2010 Sustainability Report
Leaner | greener | faster | smarter

Our people | Employee engagement

Each of our employees is a potential ambassador for sustainable living. And together they are a potent force supporting the Postal Service’s sustainability success.

Many have been longtime advocates of conserving our planet’s resources. Their efforts begin at home, where they regularly recycle and adjust thermostats to save energy. And they bring those same green habits to work, where they help the Postal Service be more sustainable.

Because USPS believes our nearly 582,000 employees are key to our efforts to advance sustainability, we are encouraging them to join our most ambitious employee effort to date — participating in sustainability teams across the organization to help us work “leaner, greener, faster, smarter.”

Lean Green teams helped USPS save more than $5 million by reducing energy, water, petroleum fuel and waste sent to landfills.

Lean Green teams

Last year, USPS began inviting employees at its mail processing facilities, network distribution centers and Post Offices to help the organization reduce its operational costs and carbon footprint.

Our “Lean Green teams” identify and implement low- and no-cost ways to reduce waste and resource use, focusing their efforts on five sustainability reduction goals:

  • Facility energy use — 30 percent by FY 2015.
  • Waste sent to landfill — 50 percent by FY 2015.
  • Petroleum fuel use — 20 percent by FY 2015.
  • Water use — 10 percent by FY 2015.
  • Consumables spending — 30 percent by FY 2020.

Our intention is to have active Lean Green teams in all of our districts and network distribution centers by the end of FY 2012. While we’re more than a quarter of the way there, we face an ongoing challenge to engage all employees across our 33,000 facilities as we transition to a smaller organization.

However, the potential cost savings and sustainability benefits of fully implementing this program across the country are significant.

In FY 2010, Lean Green teams helped USPS save more than $5 million by reducing energy, water and petroleum fuel use, and solid waste sent to landfills. Recycling postal-wide generated more than 222,000 tons of material, $13 million in revenue and avoided $9 million in landfill fees.

The money our employees are helping us save is crucial during these tough economic times. But just as important, and of great potential for our long-term benefit, is the fact that our Lean Green teams are bringing a culture of conservation to our organization. Their efforts are literally making us leaner, greener, faster, smarter!