2010 Sustainability Report
Leaner | greener | faster | smarter

Our network | Greener facilities

Renewing an ongoing challenge

The Postal Service views renewable energy as a part of its sustainable operations, and currently operates energy projects in several states that include solar photovoltaic, fuel cell, geothermal and combined heat and power generation technologies. Although experience has shown us that energy conservation is often a better investment than site-specific renewable energy projects, we continue to explore and pursue renewable energy solutions throughout the country where it is economically viable and creates an environmental benefit.


A number of the water and energy conservation opportunities in postal facilities are the same good habits many of us practice at home, often at little cost. They are as simple as properly setting thermostats or turning off lights and faucets.

USPS Lean Green teams are implementing more than 40 of these projects, and creating new ones to conserve resources and reduce expenses.

Turning down the tap on water use

Overall water use by the Postal Service is quite low, even though we operate thousands of facilities across the country. Most of the water we use is for restrooms, with minimal amounts for irrigation, cooling and maintenance. We use high-efficiency, low-flow plumbing fixtures that are in line with EPA’s WaterSense guidelines and our own building design standards.

Our goal is to reduce total water use 10 percent by FY 2015, against an FY 2007 baseline. This year, we estimate that we consumed 4.8 billion gallons of water. That is a 1.3 percent decrease from FY 2009, and a nearly 11 percent decrease since our FY 2007 baseline year.

We added 1,500 additional facilities to our utility management system in FY 2010 and improved the way we calculate water use. We’re continuing to add postal facilities to the system, which will increase the accuracy of our data and our ability to conserve more water — a good environmental and financial return on investment.

Although we’ve surpassed our 10 percent reduction goal, we know we can improve even more. We’re exploring an even more aggressive water reduction goal in FY 2011.