Our Sustainability Journey
Our mission is to deliver now — and for future generations. With every step we take, we are committed to leaving a green footprint across the American landscape.
We take seriously our responsibility to provide universal service and to conduct our business in an environmentally, socially and financially responsible manner.
The Postal Service has a unique opportunity to leave a green footprint across our national landscape, because we are at every door, in every community, every day.
We have three over-arching sustainability goals to help us do that: reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste to landfills and engage our employees in our efforts.
We’ve taken a significant first step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by producing our first GHG emissions inventory. It gives us a starting point for our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. And I’m pleased to tell you that the Postal Service is the first federal agency to publicly report its greenhouse gas emissions.
Because we are a large organization, we’re very aware of our responsibility to be green. Today, we process the mail using less energy than ever. And just about all the paper in the mail we deliver is either recycled or comes from trees grown just to produce paper, not from virgin forests.
We’re proud of our energy reduction efforts — we’ve reduced facility energy use and increased alternative fuel use. And we’re working hard to reduce our vehicle petroleum use.
We recycled 232,000 tons of plastic and paper this year, keeping all that waste out of landfills. We’ve also helped our customers divert 20,000 tons of paper from landfills with a recycling initiative in 4,000 Post Office Box lobbies around the country.
And we are engaging our employees as never before in our sustainability efforts as we create a culture of conservation at the Postal Service.
We’ve set aggressive goals for our sustainability performance and we are encouraging our customers, suppliers and business partners to join us in going green.
Here are those goals. We want to reduce energy use and intensity in our facilities 30 percent, and vehicle petroleum fuel use 20 percent — both by 2015. We intend to increase the use of vehicle alternative fuel 10 percent, also by 2015. And our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020.
As you will see in this report, we’ve already made improvements in two key areas. We’ve reduced our energy intensity by 17 percent since 2003 and increased alternative fuel use in our vehicles by 61 percent since 2005.
So we’re off to a good start. But we are very aware there’s still work to be done. For example, our efforts to reduce the amount of fuel we use to deliver the mail will continue to be challenging, because the population continues to grow, and along with it the number of delivery points we serve each year.
But we’re up to the challenge.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look through this inaugural report on our sustainability efforts to-date. And I encourage you to follow our progress as we work to meet our goals. We are keenly aware of our environmental responsibility and have embraced it, not only because it’s good for business, but because it is good for the country.