Our Lean Green Teams foster a conservation culture by contributing to USPS efforts to reduce waste, conserve resources and reduce energy and water consumption through low- and no-cost initiatives. A green initiative tracking tool allows field managers to see current trends in consumption and how their area, district or facility is performing compared to prior years. A green project list provides instructions for implementing low- and no-cost projects that will help employees reduce waste in these categories.
Who are we?
- Postmasters – Direct and coordinate activities in Post Offices and stations.
- Carriers – Deliver and pick up mail and packages by vehicle or on foot.
- Mail Handlers – Load and unload vehicles, move mail transport equipment.
- Clerks – Assist customers, sell stamps and products, and process mail.
- Maintenance staff – Maintain our buildings and equipment.
- Transportation staff – Move mail between facilities.
- Administrative staff – Provide support services for all functions.
We recognize exemplary activities through the annual Postmaster General Sustainability Excellence Awards. This award recognizes teams at facilities, districts, areas and Headquarters that have contributed to a sustainable workplace. The award recipients demonstrated how their initiatives reduced energy consumption, vehicle petroleum use, waste sent to landfills, purchase of consumables or water use.
The Atlanta P&DC received a Postmaster General Sustainability Excellence Award for its Lean Green Team’s comprehensive approach to a conservation culture. They suspected that the costs associated with hauling and disposing cardboard and paper justified increasing recycling — and that it could even pay for itself. The team proposed a Lean Six Sigma project, with a goal to increase recycling revenue by 10 percent and eliminate cardboard congestion in the plant. In 2013, the Atlanta P&DC captured an additional $56,688 in recycling revenue from the previous year and diverted almost 10,000 tons from landfills! They didn’t stop there. The Atlanta Lean Green Team found other ways to evaluate environmental efforts. They reduced energy by changing out light bulbs and studying transportation routes to reduce fuel use. We’ll be seeing great progress out of Atlanta for years to come.
The Postmaster General Sustainability Excellence Award program recognized several facility Lean Green Teams for light-emitting diode (LED) lighting initiatives. Lean Green Teams at processing centers in Seattle, St. Paul and Western New York replaced halogen flood lamps with LEDs on their loading docks. LEDs have a longer life span and are more energy efficient than halogen and other bulb types. Although LEDs are more expensive per bulb, their long life and efficiency pays back quickly. Even more LEDs also cut down on bulb replacement maintenance hours.
Our Sustainabilty office recognizes employees throughout the year who are making a sustainability difference in their workplace with Globe Awards. Recipients are nominated by managers and co-workers. One Globe Award recipient this year was James Hardy, manager of Maintenance Operations at New York Morgan P&DC. Hardy worked with managers and staff to review each facility in the New York District — identifying waste streams, tracking data and monitoring environmental compliance. He reached out to station managers throughout the area. “I talked to them about the Postal Service’s vision for sustainability,” Hardy said. “I got a lot of feedback about our carbon footprint — the waste we’re leaving behind for the next generation — and that we just can’t do the things the way we have before.”
Our national network not only delivers the mail — we also use it to give back to communities and provide other important services. Our community-serving programs reinforce the unique relationship the Postal Service has with the American people.
For more than 20 years, letter carriers have supported the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Like no other organization, we traveled door to door and collected 74 million pounds of food in 2013. This partnership between the Postal Service, National Association of Letter Carriers, Feeding America, Campbell Soup Co. and other organizations is an example of the incredible ways our employees are serving their communities.
Nesconset, NY, Letter Carrier Lawrence Rampulla is one of thousands of postal employees who support our Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
We also deliver important information to customers. In 2013, the Postal Service and AARP sent 25 million consumers educational and outreach materials about foreign lottery scams. Local Post Offices hosted events to raise awareness of other common fraudulent activities. Visit our website, www.deliveringtrust.com, for more information on fraud education and prevention.
Our letter carriers walk the streets of communities six days a week. Postal employees go beyond the call of duty in emergency situations to assist the customers they serve. In 2013, the Postal Service recognized 262 employee heroes.
We also play a leading role in increasing the national registry of potential marrow donors. More than 59,000 of our employees and members of their families have signed up as donors since 1997. More than 80 have become donors, helping critically ill patients. We are saving lives.
Learn more about Be the Match and how to become a marrow donor at bethematch.org.
Stamps honor cultural icons and important American landmarks and leaders. They recognize technological achievements and important events in history. Stamps are also working for important causes. The Postal Service’s semipostal stamps raise funds for causes determined to be in the public interest. USPS had two semipostal stamps in 2013, the Breast Cancer Research stamp and the Save Vanishing Species stamp.
How semipostal stamps work
The price of a semipostal stamp pays for the First-Class single-piece postage rate in effect at the time of purchase, plus an amount to fund causes determined to be in the national public interest. By law, revenue from sales (minus postage and the reasonable reimbursement of costs to the Postal Service) is transferred to a selected executive agency or agencies.
The Postal Service has maintained an interagency agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service to promote the sale of Duck Stamps, an 85-year partnership. The migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation stamp, often referred to as the Federal Duck Stamp, has raised more than $851 million that has been used to preserve 5.3 million acres of wetlands.
In 2013 the stamp featured the common goldeneye duck.
Beyond our fundraising stamps, the Postal Service also chooses stamps that portray important topics and messages. Our stamps also tell stories about historic and cultural figures and important events.
Anyone can submit a proposal for new stamps to our Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, which is tasked with evaluating proposals. Stamps are evaluated for their appeal to a broad audience and whether they are contemporary, timely, relevant, interesting and educational. In 2013, we released stamps recognizing important American events such as the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 1963 March on Washington, American figures like Rosa Parks, music icons such as Lydia Mendoza, Ray Charles and Johnny Cash, important U.S. animal species such as tufted puffins and the spicebush swallowtail butterfly, and even the 500th anniversary of the naming of Florida with the La Florida stamp.
2014 is also shaping up to be a stellar year for important stamps — see some of the stamps you can buy at www.usps.com!