Postal Service Moves Closer to Energy, Fuel Reduction Goals

Sustainability Annual Report Released

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service released its 2009 annual report on sustainability performance in which Postmaster General John E. Potter credited postal employees for the agency’s environmental achievements.

“Quite simply, we want to be the best — best neighbor, best business partner and the best place to work when it comes to sustainable practices,” said Potter. “As the first federal agency to publicly report its greenhouse gas emissions, we’ve established an invaluable baseline to guide us as we work to scale back these emissions by 20 percent by 2020.”

The Postal Service has set aggressive goals to reduce energy use 30 percent by 2015, petroleum fuel use 20 percent by 2015 and greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020. In 2009, the agency reduced its total facility and vehicle energy use 9 percent, as it increased its alternative fuel use 26 percent.

In 2009, Postal Service employees reduced the amount of municipal solid waste generated by 7 percent compared to the year before. Postal employees also increased the amount of recycled or reused electronics by 73 percent in the same timeframe. The 2009 sustainability report is available at the Postal Service’s green website, which shows customers how to “skip the trip” by using free carrier pickup, Click-N-Ship and other online services. In 2009, online transactions increased 13 percent, meaning fewer trips to Post Offices, saving customers time and fuel and reducing their carbon emissions, too.

“It’s our goal to make sure every letter and package mailed is a greener experience for the people who use our services,” said Sam Pulcrano, vice president, Sustainability. “Reduce, reuse, recycle is more than a slogan — it’s a way of doing business throughout the Postal Service. We are reducing energy and fuel use, our carbon footprint is growing smaller, and our employees and customers are benefitting from our environment-friendly practices.”

Pulcrano attributes other sustainability successes to the Postal Service’s inclusive “culture of conservation.”
Highlights from the sustainability report include:

* 10.8 trillion — reduction in British thermal units (Btu) in facility energy use since 2005
* $400 million — savings in energy costs since 2007
* $314 million — savings due to reduced contracted transportation fuel use
* 10 million — saved sheets of paper through Human Resources online initiatives
* 2 cents — cost per mile to operate three-wheeled electric delivery vehicles

According to Pulcrano, “The Postal Service is making good progress in achieving its sustainability goals and continues to lay a solid foundation for a sustainable future for our organization, our employees and our customers. As federal agencies begin to ‘green the government’ the Postal Service continues to step up and take action.”

The Postal Service 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, and the Postal Technology International Environmental Achievement of the Year, 2009.

For more information about the Postal Service’s sustainability initiatives, visit and the green newsroom.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.