USPS exceeds green targets as sustainability report released

United States Postal Service (USPS) has exceeded a number of its sustainability goals, the company said as it released its 2010 Annual Sustainability Report. Published this week, the report states that the postal operator achieved almost a 30% reduction in facility energy use, a 33% reduction of supplies purchases and a 133% increase in alternative fuel use.

Postmaster general and CEO Patrick Donahoe said: “Delivering the mail to every person and business in America is a big job with enormous responsibilities to our customers and the environment.

“That’s why ‘leaner, greener, faster, smarter’ is our sustainability call to action as we eliminate waste, reduce fuel and energy use and lower our carbon footprint, driving costs down in a sustainable, responsible way.”

USPS said that 44,000 of its 215,000 postal vehicles are now alternative fuel capable, as well as reducing the number of metric tons of CO2 it produced by more than a million against 2008 levels,  an amount equal to the annual emissions of nearly 204,000 passenger vehicles.

Chief sustainability officer, Thomas Day, credits the agency’s culture of conservation for its gains: “Postal employees care very much about the environment. With the help of 400 green teams created to identify low- and no-cost conservation projects, we reduced energy and water use in 2010, saving more than $5m. We also reduced waste to landfills and recycled 222,000 tons of material in 2010, which avoided $9m in landfill fees and generated $13m in revenue.”

These energy-conservation actions are part of a comprehensive strategy USPS is using to meet its goals to reduce facility energy use 30%, increase alternative fuel use 10%, and reduce vehicle petroleum use 20% by 2015 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020.

USPS also helps customers practice sustainability. In the 2010 financial year, lobby recycling programmes in more than 10,000 Post Offices helped customers divert 22,000 tons of discarded mail from landfills. USPS also helped customers recycle more than one million small electronics and printer cartridges.

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