Environmental Protection

Green Mail Delivery Saves Postal Service Millions

Delivering more than 40 percent of the world's mail and reaching every business and residential address in America six days a week requires the dependable, ubiquitous vehicle fleet of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The world's largest civilian fleet delivers more than 167 billion pieces of mail to more than 150 million addresses, along 230,000 routes, logging 4 million miles a day, with 215,000 postal vehicles, of which more than 44,000 are alternative fuel-capable.

"The Postal Service's fleet of alternative fuel-capable vehicles is the nation's largest green fleet, and uses a variety of alternative fuels including electricity, ethanol, compressed natural gas, liquid propane and bio-diesel," said Dean Granholm, vice president, Delivery and Post Office Operations. "These vehicles allow us to deliver mail in a more environmentally responsible way."

From fiscal year (FY) 2009 to FY 2010, USPS replaced nearly 6,600 older gasoline-powered vehicles with more fuel-efficient vehicles and increased use of alternative fuels in postal vehicles to 2.2 million gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE), a 9 percent increase.

"Green mail delivery methods helped the Postal Service increase alternative fuel use 133 percent from an FY 2005 baseline, well ahead of the goal of 10 percent by 2015," said Thomas Day, chief sustainability officer. "The Postal Service has a long, proud tradition of testing and using more efficient methods of transportation, including the first electric delivery vehicle, in 1899. It's all part of the Postal Service's leaner, greener, smarter, faster sustainability call to action."

As suggested by the recently issued Choose to Walk and Ride a Bike Go Green Forever stamps, USPS delivers mail using nearly 9,000 "fleet of feet" walking routes and nearly 70 bicycle routes. Add to that 31 propane vehicles, 30 electric step vans, 13 three-wheeled electric vehicles, 5 electric long-life vehicles (LLVs) and 10 mules on one contracted mail delivery route in the Grand Canyon, and these green mail delivery methods help USPS avoid the use of nearly 18,000 gallons of petroleum fuel each day. With 303 delivery days a year, green mail delivery helps USPS avoid using nearly 5.5 million gallons of petroleum fuel per year, which adds up to millions in savings.

The Postal Service joined forces with the National Environmental Education Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the spring issuance of the Go Green Forever stamps.

"The Go Green Forever stamps reflect the Foundation's commitment to minimize our ecological footprint, while also encouraging everyone to learn about the environment and how our daily lives can affect it," said Diane Wood, president, National Environmental Education Foundation. "Many of our staff members walk or bike to work, and we also offer opportunities for the public to get active and be outdoors. We are excited about the Go Green Forever stamps which help raise awareness about our environment."

Details of USPS fuel savings results can be found in the FY 2010 Annual Sustainability Report. For additional information about USPS sustainability initiatives and the Go Green Forever stamps, visit usps.com/green and the Green Newsroom.

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.

USPS participates in the International Post Corporation's Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System, the global postal industry's program to reduce its carbon footprint 20 percent by 2020 based on an FY 2008 baseline.

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

SOURCE U.S. Postal Service

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