Putting Our Stamp on a Greener Tomorrow
As the new Chief Sustainability Officer for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), I have the opportunity to meet many new people. When people first meet me, they usually say two things: “I love the Postal Service!” and “I didn’t know the Postal Service was so green!” That’s really the best part of the conversation for me because I then have the opportunity to surprise and delight someone with the Postal Service’s sustainability story.
With more than 600,000 employees and 30,000 retail offices all over the country, the Postal Service has a responsibility to protect the environment. In that spirit, here are a few of my favorite USPS sustainability facts:
Our employees care about the environment
Our employee-led Lean Green Teams focus on reducing energy and water use, decreasing fuel consumption, minimizing waste generation and increasing recycling.
Lean Green Teams and our other employees across the country reduced landfill costs by $5 million in 2018 compared to the previous year, generated more than $8 million in recycling revenue and reduced consumable spending by $14 million. Additionally, we recycled over 250,000 tons of material in 2018 and achieved a 51.7 percent diversion rate, just above our goal to divert 50 percent of solid waste from landfills to recycling.
A dedicated team of environmental professionals at the Postal Service focuses on ensuring that our large portfolio of buildings follow all applicable environmental laws and regulations, resulting in savings of energy and other resources.
Our buildings are getting greener
The Postal Service has a 2.5-acre green roof seven stories above the street in New York City. This green roof system helps filter water which flows to the New York City municipal water system.
The Postal Service has a solar power generation system at the Los Angeles mail processing facility consisting of nearly 35,000 solar panels. We are planning four more solar installations in 2020.
Our customers have sustainable choices
You can pick up free recyclable Priority Mail boxes at any Post Office. You can also order them online at usps.com (delivery is free!) or by calling (800) 610-8734. Our packaging meets Sustainable Forestry Initiative or Forest Stewardship Council certification standards.
Our commercial customers can use USPS BlueEarth Carbon Accounting services to help determine the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their mail. Our large mailers can also use our USPS BlueEarth Secure Destruction Services to securely destroy undeliverable First-Class Mail. And we provide our federal customers with a secure way to recycle ink cartridges and small electronics with our USPS BlueEarth Federal Recycling program.
To learn more about how we are putting our stamp on a greener tomorrow visit:
Jennifer Beiro-Reveille, USPS Chief Sustainability Officer