Message from the Chief Sustainability Officer
With plans for significant network re-alignment, the Postal Service is ushering in one of the most transformational periods in its history. During this time of unprecedented change and economic challenge, we have established targets to lead our organization toward a more sustainable future. We measure, and will continue to publically report progress toward our goals. We continue to work on new strategies to reach our targets and define new and better practices in support of our sustainability efforts.
Our vision is to be a sustainability leader by building a culture of conservation throughout the Postal Service. We will implement sustainable business practices by engaging our employees, customers, suppliers, mail service providers and our federal peers.
We have had many challenges and achievements during 2011. Our recycling efforts had a banner year with $24 million in revenue. Our progress toward reducing facility energy use 30 percent by 2015 continues to exceed our annual targets despite a slight increase in facility energy use this year.
We have been preparing a greenhouse gas emission inventory every year since 2007, and we now offer USPS BlueEarth™, our new carbon accounting service so our business customers can determine their own carbon footprint for the mailing and shipping services the Postal Service provides.
We continue our efforts to reduce the growth in fuel use by optimizing our delivery routes and efficient use of our vehicle fleet. However, the number of delivery points we serve continues to grow even during these tough economic times. The net result is that delivery growth is outpacing our ability to improve efficiency.
In anticipation of an improved financial situation that will allow us to replace our existing fleet of vehicles, we continue to test alternative technologies. New types of alternative fuel vehicles were deployed for street testing, while some existing postal vehicles were retrofitted with new technology to understand how it may help improve our fleet efficiency.
In 2011, we embarked on a special project to communicate “Green” directly to our customers with our Go Green stamps. The design team originally planned a four-stamp panel, but the enthusiasm and ideas for the project kept growing and eventually resulted in a 16-stamp panel (see front cover). We hope the excitement and pride experienced by our postal design team signal a broader willingness on the part of each of us to embrace more sustainable practices.