The U.S. Postal Service exceeded its current sustainability goals as reported in its newly released 2010 Annual Sustainability Report. Its achievements include nearly a 30 percent reduction in facility energy use, a 33 percent reduction of supplies purchases and a 133 percent increase in alternative fuel use.

The U.S. Postal Service is delivering a more sustainable future through recycling and use of alternative fuel vehicles, like this three-wheeled electric mail delivery vehicle, and just surpassed its current sustainability goals. Credit: U.S. Postal Service

“Delivering the mail to every person and business in America is a big job with enormous responsibilities to our customers and the environment,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Donahoe. “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.”

The report highlights include 44,000 alternative fuel capable vehicles, more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide reduced from an FY 2008 baseline and 27 billion stamps and shipping supplies that meet established standards for human and environmental health and recyclability.

Chief Sustainability Officer, Thomas Day, credited the agency’s culture of conservation for its gains. “Postal employees care very much about the environment,” he noted. “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 $5 million. We also reduced waste to landfills and recycled 222,000 tons of material in 2010, which avoided $9 million in landfill fees and generated $13 million in revenue.”

Additionally, the USPS is helping customers recycle. These efforts include setting up lobby recycling bins in more than 10,000 Post Offices that amounted to 22,000 tons of discarded mail as well as assisting the recycling of more than 1 million small electronics and printer cartridges.

To add to their sustainability efforts, USPS has won more than 75 environmental awards, including 40 White House Closing the Circle, 10 Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Partner of the Year, Climate Action Champion, Direct Marketing Association Green Echo awards, Postal Technology International Environmental Achievement of the Year and Climate Registry Gold Status Recognition.

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