Questionnaire survey and interviews

Questionnaire survey methodology

The questionnaire was addressed to two groups of stakeholders, i.e.:

The questionnaire survey contained questions to both target groups aiming at the following objectives:

Furthermore, a set of questions was exclusively addressed to the main target group aiming at the following objectives:

The questionnaires were developed in English and translated to Hungarian, Romanian and Greek. The survey was conducted on-line using electronic forms (google forms) and via e-mail. A total of 43 filled-in questionnaires were collected with the target amount being 40 questionnaires. The questionnaire form is presented in Annex 1. The questionnaire results are presented in sub-section 4.3.

 

Interview methodology

The interview was addressed mainly to the main target group of stakeholders, i.e. different types of courier, postal and delivery services and public authorities responsible for policy making and management. The interview form is based on the questionnaire form, while more information was asked regarding specific questions of the questionnaire. The additional questions covered the following:

 

Questionnaire and interview results

A total of 43 successfully completed forms were collected in the period 26/02/2023-03/04/2023, out of which 16 interviews (with embedded questionnaire) and 27 questionnaires (Figure 1). The headquarters of the organisations of participants are located in Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Spain and the UK.

Figure 1: Distribution of completed surveys by survey type (source: Own elaboration)

More than 1/3 of the participating organisations correspond to the main target group, i.e. 7 courier services, 1 postal service, 6 delivery services and 2 public authorities. Research units from Universities and consultants represent the majority of the remaining organisation (Figure 2). The rest of the participating organisations represent the following sectors:


Figure 2: Distribution of participating organisations by type (source: Own elaboration)

The participating organisations were categorized according to the size of their enterprise, based on the Eurostat Glossary. The results are presented in Figure 3. Almost 2/3 of the enterprises are large or medium-sized. As expected from the type of organisations, most of them are private, for-profit companies. Public organisations are mainly public authorities and the University research units (Figure 4).


Figure 3: Distribution of participating organisations by enterprise size (according to Eurostat Glossary) (source: Own elaboration)

Figure 4: Distribution of participating organisations by sector (source: Own elaboration)

The main activity of ¾ of the participating organisations is international, either in EU or the world, and the main activity of the remaining ¼ is almost equally distributed between the local and national range (Figure 5). More specifically, the activity of 9 out of 14 courier, postal and delivey service organisations is international.

Figure 5: Geographic range of participating organisations’ activity (source: Own elaboration)

Almost ¾ of the representatives of participating organisations state that they have a general knowledge of the EU policy on the green transition of transport & logistics, while only 6 representatives declare that they are fully informed. Similarly, almost ¾ of the participants declare that they are aware of a national policy framework on the green transition of transport & logistics. Respondents have commented on the Greek national policy, mentioning the relevant commitments to promote sustainable transport and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. For example, in 2019 (FEK Β΄4893/31.12.2019), the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy released the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), which includes targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. The plan aims to increase the share of electric vehicles in the national fleet and to promote the use of alternative fuels such as natural gas and hydrogen. Further legislatives measures on electromobility were included in the law for the promotion of electromobility (FEK A’ 142/23.07.2020). Additionally, Greece has received funding from the European Union to support the transition to cleaner transport. For example, the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility has provided funding for projects to develop alternative fuel infrastructure, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling stations. Furthermore, Greece has implemented policies, such as the legislation of SUMP and micromobility (FEK Α 40/16.03.2021), to encourage the use of public transport and active transportation modes such as walking and cycling. Athens, for instance, has been working to expand its public transport network, including investing in electric buses, while several cities have implemented bike-sharing systems.

Figure 6: Level of awareness of participating organisations regarding the EU policy on the green transition of transport & logistics (source: Own elaboration)

Figure 7: Awareness of participating organisations regarding the corresponding national policy framework on the green transition of transport & logistics (source: Own elaboration)

The respondents were asked to evaluate the importance of the implementation of a “green” policy for transport & logistics to achieve the efficient and sustainable operations of a courier, postal or delivery service organization. The ¾ of participants find the implementation of such a policy as very important and necessary to achieve sustainability in the operations of courier, postal and delivery services.

Figure 8: Importance of the implementation of a “green” policy for transport & logistics to achieve the efficient and sustainable operations of a courier/postal/delivery service organization (source: Own elaboration)

Out of the 16 participating organisations of the survey’s main target group, i.e. courier/postal/delivery services and public authorities, the 75% do not have a green transition strategy. Half of the 12 organisations that do not already have a green transition strategy are planning to develop one (Figure 9). According to Figure 10, there are 6 organisations currently implementing or planning a green transition strategy that consider that this strategy has a significant impact on the organisation’s efficient and sustainable operations.

Figure 9: Planning and/or implementation of a green transition strategy (source: Own elaboration)

Figure 10: Significance of impact of the organisation’s planned or implemented green transition strategy on its sustainable and efficient operations (source: Own elaboration)

Only one participating organisation already implements a training scheme for the provision of “green” skills to employees, while half of the participants neither have nor plan a relevant scheme (Figure 11). Overall, the organisations that have, implement or plan such a scheme consider its impact as significant or very significant (Figure 12).

