The U.S. Postal Service is committed to being a sustainability leader and building on its long history of environmental innovation and social responsibility. With a presence in towns and cities across the nation, USPS is especially mindful of the impact that today's actions can have on future generations. By working toward the goals outlined in this plan, we make the best use of resources, reduce financial costs and benefit our employees, customers and the communities we serve.
Our green practices and successes are widely recognized — recycling and mail-back programs, vehicles powered by electricity and alternative fuels, environmentally certified mailing and shipping supplies, and more. Recent USPS sustainability leadership efforts include these achievements:
- The first federal agency to have a sustainability officer.
- The first federal agency to publish a third-party-verified greenhouse gas (GHG)
- emissions inventory and commit to absolute GHG reductions.
- One of the first federal agencies to issue Global Reporting Initiative-based public sustainability performance reports (2008 and 2009).
- Along with other posts, became the first industry sector to commit to GHG reductions at the 2009 United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen.
- Named “most trusted government agency” for six consecutive years.
- The first mailing or shipping company to achieve Cradle-to-Cradle certification for our packaging envelopes and stamps.
This plan describes our strategic sustainability framework, including our performance goals and implementation initiatives.
Achieving these sustainability goals will be extremely challenging as we face the most
significant financial crisis in our history. Mail volume and revenue are rapidly declining, while the number of delivery points we serve continues to increase.
In addition, there are restrictions on closing Post Offices and we are nearing our statutory debt limit, which in turn limits our capital investments and increases our long-term debt.
Because of these challenges, we are focusing our near-term efforts on implementing low-cost, high-benefit initiatives that achieve our goals, increase operational efficiencies and have a shorter return on investment. A key element of our plan is engaging our employees to help us adopt a culture of conservation. This includes creating Lean Green teams that will help promote energy- and resource-efficient practices nationwide.
Despite our significant near-term financial challenges, we are committed to sustainability and delivering on our mission of providing affordable, universal mail service.