The so-called ‘ecozone’ introduced in Louvain in 2022 is a success and will be expanded. Since its introduction, parcels, newspapers, and letters have been delivered emission-free, reducing CO2 emissions by 88% per parcel compared to 2018.
The ecozone in Louvain officially started in April 2022 as an initiative of the city and the Belgian Post Group Bpost. Since then, letters, parcels, and newspapers have been delivered without greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible. Bpost, therefore, uses 13 bicycle trailers, 46 electric vans, and an extensive network of 27 collection points (including post offices) with a total of 624 lockers for parcels.
CO2 emission reduction of 88%
Between the start of the ecozone project and June 2023, 103 785 parcels were sent via the Louvain lockers. Thanks to the lockers, the share of home deliveries in Louvain has fallen by 6%. The sustainability gain for the users of parcels has also increased because 98% of them travel to the lockers sustainably because of the short distance.
Using bicycles with a trailer and reorganizing the distribution rounds led to saving an estimated 240 car kilometers daily in Louvain. On an annual basis, this amounts to 87 000 car kilometers not driven, good for a CO2 emission reduction of 88% per parcel compared to 2018.
Healthier air quality
David Dessers, Louvain Alderman for Mobility: “The realization of this ecozone with parcel lockers and CO2-free delivery positively impacts the quality of life and road safety in our city.”
Jos Donvil, CEO of Bpost: “Louvain’s inhabitants contribute to the success of this initiative. They use the network of collection points intensively and, combined with sustainable vehicles, this ensures a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions and a healthier air quality for all.”
Similar initiatives in other cities
Users are equally enthusiastic. “Thanks to the lockers, I can pick up my parcels whenever I like,” they say. And if it were up to Minister of Public Enterprises Petra De Sutter, cities should invest more in similar projects. “The more investments in green parcel delivery, the less pollution,” she concludes.
In the meantime, local authorities in Louvain and Bpost have decided to continue the cooperation until October 2025. New collection points will be added elsewhere in the city, and Bpost will continue to work on the transition to electric vehicles to be able to serve the other sub-municipalities emission-free as well.
Louvain is not the only Belgian city with an ecozone. Other cities – Brussels, Malines, Bruges, Namur, and Eupen – have launched similar projects.