Figure 11: Planning and/or implementation of a green transition training scheme to provide “green” skills to its employees (source: Own elaboration)

Figure 12: Significance of impact of the organisation’s planned or implemented green transition training scheme to provide “green” skills to its employees (source: Own elaboration)

As illustrated in Figure 13, almost 2/3 of the main target group organisations neither have nor plan to implement a scheme for the certification of the “green” skills of their employees. None of the remaining organisations implement a certification scheme, while the majority of these organisations are planning to develop such a scheme (Figure 13). All of these organisations consider the implementation of the certification scheme of employee “green” skills as significant or very significant (Figure 14).

Figure 13: Planning and/or implementation of a scheme for the certification of employee “green” skills (source: Own elaboration)

Figure 14: Significance of impact of the organisation’s planned or implemented of a scheme for the certification of employee “green” skills (source: Own elaboration)

All responding organisations, i.e the main and secondary target groups, were asked regarding their participation in actions, initiatives and networks for the green transition (Figure 15). According to the collected data, such activities include participation in EU, national and local initiatives ranging from the Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards for socially conscious investments to events (such as green transition webinars, car-free days, tree planting). In some cases, organisations undertake corporate initiative, such as efficient driving software and hardware installation on vehicle fleet, installation of electrical panels and charging stations, procurement for new “green” vehicles, energy management, recycling processes and annual recycling awards and other related initiatives (e.g. ELLA DIKA MAS). Research and consulting partners, as well as some of the industry organisations are participating in several projects related to sustainable transport (e.g. WairIt Project).

Figure 15: Participation in actions, initiatives, networks for green transition (source: Own elaboration)

More than half of the participating organisations (main and secondary target group) do not implement a sustainability management system (e.g. Environment Management System and/or Energy Efficiency Management System) nor relevant certifications (e.g. ISO 14001 or ISO 50001). About 1/10 implement such a system without relevant certification (Figure 16). The sustainability management systems implemented or planned by the organisations include monitoring, e.g. carbon emissions internal tracking tool, policy measures, e.g. carbon emission management policy framework, and management schemes, e.g. energy efficiency plan and Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). The respondents mentioned the following certifications: ISO14001; ISO45001; ISO50001; ISO9001.

Figure 16: Implementation of a sustainability management system and does it maintain relevant certifications (source: Own elaboration)

The representatives of organisations from both the main and the secondary target groups were asked to evaluate the significance of specific obstacles towards green transition of a courier/postal/delivery service organisation, i.e.:

All obstacles were considered significant or very significant by the vast majority of respondents. The most important barrier refers to the age and condition of the fleet. Other main barriers referring to vehicles and infrastructure are the low adoption of “green” fuels and zero-carbon vehicles and the energy consumption of buildings and equipment. Significant barriers at the operational level refer to the low adoption of automation in operations and the insufficient strategic planning and know-how for monitoring, managing and planning “green” operations. As regards the obstacles stemming from the policy domain, the insufficient or ineffective national policy framework is evaluated as the most important (Figure 17).

One of the respondents highlighted that the effort to renew courier fleets with energy efficient, electric vehicles face challenges, as many companies do not have sheltered facilities to safely install charging stations, the autonomy of electric big trucks is still limited, while many large courier companies in main urban centers use independent truckers, who do not have the ability to purchase electric vehicles.

Figure 17: Significance of main obstacles towards green transition of a courier/postal/delivery service organisation (source: Own elaboration)

The representatives of organisations from both the main and the secondary target groups were asked to grade the significance of specific priorities towards green transition of a courier/postal/delivery service organisation, i.e.:

As it is shown in Figure 18, the energy efficiency of vehicles, buildings and equipment concentrated the highest number of evaluations as a very significant impact towards green transition. Other highly graded priorities refer to strategic planning, employee awareness, training and engagement and monitoring of emissions and reporting. However, all priorities were considered by the majority of respondents either with very significant impact or with impact of some significance. One of the respondents also indicated as a main priority the development of business models for green transition.

Figure 18: Significance of main priorities towards green transition of a courier/postal/delivery service organisation (source: Own elaboration)

The organisations of the main target group which plan or implement a green transition strategy were asked to grade the extent that this strategy covers the above mentioned priorities (Figure 19). It can be observed from the Figure that most of the priorities are covered by existing and planned green transition strategies. However, it should be noticed that only half of the main target group participants replied to the specific question.

Figure 19: Coverage of courier/postal/delivery service organisation’s green transition strategy regarding main priorities (source: Own elaboration)

The organisations of the main target group which plan or implement green transition training and/or certification scheme were asked to grade the extent that this scheme covers the above mentioned priorities (Figure 20). Only 5 of the 8 organisations that implement or plan such a scheme provided an answer to the specific questions. Eco-friendly packaging and green procurement are the least covered priorities in these organisations’ schemes.

Figure 20: Coverage of courier/postal/delivery service organisation’s green transition training and/or certification scheme for employees regarding main priorities (source: Own elaboration)