by Sangeeta Haindl — The UK postal service, the Royal Mail, is celebrating its 500th birthday of connecting millions of customers, businesses, organisations and communities, including those in the remote rural areas. While the world has experienced rapid technological change during the past five centuries, the job of delivering mail to someone’s front door is largely unchanged, and still requires someone to take a sack of letters along a local route—this business is still working hard.
The Royal Mail contributed £10.8 billion to the UK economy during 2015-16. As a business it makes the fifth biggest direct contribution of any UK corporation; one in every 175 employees in the UK works for Royal Mail, with a higher proportion doing so in the country’s deprived regions where jobs are scarce. The company has recently published its fourteenth annual Corporate Responsibility Report, which details how the core objectives of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy have helped the business to continue making progress against a backdrop of big change in the delivery and logistics industry.
The Report highlights that the organisation is committed to equal opportunities. Once again, the company has been recognised for the second consecutive year as a Times Top 50 Employer for Women. The success of Royal Mail depends on its people, who represent the company among communities and with customers, six days a week. As a result it has delivered training to over 6,000 managers and union representatives - the largest UK ever investment in joint training. It is also mindful of the environment. Ninety-one per cent of its 7.5-tonne HGV fleet is now fitted with driver telemetry to help reduce fuel consumption. It is ranked first in the ‘Transportation and Transportation Infrastructure’ sector in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the second year running, and gained inclusion in the prestigious FTSE4Good Index for the first time.
The Royal Mail has heart, contributing £6.7 million directly to charities, good causes and schemes for disadvantaged groups, with its employees raising a further £3.1 million, including £2.4 million through its payroll-giving scheme. Among other endeavors it has distributed 70 Missing People alerts to its network of up to 139,000 employees since the partnership with the charity Missing People began in November 2014. Happily, 50 missing people have been found or returned home, half of which were children.
Trust is key for this household brand. An Ipsos Mori poll from December 2015 shows that 78 percent of the British public has a favourable attitude towards Royal Mail, the strongest of the surveyed brands. This will hopefully help this great British institution realise its vision of being the best delivery company in the country and across Europe, staying ahead of competitors like DPD, Hermes and others, which are increasing the pressure on Royal Mail’s parcels business—an area crucial to its future as the number of letters sent in Britain continues to decline. Royal Mail knows that doing business in a responsible way is very much part of its history and its future.
Photo Credit: Royal Mail