Environmental Protection

U.S. Postal Service Downsizes its Carbon Footprint

The U.S. Postal Service reported an 8 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a fiscal year (FY) 2008 baseline. The reduction of 1,067,834 metric tons of carbon dioxide is an amount equal to the annual emissions of approximately 204,000 passenger vehicles.

"These results demonstrate the Postal Service's commitment to reduce our GHG emissions 20 percent by fiscal year 2020," said Emil Dzuray, acting USPS chief sustainability officer. "Our leaner, faster, smarter energy reduction and conservation efforts have placed us more than one third of the way to our goal."

Reduced facility energy use represented almost half of the Postal Service's GHG emissions decrease.

"Postal Service employees are laser-focused on reducing energy use at Post Offices and mail processing centers," said Tom Samra, vice president of Facilities. "We are proud to have reduced our facility energy-related emissions 12 percent from fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2010 — enough to power approximately 39,000 average American households for a year."

From FY 2003 to FY 2010, USPS reduced its facility energy use by 29.4 percent, or 9.9 trillion BTUs, an amount equal to the energy used by approximately 100,000 average American households in a year.

The Postal Service voluntarily reported its FY 2010 GHG emissions reduction progress according to Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting Guidance. USPS reported a reduction of 9.5 percent in facility energy and fuel use, and 7 percent in contracted transport, wastewater and solid waste. While this is the Postal Service's first fiscal year federal GHG emissions report, it is the agency's fourth year of publicly reporting its GHG emissions.

Other factors supporting USPS' positive GHG results are:

More than 400 cross-functional Lean Green Teams across the country, which produce significant results in energy reduction and resource conservation.

More than 44,000 alternative fuel-capable vehicles.

Green mail delivery, including nearly 10,000 "fleet of feet" walking routes, nearly 70 bicycle routes, and close to 80,000 "park and loop" routes, where carriers deliver mail on foot after driving to neighborhoods.

More than 27 billion Cradle-to-Cradle Certified stamps and shipping supplies provided to customers in FY 2010, which meet established standards for human and environmental health and recyclability. USPS is the only mailing and shipping company in the world to have earned this certification.

These energy-conservation actions are part of a comprehensive strategy USPS is using to meet its goals to reduce energy use in its facilities 30 percent by 2015 and GHG emissions 20 percent by 2020.

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