We define our approach to environmental stewardship as taking responsibility for our choices and having a willingness as a business to minimize our environmental impacts.
We believe practicing sustainable environmental stewardship can allow us to derive business value from environmental excellence and holds the potential for decreasing our environmental impact, increasing operational efficiencies, evaluating alternatives and improving financial performance.
We have established policies for regulatory conformance, pollution prevention and sustainable practices to reduce our environmental footprint over time. We review how our business may impact the environment and have established targets and reduction strategies for greenhouse gas emissions, energy, transportation fuel use, waste reduction and water conservation.
We measure progress toward these targets and continually evaluate new ideas and best practices to reach them. We don’t believe there is any single or quick fix. Rather, the key is our corporate commitment to practicing sustainability over time. The Environmental Stewardship sections in this report review our progress and strategies toward achieving our targets.
Taking steps now to reduce our carbon footprint has become part of the Postal Service’s overall environmental stewardship strategy. We believe looking at our carbon footprint can offer new opportunities to evaluate less carbon-intensive practices and has the potential to drive greater efficiencies and reduce costs in how we use our natural resources.
We are committed to transparency and third-party verification and continue to strive for continuous improvement in our greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting. Since 2007, we have prepared an annual, third-party verified GHG emissions inventory to track our progress.
To report our GHG emissions, we are compliant with established protocols set forth by The Climate Registry, the International Post Corporation and under Federal Executive Order 13514.
We track our emissions against established corporate GHG targets. Our overall target is to reduce GHG emissions 20 percent by FY 2020 using FY 2008 as a baseline.
To better evaluate the full range of our GHG emissions, we also have set individual performance targets for our Scope 1 and 2 emissions and Scope 3 emissions.
The Postal Service goal for Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions is a 20 percent reduction by FY 2020, using FY 2008 as a baseline. The Postal Service defines its Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions boundaries as Scope 1 direct GHG emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels in owned boilers, furnaces and vehicles, and Scope 2 indirect GHG emissions from steam and electricity purchases.
In FY 2011, our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions decreased 11 percent, or 583,000 metric tons since baseline FY 2008.
The Postal Service goal for Scope 3 GHG emissions is a 20 percent reduction by FY 2020 using FY 2008 as a baseline. The Postal Service defines its Scope 3 GHG emissions boundaries to include contract vehicle fuel use, employee travel, contract waste disposal, transmission and distribution losses from electricity purchases, buildings with fully serviced leases and contracted waste disposal and wastewater treatment operations.
In FY 2011, Scope 3 GHG emissions increased over FY 2010 but have demonstrated an overall decreasing trend by 5 percent or 402,000 metric tons since baseline FY 2008.
There are many factors that contribute to GHG emissions. Progress toward reducing our GHG footprint starts with understanding what segments of our operations impact GHG emissions and then developing goals and practices toward reducing them.
The Postal Service has set goals for energy and vehicle performance. In fact, the Postal Service is the first federal agency to add energy and fuel reduction metrics to our managers’ national performance assessment score. Learn more about GHG emissions at the U.S. EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/greeningepa/ghg/.