Arctic edition of International Post Corporation's Drivers' Challenge hosted by Posti on the Nokian Tyres testing track, near Ivalo, Finland on 03 March 2015. Seven teams from various postal operators participated in competition focusing on eco-driving, safety and customer service excellence. Professional drivers and managers overcome challenges of eco-driving and car handling in icy winter conditions.
Teams of highly qualified drivers from An Post (Ireland), bpost (Belgium), Correos y Telégrafos (Spain), CTT Correios (Portugal); Posti (Finland), Posten Norge (Norway), and PostNord (Sweden-Denmark), took part in the third IPC Drivers' Challenge on the testing track of Nokian Tyres in Ivalo, Finland.
The combination of low temperatures, snow and icy roads challenged the teams to succeed in a series of tests related to car handling, eco-driving, safety and customer service. The Posti team excelled in all categories and took this year's IPC Drivers' Challenge trophy home, while An Post and Correos y Telégrafos ranked second and third respectively.
Heikki Malinen, Posti CEO and host of the closing ceremony, said: - The Posti organisation was delighted to host the third edition of the IPC Drivers´ Challenge. Having this event in Ivalo is the ideal way to showcase how we handle both eco-driving and safety in winter conditions. It demonstrates that even under challenging circumstances we can still work on reducing carbon emissions as well as on enhancing efficiency and saving costs. We are very happy that we could offer best-in-class drivers the opportunity to compete with their international counterparts in this fantastic scenery, a truly unique experience.
Looking back at the event, Herbert Götz, IPC Director of Marketing, said: - The third IPC Drivers' Challenge has been one of a kind thanks to the participation and the involvement of the seven teams and of our hosts, Posti and Nokian Tyres, whom we wish to thank for their warm hospitality and impressive professionalism." He added: "The postal industry is one of the service industries operating the largest vehicle fleet in the world and has drivers servicing in all areas and climatologic conditions. We have both the responsibility and the knowledge to lead the way in finding concrete solutions to reduce our footprint. As this event has proven a real motivation for drivers in the participating teams, we encourage more and more IPC members to participate as a way of engaging employees and making them aware of the positive impact they can have by adopting eco-driving habits.
Complete driving experience
All participating teams consisted of a professional driver and a postal manager. Tests in this third edition of the IPC Drivers' Challenge included:
All teams performed at a very high level, notwithstanding the challenging weather and road conditions, showcasing why they were selected as their company's national driving champions' team.
- We worked hard for this victory, and are very proud of our accomplishments. Throughout the different tests, we have been constantly helping and motivating each other, said the two winners from Posti, Heikki Toikkanen and Päivi Blom.
- I was able to bring some competition experience to Lapland, but teaming up with Päivi created a great team atmosphere which made us perform very well on the international level. We are just really very happy, continued Toikkanen.
- By preparing this competition, we have realised even more that by driving in a more sustainable way, we can make a real difference in fuel usage and hence, costs. It was also very rewarding for us to take our eco-driving and car handling skills to the next level thanks to the detailed analysis and driving advice provided by the organisation. Competing with our colleagues from Ireland, Belgium, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Denmark was a great experience for us, and we also learned a lot from each other over the two days, concluded Blom.
Tadgh Linehan and Tommy Dempsey from An Post came in second position, after excelling in car handling on ice, and Andres Rojas Ruiz and Santiago Muñoz from Correos y Telégrafos ended in third position.
Eco-driving remains important factor in employee engagement and can lead to significant fuel use, costs and emissions reductions for postal operators
The IPC Drivers' Challenge brings together drivers who have won domestic eco-driving challenges organised by their posts and who have otherwise shown particular excellence in driving ecologically and safely while ensuring high-quality customer service. Some posts have selected their champions based on day-to-day performance as well.
Transport accounts for over 40% of total direct CO2 emissions by postal operators. Through a combination of measures, including eco-driving and an increased use of alternative fuels and vehicles, posts participating in the IPC sustainability programme have been able to save more than 399m litres of fuel over the five years into the programme, which results in important budgetary savings of more than €316m.
Herbert Götz underlined: - Employees are key in supporting their companies' environmental efforts. We therefore continue to further develop the Drivers' Challenge initiative, which is a nice incentive for the participating posts to reward their best drivers, and motivate others to contribute to the company's sustainability efforts by optimising their driving behaviour and possibly be the next national champion to compete on international level. The two million employees in our programme need to realise they can make a huge difference for the planet.
Drivers' Challenge as part of IPC postal sector sustainability programme
The Drivers' Challenge is part of the IPC's sustainability programme, launched in 2009, bringing together 25 posts from Europe, America, Africa and Asia Pacific. IPC's Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS) provides a common carbon measurement and reporting framework based on internationally recognised standards and open to all posts globally. The IPC programme assesses both carbon management proficiency and carbon emissions reductions of participating posts.
Through the IPC sustainability programme, participating posts are committed to reducing their CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020. Current trends to be confirmed by the next IPC postal sector sustainability report, due in November, show that posts are well on track to achieve these targets ahead of schedule.