The Postal Service continues to focus on using less energy, fuel, water, and other resources by encouraging sustainable best practices. Given the size of postal operations — with more than 600,000 employees and 34,000 facilities — its green activities have significant positive impacts in every American community. The Postal Service has been recognized as an environmental innovator and leader — receiving more than 70 major environmental awards, including 42 White House Closing the Circle Awards, and a Climate Action Champion Award from the California Climate Action Registry for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This year, for the 10th consecutive year, the Postal Service was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as its WasteWise Partner of the Year. All districts continued participation in the EPA WasteWise program, which means they agree to reduce or recycle municipal solid waste and selected industrial wastes. In the most recent reporting year (CY 2008), more than 274,443 tons of waste was recycled, resulting in 271,468 metric tons of carbon equivalent reductions in greenhouse gasses.

The Postal Service won the 2009 Climate Action Champion award from the California Climate Action Registry for engaging and shaping public response to climate change and for voluntarily reporting greenhouse gas emissions. The Postal Service was honored for achieving independent validation of its greenhouse gas inventory and for being the largest organization in the U.S. and the first federal agency to publicly report its carbon footprint according to international standards.

The Postal Service is working to get closer to zero waste in the workplace — meaning that all paper, cardboard, plastics, and metals generated are either eliminated or re-used. The Postal Service also renewed its Cradle-to-Cradle certification for all Priority Mail and Express Mail boxes and envelopes, and initiated a process to expand certification to stamps, stamped postal cards, and stamped envelopes.

The Postal Service published its National Energy Management Strategy in November 2008 to broaden awareness and engagement in this effort and published its new Sustainability Performance Report for 2008.