest logistics operator in the country and a leading player in the financial, insurance and payment services sector. Thanks to a €100 million loan from the European Investment Bank in March, Poste Italiane was able to replace its traditional fuel and petrol fleet with zero-emissions tricycles and vehicles.
“As the EU climate bank, we’re proud to support Poste Italiane’s ambitious decarbonisation plan,” says Giovanni Aldeghi, the senior European Investment Bank officer who has worked on the EU bank’s largest ever financing of a zero-emission mobility platform.
How green is our parcel?
The trickiest part of a parcel’s journey from warehouse to doorstep is the so-called “last mile”, the final step in the delivery process from a distribution centre to the recipient.
The boom in online shopping since the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened transport-related carbon emissions. Cities and logistics companies have struggled with unnecessary delivery journeys, congestion, parking and local residents’ concerns about noise and air pollution.
If the last mile delivery were more efficient and greener, cities would be healthier and more liveable. The idea started spinning through Manghetti’s mind during summer 2020.
The Poste Italiane Green Mobility project has been supervised by Chief Executive Matteo Del Fante and the team reporting to Chief Financial Officer Camillo Greco with the backing of Giuseppe Lasco, Joint General Manager and Marcello Grosso, Head of Group Sustainable Development, Risk and Compliance.
The Green Mobility project is about the replacement of the company’s traditional fuel and petrol vehicles with 4 150 electric vehicles for deliveries in cities and their surroundings. This also includes the associated charging stations and IT platform at a total cost of €145 million.
“It's a rather small sum which can go a long way,” says Manghetti about Poste Italiane’s first green finance operation.