From the Deputy Postmaster General
Our vision is to be a sustainability leader by creating a culture of conservation throughout the Postal Service, and leading the adoption of sustainable business practices by engaging our employees, customers, suppliers, the mailing industry and our federal peers.
As I look back on Fiscal Year 2010, I am pleased to report that the Postal Service made significant strides in FY 2010 toward this vision, and continued progress toward our 15 corporate sustainability performance goals, which guide our actions.
We greatly lowered facility energy consumption and our associated greenhouse gas emissions. We improved mail sorting and processing efficiencies, improved delivery routes to conserve fuel, and increased fuel use in our alternative fuel-capable delivery fleet, the largest in the country.
Our 8 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction since FY 2008 is the equivalent of taking nearly 204,000 U.S. passenger vehicles off the road for an entire year!
We increased our employee Lean Green teams to more than 400 across the country. These teams work to implement low- and no-cost ways to conserve natural resources, purchase fewer consumable products and materials, and reduce costs.
They helped USPS save $5 million in FY 2010 alone.
I’m proud to tell you that we were able to continue our sustainability commitment, while facing the greatest financial challenge in our 235-year history.
Our mail volume and revenue are rapidly declining due to the economy and electronic diversion, while the number of delivery points we serve continues to increase by a million a year as the population grows. That makes reducing our vehicle petroleum fuel use extremely challenging.
At the same time, fuel, energy and employee health care costs are rising faster than the consumer price index. By law, we can’t raise prices higher than the index. USPS also has a unique requirement to pre-fund billions of dollars of retiree health benefits. And we do not receive government appropriations to fund our business operations or sustainability efforts.
Despite these challenges and legislative restrictions, we remain committed to providing universal mail service for current and future generations in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
Our sustainability focus going forward is to invest our limited resources in initiatives that have timely paybacks and deliver high returns on investment, such as our energy and fuel conservation projects and the widespread deployment of our Lean Green teams. We intend to improve our sustainability performance as much as our finances permit, and emerge from this crisis a leaner, greener, faster, and smarter service organization.