2010 Sustainability Report
Leaner | greener | faster | smarter

Our commitment | Product stewardship

A secure and sustainable solution

Security and privacy rules require mailers and USPS to ensure that information in First-Class Mail is protected as it travels to recipients. But undelivered-as-addressed First-Class Mail is returned to the sender and becomes part of their waste stream.

The transportation and processing of these nearly 1.2 billion undeliverable-as-addressed First-Class Mail pieces each year is costly to the mailer and USPS. This mail represents significant fuel used and the greenhouse gas emissions that go with them.

To offset these environmental and cost concerns, USPS this year began designing a secure destruction program with the participation of several large mailers.

Instead of returning this mail to the original sender, who would then forward the mail for secure destruction, USPS will capture the mail, securely destroy it and then recycle it. Only First-Class Mail that would be returned to senders would be destroyed. However, if it can’t be delivered to the customer’s current address because the customer has moved and filed a change of address, it will continue to be forwarded to the customer’s new address, not destroyed.

We developed this secure destruction service in response to mailers’ cost and environmental concerns.