The Withdrawal of the Responsible Mail Product while Working Towards A More Sustainable Future

Thank you for the feedback recently provided regarding our proposals to simplify our product portfolio by withdrawing the Responsible Mail product, and to update and extend environmental guidance for materials and recyclability, enabling posting customers to produce mail in the most sustainable way across Advertising, Business and Subscription Mail products.  


Acting in a responsible and sustainable way is a top priority for Royal Mail. We are firmly putting the environment front and centre of our agenda, in an aim to be a net zero carbon emission business by 2050. You may have seen recent news regarding Royal Mail’s own activity to reduce carbon emissions, including our Bristol East Delivery Office having its entire vehicle stock replaced with electric equivalents, ahead of our plans to introduce an additional 3000 electric vehicles into the fleet. We also announced the launch of 29 low emission gas powered trucks fuelled by Bio-Compressed Natural Gas, which typically emit roughly 84% less CO2 than a typical diesel-fuelled vehicle of its size.


We want to provide Wholesale customers with the best guidance we can, in terms of producing mail in the most sustainable way, recognising advancement in technologies and the progression of environmental standards enabling them to make informed choices. We recognise that the withdrawal of Responsible Mail removes our current lowest Advertising Mail price point, which may have been an initial area of concern for customers.  However, to ensure that no customers currently using Responsible Mail are disadvantaged, as part of our Letters tariff change taking effect in January 2022, we will be amending all Advertising Mail prices to match the current lowest equivalent Responsible ‘Intermediate’ price.  For clarity, this reduction takes the price of Advertising Mail and Responsible ‘Entry’ down to the current Responsible Intermediate price, before the annual tariff increase is applied. The reduction does not apply to Partially Addressed Advertising Mail prices (since these do not benefit from any Responsible Mail discount today).  This will mean that customers are well placed to expand their environmental initiatives if they so wish.


At the same time, we plan to do more to promote best practice in mail production and the use of sustainable materials, so we can all do the right thing together. We have worked with a number of industry experts and organisations to develop our new environmental guidance to take into account the latest advice regarding mail pack materials and recyclability.  The new environmental guidance and supporting documents will be published by the end of July 2021 and if you wish to have a 121 briefing to discuss the guidance further, this can be arranged via your Account Director.


To effect the withdrawal of the Responsible Mail product from 4 January 2022, we are deleting Schedule 7: Responsible Mail to the Access Letters Contract.  We will also be removing all references to Responsible Mail in the Access Letters Contract including the Access User Guide. Contract change notice (number 076) and User Guide amendment notice (number 063) detail the changes to the Access Letters Contract. 


We look forward to continuing working with you to identify ways to promote sustainability as an industry.