Cover Story

Go Green — Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day 2012 marks our recommitment to the reduction of waste and a concerted effort to increase the recycling of the wide range of recyclable materials we generate in our normal operations. This issue of the Postal Bulletin features a number of articles with tips on how you can Deliver Green, Buy Green, and Live Green to make the Postal Service™ a more sustain­able organization. Our challenge is to become a leaner, greener, faster, and smarter organization, and we can do this by adopting the recycling, waste reduction, and energy and water conservation tips featured in this issue. This edition also high­lights Lean Green Teams and how this innovative strategy is playing an important role in creating a culture of sustainability within the Postal Service.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, the Postal Service adopted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Federal Green Challenge with the objective of recycling 50 percent of all solid waste by the year 2015. We know this goal is achievable because we recycled approximately 45 percent of our solid waste in FY 2011. We can meet this goal if each of us makes a special effort to increase the amount of waste we recycle. We are encouraged by the remarkable recycling accomplishments of the nine vehicle maintenance facilities and nine processing and distribution center pilot sites in all seven areas that have collectively demonstrated that nearly all Postal Service wastes are recyclable. In FY 2010, these 18 facilities were early adopters of the Federal Green Challenge and proved that nearly 90 percent of their waste stream could be recycled. This issue of the Postal Bulletin features articles on ordering recycling supplies for your facility, including recycling posters, dumpster notices, zero waste challenge posters, and labels for recycling containers designed to raise employee awareness and nurture a culture of sustainability within our organization.

Earth Day is about celebrating our sustainability initiatives, and there is no better way than to host a special Earth Day event with customers and employees. This issue offers you several choices for hosting an employee-focused or a customer-focused Earth Day event. Earth Day officially falls on Sunday, April 22, but you are encouraged to host any special events you initiate during the days before or immediately after April 22. The date chosen for your Earth Day event can be based on a variety of factors including local Earth Day activities within your community and the ease of coordinating an employee- or customer-oriented event with the least disruption to Postal Service operations.

Please consider adopting one of the low- or no-cost Earth Day events featured in this issue of the Postal Bulletin. We also urge you to become familiar with the initiatives each of you can adopt to integrate sustainable practices into the everyday activities of our organization. Earth Day may happen once a year, but our sustainability practices should become part of the fabric of our working lives. Go Green — Celebrate Earth Day. And consider observing Earth Day every day.

Thomas G. Day
Chief Sustainability Officer
April 5, 2012